On Wednesday, August 2, a hot summer day, The Charlotte News moved from the obscurity of the Ferry Road Business Center on the other side of the railroad tracks up the hill to the historic white house at 2848 Greenbush Road, in the center of the West Village diagonally across from the Old Brick Store.
The move comes as we begin our Diamond Jubilee —our 60th year as “The Voice of the Town—and has added meaning because the building we’ve moved into is owned by Andrew Thurber, the son of the founding editor of the paper, Nancy Wood, and his wife Kit Perkins. The house, built in 1802, housed the Deerpath School from 1991 to 2001 but then remained vacant and unused until Andrew and Kit purchased it in 2007, restored it (and in the process removed the hedge that had totally isolated the house from its neighbors) and moved into it as their residence in 2009. Andrew and Kit converted the house to office space earlier this spring and will be naming it the Strong House after a distinguished early owner of the property. (More on this in the next issue of The News.)
The move involved two pickup trucks, two SUVs and a work crew of seven: board members John Hammer, Rick Detwiler, Vince Crockenberg and Patrice Machavern, Ad Manager Monica Marshall, and 20-somethings Erick Crockenberg and Natty Fuller, who did all the heavy lifting—lugging desks and filing cabinets and other heavy objects down narrow stairwells from the old second-story office, then carting them up even narrower stairwells to our new second story office in Strong House.
Before abandoning our old digs, we dumped numerous excess copies of past issues and other aging records into the recycling dumpster. “What a great feeling to get rid of so much paper,” John Hammer sighed as he wiped the sweat from his brow and contemplated removing and wringing out his sopping shirt. While the new office isn’t yet completely decorated, and moving boxes filled with office supplies remain stacked along one wall, the desks are in place, the computers and printers are all connected, and our editorial team is working productively in the new space.
In addition to housing The News, the building is also home to Mike Russell’s law office, Pease Mountain Law, to Tanya Srolovitz’s massage therapy practice and to Punch Pass, a software company that works with small businesses to manage schedules, customers and attendance. The building also includes a rental apartment.
Our new office, which has windows facing onto both Ferry and Greenbush roads, has already generated a feeling of greater involvement in town activities. As Patrice Machavern observed, “Being ‘downtown’ feels like home already.”