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QC704

Downtown Gastonia tour

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Here's a little background:

Gastonia is a tough, gritty old mill town with a downtown that was in a downward spiral for decades that is just beginning to be revived. The population was around 66K at the last census estimate. I actually went downtown to pay the light bill today and had some free time so I thought I'd take some pictures.

Here's the view from where I parked, at the corner of Main and North Chester(HWY 321):

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The Main Post office, on the other side of the street from me:

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The best mexican restaurant in gastonia is downtown:

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Commercial Building:

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Lawyers Building:

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The Gaston County Administrative offices are located in this old bank:

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I'd do what the sign says

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The New Gaston County Administration building moving to, ironically, another old bank. It's the old BB&T building in the 3rd main street block.

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Aw, the love building:

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The rotarian's centennial pavillion. It's where 6news is doing their road trip broadcast from:

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Here's the new Courthouse, on the other side of the big ditch from downtown:

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The newly opened Jick Garland City Building. It's former life was that of the gaston county courthouse. It burned in 1998 and they managed to save the building despite many folks wanting to tear it down:

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Now, onto city hall:

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The inside of the city hall. The building dates back close to the turn of the century.

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Across the street was where the old Webb Theatre was located. The marquee has been restored:

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Up from the Webb Theatre is the site of the future South Street Arcade. The building supposedly is leasing well and construction could start soon:

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The old First Baptist Church. It's now an AME zion church and was almost demolished when First Baptist moved to the burbs. It's gorgeous on the inside but I couldnt get in.

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The old abandoned Firestone Mill. When it was built, it was the largest cotton mill in the world. It isnt directly in downtown but it is close enough:

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That mill would be great for lofts and condos!!  I hope Gastonia takes off in the next few years and becomes very populous.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Thanks...we're right on the verge I think but it wouldnt hurt my feelings if we kept up the slow, steady growth.

Ironically, thats the use that they have discussed for the mill. It's so large they could fit a charter school, civic center, shops and apartments in it.

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Nice tour, I might have to check out that mexican restaurant.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Thanks! I dont care for mexican so it's all heresay with me... :D.

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My mom grew up in Stanley, and Gaston Co.'s growth has been terribly stagnant compared to the rest of the region. I hope its time has come, it needs to grow!

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It's nice to see a tour of Gastonia for a change. Also interesting information about the Firestone mill. Are there any plans to revitalize it?

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It's nice to see a tour of Gastonia for a change.  Also interesting information about the Firestone mill.  Are there any plans to revitalize it?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yes, a charter school will be moving in next year. There's also been talk about using other floors for apartments, civic center space, offices and retail shops.

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thanks for the photos of gastonia. they have so many great old buildings there. Hopefully some employment centers can go there, other than just the city/county.

Perhaps an eventual rapid transit line would be good.

great photos, great buildings!

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thanks for the photos of gastonia.  they have so many great old buildings there.  Hopefully some employment centers can go there, other than just the city/county.

Perhaps an eventual rapid transit line would be good.

great photos, great buildings!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I've said this to many people, I really believe a commuter rail line to gaston county would be very successful. We'll see how it goes.

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Ditto what I said at SSP QC!  Thanks for the cool pictures...

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

thanks! Even if you went to Gastonia when you lived in RH, you wouldnt recoginize the downtown area.

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Nice photos.. especially the "Lawyers Building" shot. Its only a matter of time before Gastonia gets Populous.. and although its pop. is stagnant, I would rather be glad for it to grow slowly that to be descending slowly.

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I do have to disagree with the thread's subtitle: "Charlotte's most popular suburb"

I would think that Cabarrus County and Concord are now the the most popular suburb with:

*Removal of Gastonia's name from the official metro name and addition of Concord's

*Cabarrus County is the fastest growing suburb

*Home to NC's largest tourist attraction

*Two very large subdivisions announced with homes from $500,000 to $2 million

Just sticking up for my side of the metro area :)

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Actually, the originator of this thread accidently typed "popular" instead of "populous" (see the first page of this thread).

Also, it wasn't Gastonia's name that got removed from the metro designation, it was Rock Hill's--which should have never occurred in the first place (dang blasted SC annexation laws), but I suspect Rock Hill will be reclaiming that spot from Concord by the next census.

And as I understand it, Union County is not only the fastest growing county in the Charlotte MSA, but also in the entire state of NC.

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I just got through reading this, I hope this comes true.  Gaston County could really use the jobs.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Did you see the gazette article this morning? Apparently Bessemer City might be the frontrunner for it right now.

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Did you see the gazette article this morning? Apparently Bessemer City might be the frontrunner for it right now.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Interesting. ;) I would love to see them get it. 3,000 jobs is really nothing to sneeze at. I hope the county/city are throwing some incentives out to really make this happen. WE NEED THE JOBS ! It will only add value for our friends on the West side. The economic development would be huge from 3K positions coming into that part of town. Retial, restraunts, housing, I could go on and on. This is a big deal. I would think even a regional effort should be in play on this type of deal. I say bring in the BIG boys at the state level and get Charlotte Chamber involved as well. The benifits from Dole in Gaston county will ultimately bleed into Mecklenburg as well.

A2

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