Charlotte's historic arts and entertainment district.
The area today known as NoDa was established in 1903 by the management team from Optimist Park’s Highland Park Mill No. 1.
Seeking additional production capacity for their gingham business, these textile entrepreneurs envisioned an almost self-contained industrial district in the area they called North Charlotte.
Several mills, beginning with Highland Park Mill No. 3, were erected in North Carolina in the early 1900s. Rows of tidy mill houses followed closely behind, occasionally interrupted by larger, two-story homes. A trolley running down Davidson Street connected the young neighborhood to businesses in Uptown, and a patch of grocery stores, pharmacies, and general stores sprung up to support the growing community.
The mid-century demise of the textile industry frayed the fabric of this tight-knit community, until a pair of artists sparked a revitalization effort in the eighties, which continues to bear fruit today. Today, the lively neighborhood, about two miles from Uptown, is known for its art galleries, restaurants, and music venues, and is poised for even more growth with the recent arrival of the light rail.