Charlotte center city: Wikis


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Uptown Charlotte
—  Neighborhood  —
Aerial of Uptown in Spring 2009
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)

Charlotte center city (also known as Uptown or Downtown Charlotte) is the area comprising the township and original city of Charlotte, North Carolina. Its numerical distinction within the county is 1 (of 15). Its official distinction would be Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. Charlotte center city is also one of three Municipal Service Districts in Charlotte.[1]

The area, bounded by I-77, the John Belk and Brookshire Freeways (the I-277 loop), is further broken down into four wards, separated by Tryon Street and Trade Street. Of them, First, Third, and Fourth Wards are primarily residential areas. The Second Ward is made up primarily of city and county government offices. The current residential population of Uptown Charlotte is approximately 11,000. By 2013, this number is expected to grow from 11,000 to 27,000 due to recent construction of multiple high-rise condominium towers such as The Vue Charlotte, 300 South Tryon, The Catalyst, and many other skyscrapers that are currently under construction such as the Duke Energy Center.

Uptown or Downtown is where Charlotte's business sector is located, largely made up of banking and other financial service industries. About 77,000 people work in Charlotte's center city. The headquarters for the Fortune 500 companies: Bank of America, Duke Energy, and Wachovia are located here,[2] though it is not clear where the headquarters will be once the acquisition of Wachovia by Wells Fargo is complete.[3] Wachovia is currently building a major complex of towers that will contain three new art venues, a condominium tower, and a new office building, dubbed the Duke Energy Center, the top 20 floors of which are leased out to Duke Energy.

Museums, sporting venues, hotels, restaurants, and bars are heavily concentrated in Uptown Charlotte. More hotels and restaruants are currently under construction such as Hotel Sierra. New museums such as the Betchler Art Museum and the new Mint Museum are expected to open before 2010.


The Wards

Uptown Charlotte, within the bounds of I-277, is divided into four wards by the intersection of Trade and Tryon Streets.[4]

First Ward

First Ward lies directly to the east of the intersection of Trade and Tryon. It is that quadrant bounded by North Tryon on the northwest and East Trade on the southwest.

First Ward was recently one of the most dangerous areas in Charlotte, but because of recent revitalization under a HUD HOPE VI grant, it has become one of the more desirable. Many new developments are planned and under construction. UNC Charlotte is planning to build a new academic building in the First Ward as part of an urban village project being developed by Levine Properties. The current plans for the urban village include a 4-acre (16,000 m2) park, 450,000 sq ft (42,000 m2) of office space, 2,700 residential units, 250 hotel rooms, 250,000 sq ft (23,000 m2) of retail space, and 450,000 sq ft (42,000 m2) of civic space. Current attractions include: The Main Library, the Spirit Square portion of the North Carolina Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, ImaginOn Children's Learning Center, Levine Museum of the New South, the Time Warner Cable Arena, home of the Bobcats, and the Mint Museum of Craft + Design. On Tryon at Sixth Street, one of Charlotte's historic gems is being preserved and connected to a new condo project called Encore.

View of city center Charlotte.

Second Ward

Second Ward lies directly to the south of the intersection of Trade and Tryon. It is the quadrant bounded by South Tryon on the northwest and East Trade on the northeast.

Second Ward is the location of Charlotte's "Government District" and will be the location of the new NASCAR Hall of Fame. Second Ward used to be the location of the predominantly black neighborhood Brooklyn before an urban renewal project took place. Many new developments are under construction or proposed. EpiCentre, a mixed-use entertainment and retail complex, is located on the site of the old Charlotte convention center. In the EpiCentre project, a high-rise condominium tower, 210 Trade, and an aLoft hotel will be located. The aLoft Charlotte hotel has recently opened its doors. Donald Trump proposed a 72-story project called Trump Charlotte which will be the tallest building in Charlotte. It would include luxury condos, a five-star hotel, office tower, and high-end retail.

Third Ward

Third Ward lies directly to the west of the intersection of Trade and Tryon. It is the quadrant bounded by South Tryon on the southwest and West Trade on the northeast.

