Written by vampirefan on 20 Dec, 2006
Driving down Main Street in Kernersville you will come upon one of the oddest houses in the world. Welcome to Korner’s Folly. In 1880 bachelor, Jules Korner, set about to built a home to be his bachelor pad, an artist’s studio, and a show case…Read More
Driving down Main Street in Kernersville you will come upon one of the oddest houses in the world. Welcome to Korner’s Folly. In 1880 bachelor, Jules Korner, set about to built a home to be his bachelor pad, an artist’s studio, and a show case for his interior design business. He had stables for his horses and underground tunnels so visitors could get to other buildings on the property without getting dirty when it rained. In 1886 he married Polly Alice Mastern who promptly has the stables moved across the street and had the stables enclosed and turned into a library and sewing room. Korner would go on to gain notoriety as the painter for the Durham Bulls. Yes, that is the team in the movie Bull Durham starring Kevin Costner and Susan Sarandon. Jules used his house to show of the furniture used in his design business and would often change rooms and design styles as styles dictated. The home offers a staggering 22 rooms which are housed within 3 stories and seven different levels. Some of the ceilings are not even 6 foot. John and I are 5’6 and 5’8 and we were almost bumping our heads. I can imagine how uncomfortable this would be for someone like my brother who is over 6 foot tall. Yet some of the ceilings, especially in the theater and what was the show room, are over 25 feet. There is a lybrythian of twisting and turning stairs. Some of the stairwells are so tight we had to pull our arms in to get down them! And no two doorways are the same. There are over 15 fireplaces each offering a different design. American Encaustic art tiles surround the fireplace. When you first walk into the main room the fireplace here features a beautiful green tile with a lily pond design that still looks as new as when it was installed over 100 years ago. All over there are cubby holes, hidden doors, trap doors that were used as a ventilation system, and attention to detail in every inch of this wonderful house. The attic is now the Little Theater and was the first private theater in the US. It once was used to put on plays for the Korner family and today several plays and puppet shows are held through the year. There are elaborate murals all over the theater and were designed by German master Caesar Milch. Most of the ones in the theater area have survived in tact. There are murals all over though many have not completely survived. There is a stunning one in the main room which great visitors when they first arrive. Just make sure to look up. The most elaborate room is the reception room, which Jules used for his design business. There are several fireplaces in this room which feature intricately carved mantle pieces. The furnishings, which are the originals Jules used, are elaborate and grand. With kissing couches, rich wooden display cases, ordinate chandeliers, ottomans, and couches. This room is spacious and inviting. It was by far my favorite room in the house. Jules passed away in 1924 and the house has remained in the family until after WW2. By the 1970’s the house was in such a state of disrepair that it was scheduled to be torn down. In 1976 26 private citizens banded together and paid $25,000 for the house. Thus the Korner’s Folly Foundation was born. It was put on the National Register of Historic Places. Today the foundation runs the home and there is on-going restoration work. Many of the descents of Jules and Polly still come by and keep an eye on their homestead. The house was recently featured on Our State TV show. The home is open to the public for touring. It is open year round and hours vary by season. This year they will even be open Christmas day. They host a number of events through the year. We were here for their Christmas celebration. Each room was lovely decorated by individual businesses. It was like walking into a winter wonderland with Christmas trees in just about each room. Truly a site to behold. There is a gift shop in what was once the home of Clara "Aunt Dealy" Korner who was a freed slave who worked for the family. The home was built in 1885. Admission is $6 (a) $3 (c). Some advents may carry a higher admission. Due to the age of the home it is not handicapped accessible and not for those who have problems climbing. Visiting here is an absolute delight for the entire family. Children will love this house as much as adults. Kernersville is close to Greensboro, Winston-Salem and Lexington. If you are ever out this way, this is a must stop on any list. For more info please visit them at www.kornersfolly.org. Very Highly Recommended Close
Want to know how to find out about a tour? Just simply check with the local historical or preservation society or with the CVB. If you’re favorite historical town doesn’t have a tour then why not suggest one? These tours raise much needed funds for…Read More
Want to know how to find out about a tour? Just simply check with the local historical or preservation society or with the CVB. If you’re favorite historical town doesn’t have a tour then why not suggest one? These tours raise much needed funds for restoration projects and bring attention to the cities historical gems. Once you find one here are a few tips/suggestions for having more time to tour and less time to walk. 1. Buy tickets in advanced if possible. In many cases advanced ticket prices are cheaper and in some cases advanced tickets may be required. When your ticket arrives you are often given a map of the homes, which is especially useful when you have more than about a half a dozen homes to see.
2. Plan out your day. There are often groups of homes on the same street or in the same vicinity followed by several homes that require a drive to get to. If you have more than about 6 homes to visit try to visit in 2 days if they are given. One day stick with your homes that are located together and on the other venture to the homes that require a bit of a drive to get to.
