Skip to content



 “Tom Hanchett coined the useful term ‘salad bowl suburbs’ in 2008 to describe post-World War II suburbs where ‘newcomer and native-born intermingle without ethnic boundaries.'” NY Times 2.23.11

Sorting Out the New South City: Charlotte 1875 - 1975


Tom Hanchett’s study of Charlotte’s urban growth and planning, with emphasis on the surprising history of segregation by race and income. more >>

Salad Bowl Suburbs

In Charlotte and elsewhere across the US, a new metropolitan geography is appearing. more>>

Suburbia & Shopping Malls


Every wonder why new shopping plazas keep popping up even when existing ones have vacant stores? That’s one of the questions explored in this study of the money trail behind America’s suburban landscape. more >>

Black builders, architects, developers


William Houser: Charlotte-area’s top brick-maker and contractor circa 1890s

W.W. Smith: Charlotte-based brick-craftsperson and architect, early 20th century external link >>

Julius Chambers: developer of uptown office tower, 1970, in-depth history, and Charlotte Magazine article.

The Four Square House in the United States

foursquareTom Hanchett’s Masters Thesis submitted to the University of Chicago in 1986. Download Four Square Thesis

History and architecture in Charlotte's older neighborhoods

hornetsnestTom Hanchett came to Charlotte in 1981 to research older neighborhoods for the Historic Landmarks Commission. Links to his studies of neighborhoods, architects, planners and more >>

Planner John Nolen

legacycoverJohn Nolen, major figure in the dawn of city planning in the US, created Charlotte’s Independence Park, 1905, and the garden suburb of Myers Park beginning in 1911.

Legacy: The Myers Park Story by Mary Norton Kratt and Thomas W. Hanchett is available at the Duke Mansion or from Amazon.

Nolen in Savannah, GA – John Nolen and the Planning of Savannah’s
Daffin Park,1906- 1909
, by Thomas W. Hanchett

Joseph Forsyth Johnson: Atlanta & Charlotte Planner

Before Olmsted – The New South Career of Joseph Forsyth Johnson
Published in Atlanta History, Vol. 23, numbers 3-4, Fall-Winter 1995.


Building History

Collection of Charlotte Magazine “Building History” columns by Tom Hanchett