Center City's Third Ward is a diverse, quaint, turn of the century streetcar neighborhood home to Bank of America Stadium and Gateway Village which is one of the state's largest mixed-use developments with 1,500,000 sq ft (139,000 m2) of office, shops, restaurants, and over 500 housing units. The most exciting new project is Wachovia's First Street Project, comprising cultural, office, residential, and open space. Johnson & Wales University is expanding its campus in the Center City while the Mecklenburg County's Parks and Recreation Department has unveiled plans for an urban park in the district. Multiple condominium high rise towers have begun or are ready to begin construction. Plans are also underway to construct a $200 million transportation hub along the Norfolk-Southern Railway called the Gateway Station, which will be completed in 2010. The Gateway Station will house the Greyhound bus stop, the Amtrak station, the LYNX Purple Line and LYNX Silver Line, and a CATS bus hub.

Fourth Ward

Fourth Ward lies directly to the north of the intersection of Trade and Tryon. It is that quadrant bounded by North Tryon on the southeast and West Trade on the southwest.

Fourth Ward is mostly residential and has many beautiful Victorian homes. New development is occurring with high rise condominium towers and the North Carolina Music Factory, an entertainment complex.


Charlotte's skyline in 2020.

There is much confusion brought about by the use of the terms "Uptown" and "Downtown" for Charlotte's center city area. These terms do not reference different areas of town and are thus interchangeable.

The history of the dual names is contested, yet prior to the mid-late 1980s, the term "Downtown" was used by residents, media and city leaders for the center city area. During the 1980s, a massive campaign was launched to revamp the image of the downtown area and the term "Uptown" was introduced to the general public. On February 14, 1987 the Charlotte Observer began using the term "Uptown" as a way to promote a more positive upbeat image of the center city area.[5] School teachers were provided with "historical" documents justifying use of the term to teach to students.

Another opinion is: Though many feel that the term "Uptown Charlotte" is a new term in the last 10 years, local residents from three or more generations past will attest to having called the center city area Uptown their entire lives. This is due to the main intersection in the original center city, Trade St. & Tryon St., having been the point of highest elevation. When people would come from outlying areas to the city, they would say they were going 'up to town', a phrase that was eventually shortened to 'Uptown'. Despite this, there are many who steadfastly believe that center-city Charlotte was called "Downtown" up until 10 years ago when there was a concerted effort to rename it "Uptown" by various groups that had come from outside Charlotte. These people feel that this was an attempt to improve the city's image.

Schools and libraries

The Main Library of the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County

School system

Residents of Charlotte center city attend the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. Elementary schools include First Ward Elementary and Irwin Avenue Open Elementary School.

Private schools

  • Trinity Episcopal School

Colleges and universities


The CheckIt Outlet of the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County

Uptown Charlotte is served by three branches of the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. The Main library is located on North Tryon Street.[6]
35°13′43.32″N 80°50′25.98″W / 35.2287°N 80.84055°W / 35.2287; -80.84055

The CheckIt Outlet microbranch is located on the Green off South Tryon Street.[7] This 1,000 sq. ft. facility holds popular DVDs and bestsellers and serves as a drop-off and pick-up point for library materials for workers and residents on the South Tryon side of uptown.

ImaginOn of the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County

35°13′26.40″N 80°50′47.400″W / 35.224°N 80.8465°W / 35.224; -80.8465

ImaginOn: The Joe and Joan Martin Center is located on East Seventh Street.[8] ImaginOn is a collaborative venture of the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County and the Children's Theater of Charlotte which strives to bring the art of narrative to life. The library provides services, books, CDs, DVDs and homework support for children and teens at this location. ImaginOn also contains the McColl Family Theatre and the Wachovia Playhouse, venues used by the Children's Theater for their performances.
35°13′38.00″N 80°50′15.845″W / 35.22722°N 80.83773472°W / 35.22722; -80.83773472

Sites of interest


External links

Coordinates: 35°13′38″N 80°50′35″W / 35.2272°N 80.8431°W / 35.2272; -80.8431

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