When I lived in Charlotte, NC back in the early 70s it was a sleepy, genteel, southern city. “If you die in Charlotte you have to change for heaven in Atlanta,” was the often heard swipe at the city’s second class status.
That was ages ago. Charlotte has changed radically. There is virtually nothing left of the downtown Charlotte I knew. Everything is new. Everything is clean. Everything encourages you to be downtown!
Bringing people downtown didn’t happen overnight. Converting areas adjacent to downtown into residential neighborhoods was incredibly important. Adding restaurants and culture were important too.
Over the last decade Charlotte quietly became America’s banking center. With consolidation that may change.
Banks needed huge headquarter sites. Skyscrapers stand where there were once two or three story buildings. Times are getting tighter. One huge residential tower was abandoned where it stands and may end up being too far damaged by sitting exposed to be finished! It’s tough not to blame consolidation there. A more balanced collection of white-collar employers would have helped, though who really knows?
Sunday for breakfast we went to a funky restaurant in a neighborhood reminiscent of Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles. L.A.’s Melrose has more density, but this part of Charlotte seems to be coming along.
If you’ve never been to the Queen City of the South these photos will acquaint you.