3. Wear comfortable shoes. There is a lot of walking over the weekend so make sure your feet are prepared. Wear either tennis shoes or shoes that can easily be removed and make sure they have a thick tread. Because a lot of historic houses and newer mini-mansions have hardwood floors, you may have to cover your shoes or go in shoeless. If that is the case then they often provide those lovely disposable booties for you. I just found it easier to slip in and out of my shoes which also eliminate the need to find a place to steady your self as you put the booties over your shoes. And while you’re at it..make sure you little piggies aren’t peeking through a hole!
4. Don’t wear high heels. You would think most women wouldn’t even consider it but at everyone I always see women in their 4" stiletto pumps and 2 hours later they are on the front porch rubbing their feet. In many cases where I have been and you have been allowed to keep your shoes on…heels were a no no. They will simply ruin hardwood floors.
5. Wear comfortable clothes. Granted you may be going into some of the finest houses around, but again you have a full day of walking. No one is going to expect you to show up in a tux and Vera Wang gown. If jeans and a T-shirt isn’t your thing, then a nice pair of kakis and shirt will do fine. Just keep the fashion week look for somewhere that doesn’t require two miles of walking.
6. In that vein, dress for the weather. Check the forecast before you go. As I said many of the tours are held in the spring or winter which may mean warm days but cold nights when the sun starts setting. Wear layers so you can add or remove clothes when needed.
7. Obey all rules. Rules for the tours are often printed in the guide books or on the web site. Remember you are in someone else’s house. That often means no touching items, no opening closets or drawers, no going into shut rooms, etc.
8. Bring your camera. In most cases photography inside private homes is not allowed. But as I stated earlier, there are often public homes or buildings on the tour in which you can take photographs. I have been in homes where the home owner told me to take all the photos I wanted. In some cases you exit through a garden where you can take photographs. If nothing else you can take photos of the exterior of the home from the curb. The curb is public domain and you may shoot away. Bring extra batteries, film, and a back up camera.
9. Check in advanced for handicapped accessibility and for children. Most of these homes have very limited, if any, handicapped accessibility. In the cases of many older homes steep steps may also pose a problem for those with knee problems. If you can walk, but only for a limited time, ask if they have off street parking. In most cases there is parking where you can drive up close to the house. If you can walk then please leave those spaces for those who can’t. If you have smaller children check for age limits on the tours. I have seen some where children under 5 are not allowed. If children are allowed in most cases strollers, especially the mega monster stroller is not. So take a regular stroller that you can leave on the porch.
10. Bring a backpack or bag. This is especially great for larger home tours. That way you can bring a heavier shirt for later, something to take notes on, extra camera, film and batteries. You may also want to pack a bottle of water and a small snack. It is also great for storing all the extra stuff you often receive and for any crafts you may pick up.
11. If you a Realtor, don’t hold an open house during a tour of homes. Most people will come in just to see another historic home and have no interest in buying a home.
12. If you live on the same street as the open home tour route, make sure your house is looking spiffy. As people walk down the road they are also checking out and photographing every home in the block. Follow these tips and your day of touring is sure to go as smooth as possible. Always remember though things will happen and you have to factor in waiting times to get into houses on some tours. Though I have yet to attend a tour where something didn’t go wrong, I can’t wait for the next one. So go out there learn, and have fun!
Have you ever wandered down the streets in a historical town such as Charleston or Savannah and as you pass by those scrumptious houses thought: "boy would I love to look inside one of those homes?" Well if you have, you’re not alone. Every year…Read More
Have you ever wandered down the streets in a historical town such as Charleston or Savannah and as you pass by those scrumptious houses thought: "boy would I love to look inside one of those homes?" Well if you have, you’re not alone. Every year thousands of people descend upon otherwise private homes during the tour of homes in cities all across the nation. For a day or two we get to play voyeur as we peek into people’s bedrooms, bathrooms, and any other room they so nicely invite us into. As 2007 approaches you should take the chance this year to partake in at least one or two home tours. While tours vary from city to city, I have found a few similarities in common. The houses are generally either historic houses (built prior to 1940) or either a tour of some of the newest homesteads in some of the poshiest zip codes in the city. They are by and large held to raise money for the historical society or for a local charity. They commonly run for the whole weekend and admission is good for both days. Average admission prices seems runs $10-$25 though some can inch upwards of $100. Normally the higher the ticket price, the more houses there are to see, there is more involved than just the homes, or the house is rarely open to the public and everyone wants to see it. For example, in Columbia SC tickets to see Auldbrass Plantation was $125. This southern plantation is owned by Hollywood producer, Joel Silver, and is the only plantation designed by renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright. The tour was in connection with the recent tour of an exhibit on Frank Lloyd Wright at the Columbia Museum of Art. Broadly tours are held either in the spring (where they can also show off lovely gardens) or right before the Christmas holiday season (to show off houses decorated in holiday finery). Though they can be held through the year. Salisbury NC’s annual tour is held in October. You will often find between 6 to a dozen homes on the tours. There is frequently a mix of both private homes and a few public buildings or homes owned by the historical society. After all you need at least one place where the public has access to bathrooms. The home owners very often are kind enough to have refreshments for participants. The tours customarily change homes each year. Giving those who make this annual pilgrimage, a new experience each time. And last the homes are great resources for design idea and fantasies. Close
