Brightwalk is on the site of Double Oaks, a 576 home community built in 1950 by the CD Spangler Construction Company. Double Oaks was initially managed by Fred Alexander, a businessman who worked with Spangler on numerous communities. Alexander would become Charlotte’s first African American city council representative in 1965 and later a North Carolina state senator.
Double Oaks was home to a proud and vibrant neighborhood. Community leaders were raised here. Schools, businesses, and churches flourished as did a natural landscape of beautiful oak trees. The Double Oaks community also included the Double Oaks Nursery School, Anita Stroud Park and Double Oaks Elementary School. Stroud was a proud matriarch of the neighborhoods in this area and did much for the children growing up in there.
Statesville Avenue just across from Double Oaks was home to a Ford Motor Company plant built in the 1920s. The plant produced the venerable Model T’s and operated until the Depression. Henry Ford himself took a role in the design of the plants and named the streets for friends – Vanderbilt, Kohler and Edison. During World War II, the site became home to the Charlotte Quartermaster Corps Depot. Nike Missiles were produced at the plant in the 50s and 60s, and Douglas Aircraft made the plant the sole production facility for the Nike Hercules Missile. The early 60s saw work for other military agencies and NASA before the plant closed in 1967.