Beginning in 1891 as Charlotte's first street car neighborhood, Dilworth was a special place to live-but by the 1960's Dilworth was fighting to overcome years of blight and decay. In the late 60's, the original Dilworth Community Development Association was formed to rally against further deterioration and encourage a focus on our inner city neighborhood at a time when city planners were focused on the suburbs. From its loosely organized roots, the DCDA grew to serve the larger Dilworth neighborhood, electing its first group of officers and board members 1971. It has been working for Dilworth ever since. Since that time the DCDA worked to see housing codes enforced, zoning and land use modifications made that were appropriate to an inner city neighborhood, and rallied for preservation and rejuvenation of the neighborhood's rich store of houses and commercial buildings.
In 1973, the Dilworth Jubilee began as a celebration of the diverse place known as Dilworth. The Dilworth Home Tour was an outgrowth of the Jubilee, and, as a 1973 editorial column in The Charlotte News said, "It was not just an effort to show off, but to share; the home tour, for example, was intended to not only display the products of renovation, but to pass on the secrets and to perhaps infect visitors with the enthusiasm to try it. The City was invited to see not a wax works or museum, but a work very much in progress. The celebration was not just of the place that is Dilworth, but of the human energy that is trying to make of it a Community." The DCDA has continued to work since that time to reduce the conflict between commercial development and our neighborhood, to encourage political activism, to ensure that elected officials understand the importance of preserving the Dilworth Community, and to work to continue the development of 'community' within this special neighborhood which has a unique place in Charlotte's history.