When Latta Left


The construction of Hotel Charlotte (see last month's Way We Were) led to a bitter feud that caused one of the city's greatest business giants to close his local businesses and move to a competing city.

Edward Dilworth Latta is responsible for the development of Dilworth, Charlotte's first subdivision, and construction of an electric street car system to serve the new neighborhood.  

In 1920, Latta joined other business leaders in raising a million dollars in pledges to build Hotel Charlotte, a local landmark that stood for half a century. A dispute over the hotel's location led to a falling out between Latta and other prominent business leaders.

The dispute became public in March 1923 when newspapers reported that Latta was being sued for $50,000 by the Citizens Hotel Company for failure to pay his pledge. After a sensational nine-day jury trial, the court ruled in favor of the Citizens Hotel Company and demanded that Latta pay $5,000 plus interest.

Incensed by what he considered both an insult and an injustice, Latta sold his mansion on East Boulevard (the site now occupied by Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church), dissolved his local interests, and moved his operations to Asheville.

Latta died in Asheville two years later and is buried in an elaborate mausoleum in Charlotte's Elmwood Cemetery.

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