Driving though the heart of the historic district in Concord, down streets such as Union, Spring, and Georgia, you are taken back by street after street of some of the most amazing houses you have ever seen. Once again the Residents of Historic Concord, Inc.…Read More
Driving though the heart of the historic district in Concord, down streets such as Union, Spring, and Georgia, you are taken back by street after street of some of the most amazing houses you have ever seen. Once again the Residents of Historic Concord, Inc. opens up their stunning homes to the public during the associations Tour of Homes. This is the 7th such tour for the group. This year 7 historic homes were open for viewing as well as the Historic Cabarrus Country Courthouse and the First Baptist Church, which is been converted into a theater. The group runs the tour every other year on even numbered years to help raise money for the association. From my time here the tour seems to be quite popular so hopefully at some point they will hold it every year. With several hundred houses in Concords historical district, there is enough to keep going for years to come before they have to revert to already toured homes. Listed below are the homes on the tour. J.P. Allison House Built: 1890-1905Owners: Alan and Kim BartnikThis home was built between 1890-1905 for merchant and financier John Phifer Allison. The house is in the Queen Anne style. It features scalloped shingles, Friezes with sheaf-of-wheat along the sides of the house, a tree frieze above the window, and intricate woodwork on the porch. Some time during the 1920’s the southern end of the house was converted in a sun room. Something that was typical of the time. John Milton Odell House. Built: 1902.Current owners: Richard and Lynn Milan. The home was built for textile magnet John Milton Odell. His textile mill sat directly across from his house. That mill today has been converted into upscale townhouses and whimsical stores. The mill was also featured in the movie Shallow Hall starring Jack Black and Gwyneth Paltrow. The style of the house is a mixture of Italianate and Second Empire. Among is most prominent features is the mansard roofed tower with iron cresting. It has a divine wrap around porch with intricate woodwork in the posts and railing. It too, has one end of the house converted into a sun room in the 1920’s. In the back is a magnificent garden and carriage house. This was certainly the highlight of the tour. I was especially thrilled to go into this house. The first time John took me through Concord’s historic district I just marveled at the beauty of this home. The current owners have done a brilliant job of turning into a home for their family. Ralph and Willie Boyd Home Built: 1890.Current owners: Zach and Jennifer MoretzThis Colonial Revival house was once a Queen Anne style. Later it was changed to the Colonial Revival style you see today. The original owner of the house, Mr. Fisher, hauled rocks for a public works project. He used the rocks from his job to raise the stone piers and add a stone chimney. It is apparent when you contrast it to the brick foundations of the neighboring houses. The home actually stayed in the Fisher family until 2000 when the Poland family purchased the home. The house had once been subdivided up into apartments. The current owners replaced the apartment space with a grand master bedroom and are working on having the house as a single-floor plan. The interior of the house is also painted in some amazing and bright colors. A lime green living room, a hot pink room, an orange kitchen, and a bathroom with a Harlequin feel to it. Yet it works amazingly well and I just fell in love with what the owner had done inside. Edward Sauvaine House Built: 1906Current Owners: Elaine McGinnisThis Queen Anne was built for Mr. Sauvaine and his family. Edward was Secretary-Treasure of the Ritchie Hardware Co. as well as Assistant Secretary of Cabarrus Mills. In addition he also served as Chairman of the School Board of Concord High School. The location was built due to its approximation to N. Union Street. One of the most sought-after neighborhoods at the time. The foremost feature of this grand dame is the very large porch topped by Tuscan columns which support a bowed Frieze. P.B. Fetzer House. Built: 1882Current owners: Steve MorrisThe original owner, Pendleton Bernard Fetzer moved his family from Virginia to Concord following the Civil War. He was part owner of the mercantile firm of Cannon and Fetzer. The house went through a number of changes that were done on the whim of Mrs. Fetzer. It started out being designed as an Italianate home but ended up being built in the popular Queen Anne style. It features a semi-circular bay on the side of the house. The porch was once an Italian porch and then changed to a Colonial Revival with Tuscan columns to add more space. Like many others in the area a bungalow style sun room (or Florida room) was added. It is also believed to be one of the first houses with indoor plumbing as Fetzer created the town’s waterworks system. George H. Richmond House Built: 1920Current owners: David and Susan DulmageIn the 1920’s those in the merchant profession and other prominent professionals started to acquire fine homes in the area now know as the historic district of Concord. Among those was George H. Richmond Sr. Richmond was the secretary of the White/Morrison/Flowe