Charlotte Realtor tries to preserve historic home

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — An old dilapidated house has stood for more than two centuries at the corner of South Tryon and Beam Road in Charlotte.

As developers prepare the wrecking ball, some residents are trying to save the home's history.

"There's a gem out here that needs to be saved," Realtor Jonathan Osman said.

Osman is trying to preserve the historic home.

"This is the Jane Parks McDowell House. In October of 1780, a regime of British soldiers were coming through the area heading to South Carolina," he said. "Jane McDowell jumped on a horse and rode to the Continental troops to warn them the British were coming, just like revered Revolutionary War hero Paul Revere."

Osman said stories like that contributed to Charlotte's nickname, the hornet's nest.

Osman thinks the history of the house slowly got lost in the sprawl of new development. Now he worries that its story will soon be gone for good.

"They're getting ready to build some townhomes here," he said.

Plans filed with the city call for more than 120 townhomes to be built on the 15-acre property.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission contacted the McDowell family years ago to ask whether they would allow adding the property to the National Register of Historic Places.

The commission didn't get a response, so there is nothing that it can do to protect the property.

Osman isn't giving up. He created a website called

to drum up community support before public hearings begin on the new development.

"I would love to see kids come through here on school trips to learn the story of Ms. McDowell and her family," he said.

Osman said Charlotte needs the proposed affordable housing but he doesn't think the city can afford to lose any more of its history.

Channel 9 tried to contact McCondichie Properties, the Georgia-based company that now owns the property. So far, we have not heard back.