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Cansler & Cansler records concerning Myers Park residential zoning

Identifier: MS0338

Scope and Contents

This collection contains a variety of papers generated as the result of a lawsuit between Mrs. Mary H. Brenizer and the Stephens Company (et al.) in Charlotte, North Carolina in the early 1940s. Among the papers found here are correspondence, court documents, handwritten notes, maps and diagrams of Myers Park, newspaper clippings, and photographs.


  • Creation: 1941 - 1945


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.

Biographical / Historical

This collection, produced by the Cansler & Cansler law firm (one of the oldest law firms in Charlotte), developed as a result of the case of Brenizer v. Stephens, et al. This case concerned a zoning ordinance in the Myers Park neighborhood in 1940, when Mrs. Mary H. Brenizer attempted to have a gasoline service station built in an area zoned residential. When Mrs. Brenizer initiated her plan to have a gas station built there, the Stephens Company and many of the residents who owned homes in the area promptly asserted the specifications of Charlotte’s residential zoning ordinance. The homes and properties in Myers Park have been and continue to be among the most valuable in Charlotte. With the high value of real estate in that area at stake, the Stephens Company (which developed the neighborhood in the early twentieth century) and the residents who bought property there were not willing to allow for any changes without a fight. Local residents believed that had a gas station been built there, property values in the area would have fallen substantially.

When Brenizer filed suit against the Stephens Company, the District Superior Court upheld the zoning ordinance and the Myers Park neighborhood (and its property values) seemed safe. Then Brenizer appealed the decision to the North Carolina Supreme Court in 1941 and the Supreme Court upheld the decision of the lower court.


2 Linear Feet (1 shared document box and 1 oversize folder)

Language of Materials



Materials from the case files of a Charlotte law firm documenting the lawsuit of Brenizer v. Stephens, et al., in an effort to remove residential restrictions on property in the Myers Park neighborhood of Charlotte. Includes correspondence, court documents, clippings, photographs and maps.


The largest series in this collection—the chronological files—have been arranged that way in order to illustrate the progression of events in this case. Most of the court documents have also been arranged chronologically. John S. Cansler was the attorney who represented the defendants, and one of the series in this collection contains his handwritten notes. Canlser, in his efforts to represent all of the Myers Park residents affected by the litigation, sought the signatures of many of the citizens of Myers Park and one of the series contains that list of signatures he needed. One of the series in this collection (stored in oversize storage) contains two maps of the area. When the case was resolved in 1942, a number of stories were printed in the local newspapers and clippings of those articles appear in their own series.

The forty-one photographs in the collection were taken by the Whitsett Photo Company of Charlotte. They include primarily views of selected properties in the Myers Park area that were used in the litigation. Before their arrival to the UNCC Special collections, these photographs were numbered and their numbering schemes overlap. These numbering schemes have been maintained in this collection, making four sub-series of photographs. Two photographs at the very end of this collection are aerial views of Charlotte.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Mr.and Mrs. Hugh Campbell, January 2006.

Processing Information

Processed by Robert A. McInnes, July 2006.

Encoded by Robert A. McInnes, September 2010.

Cansler & Cansler records concerning Myers Park residential zoning
Robert A. McInnes
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Manuscript Collections, J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections and University Archives, UNC Charlotte Repository

Atkins Library, UNC Charlotte
9201 University City Blvd
Charlotte NC 28223 United States

About this Site

Finding aids are guides to archival collections, including manuscripts, university records, and oral history collections. These guides help you find physical collections which can be viewed in the Dalton Reading Room on the 10th floor of Atkins Library. A small number of finding aids link to digital content online. Please contact us to learn more or to schedule an appointment:

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