Company. The company was one of the first true department stores in Concord. The simple but elegant 2 story home has a hipped dormer and ventilator and the porch features open-paired posts. Edward K. Prewitt HouseBuilt: 1945. Current owners: Eric RichardsThis stunning and graceful home is one of the few houses in the historic district that was built in the area just before the WWII boom. After men returned from war they began to move their families out of the central township area and into the suburbs and into the cookie cutter ranch homes. Edward was a salesman and his wife Ann, was the secretary of the Concord Appliance Company. Their home features an attached gable with a portico which is full height and supported by 4 columns. A garbled roof finishes this amazing house. The First Baptist Church Built: 1922-1924. Current owners: The Olde Courthouse Theater CompanyThis is actually the second First Baptist Church. An original one was built in 1896 with a Queen Anne design. This one was built in the Gothic Style and was built to hold up to 1000 worshipers in the burgeoning church. The attractive church has a cruciform style with 3 corner towers. There is a very large an impressive stained glass window in what is now the theater. In 1953 a Sunday school building was added, but made to look as though it was part of the original design. Today this church serves as the Old Courthouse Theater Company. The company runs a number of productions through the year. The Historic County Courthouse Built: 1876This was the third country courthouse built. It replaced one that was destroyed in a fire the previous year. The building was designed by architect George H. Appleget and built by F.W. Ahrens. Ahrens also built Graves Hall at nearby Barber-Scotia College. The design style combines elements of Greek revival, Italianate, and Second Empire. Additions to the structure were made in 1901 and 1914. In 1976 the ageing and outdate structure was scheduled for demolition since a newer courthouse had been built. Historic Cabarrus came to its rescue. The building was saved and the group went work restoring the building to original look. Today this building once again proudly serves the citizens of Cabarrus County as the offices of Historic Cabarrus and the Cabarrus Arts Council. The Arts Council hosts a number of art galleries and are open to the public. This year the association also worked with business in the historic downtown area to bring more to the tour than just the homes. Business offered extended hours and many offered special sales. The Olde Courthouse Theatre presented "A Laura Ingalls Wilder Christmas". The tour operates every other year and on even number of years. Hopefully they will make this a yearly event. Tickets this year were $20 in advanced and $25 the day of the tour. This year’s event was held on December 2nd and was only that Saturday from 1-7 pm. Most of these houses were concentrated in a small area with the Courthouse being the furthest out. It sits in the downtown area. There was trolley transportation for those on the tours. Only one trolley was running though. I took a trolley to the Courthouse but found it easier just to walk back. There is off-street parking for those who have limited walking ability. For more information please visit them at www.residentsofhistoricconcord.org. Very Highly Recommended. Close
Despite the diminutive size of my hometown, we have a very nice historic district. There are about 80 historic homes throughout the area and some of them have been placed on the National Register for Historic Places. Many of the homes have a connection to…Read More
Despite the diminutive size of my hometown, we have a very nice historic district. There are about 80 historic homes throughout the area and some of them have been placed on the National Register for Historic Places. Many of the homes have a connection to the former Mt. Pleasant Collegiate Institute, which has now been turned into the Eastern Cabarrus Historical Society. 2 of them have even been turned into B&B’s. The tour has been going on for a quite a few years in Mt. Pleasant. The annual Tour of Homes is the highlight of the Historical Society. Judging by the guest book at one of the homes, people come from all over to see these treasures that are part of our enchanting town. This was my second tour and this one was even better than last years. This time they added a few more houses giving us 5 houses to tour and the museum. The museum is always on the tour. The displays are the same in the museum but the holiday decorations are different from year to year. Each year different individuals and business are responsible for decorating a room. This year rooms ranged from Barbie decorations, Snoopy, honoring our military, to lovely hand made decorations. The tour offers a mixture of exquisite historical homesteads and newer contemporary dwellings. This year 3 historical houses were on the tour and 2 newer houses. Listed below are the houses on the tour. The Lentz Hotel. Built in 1853. Current owners; Sam and Resa Treadway. The home was built in 1853 by hotelier, WR Scott and was then known as the Mt. Pleasant Hotel. Its original location was in the center of town. The style of the house is listed as Carpenter Gothic. It reflects the "bracketed mode" of construction that architects such as Andrew Jackson Downing would often use. There are seven mantles inside the house and the staircase is Greek Revival style. In 1863 the house was sold to the Lentz Family who would run the hotel for more than 60 years. It soon became the center of the social world with its celebrated parties and social events. Trading and education helped keep the hotel in business. It remained in the Lentz family until 1926. Over the years it went through a number of hands and eventually time took its toll on the home. In the 1980’s it was due to be torn down but the Mt. Pleasant Insurance Company hoped to save it from the wrecking ball. The Historic Preservation Fund moved it from the center of town to its current location behind the ECHS. Restoration work soon followed. The home is the oldest commercial building in Cabarrus County. In 1984 it was added to the National Register of Historic Places. In 1999 owners Sam and Resa purchased the home. Today this once popular hotel has been brilliantly transformed into a lovely home for the Treadway family. Inside the house it still looks much like when it was built, but marvelously allowing for the modern day conveniences the new family needed. The home was superbly decorated for the holiday season by the home owners themselves. The Treadways were present to greet visitors to their home and were as inviting as the home itself. I have always admired the quaint home from the outside as Jasmine and I would go past on our walks. This year was a dream come true to actually be inside this incredible home. The Moss Home. Built in 1997Current owners: Gary and Suzanne Moss. While this attractive modern day Victorian home sits in one of the towns best residences, it could easily be mistaken for one of the older Victorian homes in the historic district. Owners Suzanne and Gary moved from their home in Buffalo NY to Mt. Pleasant. There home has been wonderfully decorated with a mixture of modern day design and Victorian elegance. This 2-story home shows that great home design never goes out of style. The A.L. Barringer House. Built: 1971Current home owners: James and Althea Wellman. The home was originally built for Dr. and Mrs. A.L. Barringer. After their death, the home was turned into a rental home. After years of tenets it was in desperate need of a new homeowner. The Wellmans decided to leave the big city of Charlotte and move to their slower pace of life Mt. Pleasant offered. They were admires of the doctor and knew his old home would be perfect for them. This ranch style home was been restored to bring out its beauty once again. Althea has infused her amazing antique collection to give an old spin to the modern classic. The home is beautiful and elegant yet comfortable to anyone who comes to visit. Althea did a splendid job herself and is quite the charming hostess. Somehow or another I am sure the doctor would approve. The Ridenhour House. Built: 1840Current owners: Frank and Terrell Jetton. When Barbara Thede wrote her article ‘Who Will Save This House?" in 1996 for the Charlotte Observer she was hoping someone would save this historical home from demolition. Frank, who had majored in history in college, brought the house. He moved it from its location on John’s Church Rd. to the 20 areas he had purchased in Cabarrus County. They moved the house in February 1996. The house had to be cut up into 3 pieces, moved, and then put back together much like a piece of a puzzle. Today this attractive farmhome sits back of one of the country roads in Mt. Pleasant up on top of a little hill. This couple’s dedication to restore their home has paid off handsomely. It is as lovely on the outside as the inside. They have kept as much of the integrity of a historical home as much as possible while meeting the needs of a current day household. The house also boasts a gorgeous garden outside. The home must have been a true labor of love shared by the whole family. Many members of their family were on hand the day of the tour to tell about this grand homestead and seemed just as proud of the home as the owners. Just one look at this farmhouse and you can see why. The W.H.Hammill House Built: 1904Current owners: Ben and Janet CallahanIn 1904 William and Fannie built this farmhouse on land purchased from his father. The farmhouse featured a ‘shotgun’ design where by it has 2 rooms down each side of a central hall with a kitchen added in the back. The floors are made from local pine and the walls feature finely milled tongue and groove plank. The home has remained in the family and the current owners are William and Fannie’s granddaughter, Janet and her husband Ben. In 1998 the home underwent some restoration work to upgrade the interior and add more living space. Like most people who own older houses they wanted the original look of the home to remain as true as possible. One of the newer features of the home is the addition of a 600 square foot sunroom which looks out on the barn that was original to the home. The original hand dug well has remained and has been seamlessly integrated into the room. They also have a bathroom most women (and some guys) would kill for. It features a claw bathtub. The shower is an open shower and huge. It is includes a very large vanity and enough space to hold a party in the bathroom. The Callahan’s have done a terrific job of maintaining their family home. Outside the home is an amazing sitting area. Today 4 of the 5 trees planted when the house was built have survived. The owners will soon be moving to Boston for a while, but have no intentions of giving up the home they have worked so hard to create. Good thing to because I am sure this house will be in this family for many generations to come. Next year you too can come join us here in Mt. Pleasant and enjoy some of our town’s finest homes. The tour is held the second weekend it December and tickets are $10 pp and are good for both days. Each year the homes change so I am very excited to see what is on next years tour. On Sundays after the tour end there is special music held at St. James Church. For more information please go to http://users.vnet.net/echs/hist.htm. Close
Written by vampirefan on 02 Mar, 2005
Concord is a mid-size city that sits about 30 minutes from Charlotte and 90 minutes from Greensboro. Just under 60,000 people call Concord home. Concord covers 52.5 square miles and is part of Cabarrus County. S&D Coffee and Phillip Morris are two of the biggest…Read More
Concord is a mid-size city that sits about 30 minutes from Charlotte and 90 minutes from Greensboro. Just under 60,000 people call Concord home. Concord covers 52.5 square miles and is part of Cabarrus County. S&D Coffee and Phillip Morris are two of the biggest employers around. Northeast Medical is one of the top-notch hospitals in the country. For anyone visiting Charlotte or thinking about moving to this area, Concord is a much better alternative. A large portion of people here make the daily commute to Charlotte.
The biggest attraction here is, of course, Concord Mills. But Concord has much more to offer. Take the time to come into downtown and enjoy the beauty here. Here you will find a magnificent collection of restored historic homes and quaint shops. Take the time to enjoy the beauty of the Memorial Gardens. Check out a show at Verizon Wireless Pavilion. In the summer you can check out one of the parks and hear the Charlotte Symphony as they perform. Take a walking tour of downtown Concord. Or enjoy one of the several public parks here. In the fall, enjoy the Cabarrus County Fair. You can also enjoy the popular Renaissance Festival. There are a number of things going on at the Cabarrus Area, including a major bike show. This was the show that stunt rider, "Indian" Larry, was tragically killed at last year.
Concord is home to Barber-Scotia College, a top-rated African-American college. Concord is next door to Kannapolis, the home of the late racing icon Dale Earnhardt. In the summertime you can catch a game of the minor AA league Kannapolis Intimidators. Concord has been prominently featured in the movie Shallow Hall starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Jack Black, as well as several made-for-TV movies.
Shopping is plentiful here. We have Concord Mills and the area surrounding it. There is the Concord Mall closer to town. There are numerous shopping areas that have been built all over. There is a new area off of Dale Earnheart Boulevard. Here you will find a Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club, Hobby Lobby, and dozens of restaurants and stores. They also have plenty of hotels here, too. The Downtown Concord area offers shoppers a variety of merchants, like music stores, jewelry shops, and bookstores to name a few.
While we have plenty of restaurants here, gourmet cuisine is not found. Folks around these parts like things simple. We, of course, have every manner of fast food known. We have the usual assortment of chain restaurants, from TGI Fridays to Chili’s. We do have some wonderful small family-owned restaurants that offer some great fare. For the best burgers in town, try a What-A-Burger. They use fresh ingredients and their handmade onion rings are the best. They have several locations around. The Mayflower Seafood Restaurant has been serving the locals for more than 20 years. They have a wonderful variety of seafood. If seafood is not your thing, then try their chicken or steaks. They have a new restaurant that just opened across from Concord Mills, or try their original location on Concord Parkway. Get here early, though, or be prepared to wait. But if you do have to wait, it will be worth it.
Religion plays a large part in the community. We have a great number of historical old churches. Our diversity in religion, though, is lacking. Many people here, as in most Southern communities, are Baptist, with Southern Baptists being the most prominent. Here you will also find Methodists, Lutherans, Presbyterians, and so forth. There are a small number of Catholic churches here and only one Jewish temple.
This is the actual home to Lowes Motor Speedway, so racing rules here. There are a number of racing shops here, including Hendricks Motor Sports, Joe Gibbs Racing, Brett Bodine, and Dale Earnhardt. There are a number of race-related merchants, including well-known race illustrator Sam Bass. Nearby in Kannapolis you will find the Dale Earnhardt tribute and memorial. You can catch the Backing Up Classics museum located near the racetrack.
Whatever you choose to do, I think you will find Concord a great place to visit or maybe to even live. Here you will find all the big-city amenities while enjoying a slower pace of life. For more information, visit www.cabarruscvb.com or www.ci.concord.nc.us.
Downtown in any city in the States used to be the main shopping area for families. Then in the ‘70s, mega malls and strip malls started piling up. Big stores moved out of the downtown area and into the more heavily populated malls. The small…Read More
Downtown in any city in the States used to be the main shopping area for families. Then in the ‘70s, mega malls and strip malls started piling up. Big stores moved out of the downtown area and into the more heavily populated malls. The small businesses were left behind. With no one patronizing their stores, they couldn’t afford to pay rent. Concord was no different. Once Belk’s left to move to the Concord Mall, business went with it. Business soon went under and buildings were abandoned. The downtown area became a place of crime and people no longer ventured there.
In the late ‘80s, concerned citizens got together and voiced their concern. A group was put together, and they started seeing about becoming a member of the Main Street program. In 1999, Concord was added to the list of Main Street members. This program provides assistance and low-interest loans for towns to revitalize their downtown areas, making them part of the city’s economical development.
Today, downtown Concord is once again buzzing with shoppers and guests alike. There are more than 75 businesses that are part of the downtown area of Concord. New businesses have developed, historical buildings have been renovated, and life has been breathed back into this once-forgotten beauty. Today, you can enjoy some of the best ice cream in town at the Cabarrus Creamery, munch on some delightful baked goods at Chef’s Choice, take a karate lesson at Concord Academy of Martial Arts, get a new do at Charoz Hair Salon, check out something old at the Concord Antique Market, enjoy some barbeque at the Red Pig, jump start your creative juices at the Bead Lady, or buy a guitar from Randy at Mullis Music, just to name a few of the many things you can do here.
Also, check the historical Concord Hotel. They offer a terrific Sunday brunch. There were also several scenes from the movie Shallow Hall starting Gwyneth Paltrow and Jack Black filmed here. Every third Thursday of the month, you can come uptown for Union Street Live from 6 to 9pm for a free concert. There is a summer reading program for children. They even have a wonderful walking tour. You can download a copy of the tour at www.concorddowntown.com. While here, make sure you check out the stunning Memorial Gardens (you can read my separate entry on that). Also take a leisurely stroll down Union Street in either direction to find beautifully restored homes.
Downtown Concord offers a nice break from the touristy Concord Mills. It is a pleasant place to walk, sit a spell, and enjoy some very nice neighbors!
If you are a NASCAR fan, then you no doubt know this area of town. For many years, the race track here was known as the Charlotte Motor Speedway, though technically it sits here in Concord. A few years ago it was changed to Lowe’s…Read More
If you are a NASCAR fan, then you no doubt know this area of town. For many years, the race track here was known as the Charlotte Motor Speedway, though technically it sits here in Concord. A few years ago it was changed to Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Once here, you quickly figure out you are in NASCAR country.
Bruton Smith first built the speed park in 1959. On June 19, 1960, the first World 600 occurred. Today, this speed park is one of the top parks in the country. The Coca Cola (formally the World) 600 is in May and the Quality 500 is in October. This racetrack has continued to grow by leaps and bounds to better accommodate the legions of NASCAR fans. Today, 167,000 fans can sit and watch their favorite drivers in comfort. The Smith tower is a 7-story complex that houses its administrative offices, the ticket office, the Speedway club, and a souvenir shop. If you are a big fan, then you will be happy to know they even have condos at the track! In 1992, a state-of-the-art lighting system allowed them to become the first race track to host night racing. In 2000, they opened up a dirt track on the opposite side of the highway.
During the rest of the year, the track plays host to smaller races and other forms of racing. They also host a number of car shows throughout the year. For the ultimate fan, you can drive like a NASCAR driver (or those who would like to at least drive like a race car driver once) at the Richard Petty Driving School. Here you can just ride along with a driver (though not a NASCAR driver) to actually squealing tires in one of those bad boys. You can go to www.1800bepetty.com for more information. This track has actually been featured in several movies, including Speedway, Stroker Ace, and Days of Thunder with cutie Tom Cruise.
The park is centrally located on Highway 49. They have a motorcar museum nearby, NASCAR illustrator Sam Bass has a shop located nearby, and several smaller NASCAR shops are located nearby. Tom Johnson RV is just across the way, offering a wide variety of RV’s. You are within walking distance of Concord Mills. Go on down 49 either way a bit and you will find Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club, and a host of other stores and restaurants.
If you are here for one of the major races, there are a number of hotels in the Concord Mills area within walking distance. They also have camping. These fill up VERY fast. We always see the campers long before we see anybody else. You will need to make your reservations WELL in advance. If you try to just drop in and hope for a hotel… well, all I can say is good luck. There is not a hotel to be found within 50 miles of this place. I worked at a nearby hotel over the summer during college one time. By the time I left in August to return to school, about 90% of the rooms for the following May races had been reserved!
NASCAR was once considered a sport for the white redneck. The sport and its fan-base have grown in its diversity and sophistication. Today, you will find that people of all walks of life love NASCAR. The races have a family feel to it, and parents and little tykes have a ball here. When you drive down by the raceway, you can see a football-tailgating atmosphere. If you are not here for one of the major races, be warned that traffic here is a nightmare. I am not a race fan and try to avoid this area during race week at all costs. The area around Lowes is growing to meet the demands of the fans. The racetrack is also growing, and unlike other sports centers, they are growing without help of taxpayers’ dollars.
To purchase tickets or for more information on the park, you can go to "www.lowesmotorspeedway.com">. For information on hotels, you can go to "www.cabarruscvb.com">.
In the spring check out the Easter Bunny, and in the winter your young ones can greet Santa. Inside the mall you will find ATM machines, restrooms, and a visitor information center. The parking lot is huge, so remember which entrance you came in. If…Read More
In the spring check out the Easter Bunny, and in the winter your young ones can greet Santa. Inside the mall you will find ATM machines, restrooms, and a visitor information center. The parking lot is huge, so remember which entrance you came in. If you come through one of the main entrances, you will hear a very nice voice reminding you which entrance you came in. This is a nonsmoking environment. Shopping hours are from 10am to 9:30pm Monday to Saturday and Sunday 11am to 7:30pm. They offer extended hours at Christmas. The speed park, several of the restaurants, and the movie theater all have extended hours.
Surrounding Concord Mills you will find plenty more shopping and dining options. Located just in front of the mall on the property you will find a Shake N Steak, Over the Border, TGI Friday’s, Chicago Uno, The Roadhouse, and Razoos. Next to the mall you will find a strip mall that features a buffet-style restaurant. Directly across the mall you will find a Mayflower restaurant. You will also find a strip mall called King’s Crossing, which features a Radio Shack and Jarred Jewelers. A Toys R Us is located in the back. An Applebee’s, Red Lobster, and Olive Garden are in front. Across the bridge you will find another huge shopping area. Here you will find a Garden Ridge, BJ Wholesale Club, and Harley Davidson Store. You can dine at Sony’s, Caribbas, Ruby Tuesdays, Iron Thunder Saloon, or at a number of fast-food stores. Across from them you will find several hotels, including a Wingate Inn and Comfort Inn. Here you will also find a number of restaurants, including a Texas Saloon, Quaker State, and Hooters.
This is one of the fastest-growing areas. There is constant construction and work on new areas going on even as I write, so there is no telling what will go up next. Both Lowe’s Motor Speedway and Verizon Wireless Amphitheater are only minutes away. If you are not a race fan, then this area should be avoided at all costs Memorial Day weekend and the second weekend in October. It also gets pretty crowded at Christmas, so come relax and shop a spell.
One thing around these parts that never seems to be in short supply is shopping malls. And one of the biggest is located here in Concord. Concord Mills, open since 2000, boasts of more than 200 outlet stores. Everyone that comes this way has to…Read More
One thing around these parts that never seems to be in short supply is shopping malls. And one of the biggest is located here in Concord. Concord Mills, open since 2000, boasts of more than 200 outlet stores. Everyone that comes this way has to come to Concord Mills. The mall is owned by the Mill Property, which owns dozens of malls across the states. You can go to their website at , and you can also click on their other properties here. The mall is the largest attraction in the area. The mall is part shopper’s paradise and part entertainment.
The store is anchored by the Bass Pro Shop, TJ Maxx, Burlington Coat Factory, Off 5th, AC Moore, and Books A Million. There is also currently a Circuit City. But this space has gone through several retailers since its opening. Inside you will find such chains store as Bed, Bath, and Beyond; Black and Decker; Bath and Body Works; and Black Lion. You will find discounted designer duds at such places as Ralph Lauren, Liz Claiborne, Old Navy, and Anne Taylor. There is a food court serving up burgers, pasta, subs, barbeque, and pizza. Chili’s Too and Macodo’s are terrific alternatives to fast food. Here you will also find a carousel for the kiddies. Jeepers is a 26,826-square-foot mini theme park geared towards the under-12 crowd and their parents. Jillian’s is geared to the over-18 crowd by offering big-kid fun. Chefs will want to check out Mikasa, Waterford, or the Corning Wear outlets. There is an AMC movie theater featuring stadium seating. Make sure to bring your Movie Watcher card if you belong. You can Build-A-Bear while you’re here. Or pick up some new tunes or the latest DVD at FYE.
Since this is NASCAR country and you are only minutes away from Lowe’s Motor Speedway, it should not come as a surprise to see the NASCAR Speedpark. This 7-acre theme park is a must for all ages. It offers miniature golf, go-cart racing, and speed tracks outside. Inside you can find a NASCAR merchandise shop, simulated rides, and the Pit Stop Grill. They do keep later hours on the weekend, staying open until midnight.
Here are my favorite places to visit:
Books A Million is a great place to check out the latest bestseller or browse the magazine racks (always my first stop). They have a coffee shop located inside, too. They have a terrific selection of books. I highly recommend their travel section. They do offer a discount card club. They have their own website at .
AC Moore is a crafter’s paradise. They have candle-making essentials, beading, silk flowers, wood items, paints, scrap-book supplies, and more. The selection of scrap book supplies here are wonderful. They have a huge variety for all scrappers, and they have all sizes of paper. They always have some great sales going. Look around the rest of the store and you will find an array of items you can use for scrap books. I also bead and make candles, and their supplies for these hobbies are unbeatable. They also have issues of the latest craft magazines. They have a huge assortment of yarns also perfect for scrap books. They have a website at .
Group USA offer some beautiful fashions, bridal gowns, and evening dresses, as well as accessories. Unfortunately, their plus-size selection is limited. They have some truly beautiful evening gowns at great prices. For an even better deal, check out their sales rack. I purchased a beautiful periwinkle blue gown for $10! The only problem was that a strap needed sewing. I also purchased a beautiful hot pink gown for $20. Both my friend and I examined the gown over and never found anything wrong with it.
Kirkland’s has some of the most beautiful and unusual home decorations around. This place constantly changes, so there is something new every time you come in. They also have a huge array of ethnic-inspired home decor. I purchased a beautiful silk Indian inspired throw for $12! In the summer you can find some marvelous things for your garden. At Christmas you will marvel at the variety of Christmas decorations you can find here. Check them out at .
The Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory is heavenly. They offer a huge assortment of chocolate products here. From the outside you can even watch these delectable goodies being made. They even have a nice offering of sugar-free treats. They have several designer apples. I love the one covered in chocolate and then dipped in Oreo cookies. Yummy! And they have huge strawberries dipped in chocolate, a great treat for your sweetie! You can visit them at .