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orulz

Smaller cities in NC

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So we've seen a number of pictures from Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro, Wilmington... but that's not all there is to urban North Carolina. Pretty much every small city and town has a center, and I'd like to challenge each of you photographers out there to document what they look like. I just think it'd be interesting to see what all these places look like, from Albemarle to Zebulon. Some towns are of course pretty and nice, while others are basically ghost towns. It doesn't matter which, so just pick somewhere and go!

I'll kick of the thread with my pictures from a recent trip to Salisbury. The weather was terrible and it was getting late in the day so the lighting isn't good, but you can still get a good idea of what the town looks like.

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The Piedmont comes rolling in to town:

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People get on:

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The absolutely gorgeous mission style Salisbury Station:

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One thing you'll notice in Salisbury is how many trains come rolling through... that Piedmont Division Mainline is busy! Luckily they have a lot of bridges over the tracks.

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New urban lofts under construction. How about that price? Supposedly these will be in the neighborhood of 750 square feet.

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Nice pics. I have a cousin who lives in Salisbury so i vist there quite often. They have an large downtown for a city there size which you can thank the railroad for that. It looks like train travel is very popular down there two. If my digital camara would ever work i would snap some pics of Lexington, but besides that great pics.

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Salisbury is a great small town. I drove through there once on my way back to greensboro from Clt. Great picutres, i'm glad small towns are getting facetime here too.

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I went to Catawba College for two years and I always loved strolling through downtown. Even though Salisbury isn't the urban center I've always dreamed of living in (haha), it's downtown is moving forward at a much greater speed than many other small southern cities. I was thrilled to see in the pictures that urban lofts are being built in downtown. Salisbury has such a historic and quaint downtown, I'd urge anyone on I-85 to stop and drive through.

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I went to Catawba College for two years and I always loved strolling through downtown.  Even though Salisbury isn't the urban center I've always dreamed of living in (haha), it's downtown is moving forward at a much greater speed than many other small southern cities.  I was thrilled to see in the pictures that urban lofts are being built in downtown.  Salisbury has such a historic and quaint downtown, I'd urge anyone on I-85 to stop and drive through.

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I was absolutely struck with how clean everything was. It seems that just about every building has either been restored or well-maintained, and how nearly every storefront was occupied. The new urban lofts pictured there seem to be a test project - to see if there is a market for such a place in Salisbury. It even has its own web page. It's located at the corner of Lee and Fisher, a block southeast from the center of town at Innes and Main. Fisher St seemed to be the entertainment district - there were a number of trendy looking restaurants, several bars down the street, and even a night club around the corner.

It's also only two blocks south of the depot, so if CATS were to run commuter rail along the NCRR, these condos would sell like hotcakes at that price. Even right now, you could do a round trip commute on the Piedmont if you can get away with a short work day (11:00 to 5:00).

There were a good few people inside the bars and restaurants, but the streets felt kind of deserted for a Saturday evening. Reminds me of Raleigh, heh. Most of the stores were closed by that time (a bit after 7:00pm?) and rainclouds were looming overhead, so that might have put a damper on things. There was also a movie theater turned performing arts venue downtown, but that was not in use at the time.

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Good news people..I went to wal-mart yesterday an bought me a nice old, lil cheap digital camara. It's nothing much but it will do the job. So today when i walk the dog i will go downtown and take some picks, so expect a photo tour of uptown Lexingon this week.

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Hey eveyone i hope these pics work. I was taking dem with my lil cheap camara downtown today. I should have a full tour ny the end of the week but heres a sample.

uptownlexingtontour0019va.th.jpg

Thats a pick looking at da old davidson County couthouse taken across main street in the city square.

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Anybody now how to make those photos full size instead of little thumbnails?

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Salisbury has always been very conscious of it's downtown area. The city was one of the last in the Piedmont area to welcome a suburban type mall. When it opened in 1986, Belk, JCPenney and and a local department store Zimmermans (which was great), moved to the mall.

There was concern that downtown would shivel and die. On the other hand, it has really thrive. There are a lot of antique stores and speciality shops downtown. There are also restaurants, bars, and nightclubs (I wish there were more). Also the fifth picture which has the cream colored building, is a mixed used building. There are shops and services on the first level, municipal government offices on the second, and the remainding floors (I think it is a 8 story building) have upscale apartments.

I also believe there a quite a few buildings that have 1 to 2 apartments on the top floors.

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Downtown Salisbury also has "O.K. Wig" on Innes St downtown. Or at least they did until recently. I hope it's still around because that's one thing I remember about driving through downtown ever since I was very young.

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I've posted several threads of several small NC Mountain towns.  Here are ones of Black Mountain.  (you may need to hit refresh several times as the photos are on netscape)

Black Mountain - Part I

Black Mountain - Part II

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Great pictures of Black Mountain! And when talking about the town, you can't forget its (rich) neighbor Montreat, home of Montreat College.

There are a lot of other neat small towns around Asheville. Their downtowns are mostly tourist traps, but they still draw people nonetheless. Three places that come to mind are Hendersonville, Waynesville, and Brevard. Marshall deserves its own seperate category, since it's built in extremely tight quarters between the French Broad River and a rather steep cliff.

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Here's the only photo I took the other day in downtown Fuquay Varina. I was a little bit surprised to find a Hudson Belk in such a small town, when Cary Towne Center et al are only about 25 minutes away. I was also taken aback by the amount of suburbanization that's happened down there. All of it was either under construction or looked brand new (< 5 years old.) NC55 really is just a corridor of sprawl, from Fuquay all the way to I-40 in Durham and beyond.

I wouldn't be too surprised if the NC55 upgrade in progress between Holly Springs and Fuquay Varina finally killed this small-town department store.

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There were a number of other things going on down there (railroad depot renovation, and what seemed to be a pretty large-scale streetscape project underway on Main St) so I'll try to bike down there some day and get some more pictures when I have more time.

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^yeah it looked like F-V's Hudson-Belk was gonna go sooner or later

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It's not gone yet... I actually saw a few people go in and out while I was standing there, too. No "going out of business" or clearance signs, either. Hope it manages to hold out.

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I don't have a camera, or a scanner at the moment, but if someone could post a photo of Statesville's historic district, that would be nice. It is a beautiful area, and has lots of great landscaping. Sorry I couldn't add to the thread.

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OMG! I never noticed a Hudson Belks in downtown Fuquay the handful of times I've driven by it! It's still open? It looks so tiny and plain...I might hafta stop by it and venture inside b4 it inevitably closes within the next few yrs....

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Any of you guys ever seen Elkin? Its a great small town about 20 minutes away from Mount Airy, and about the same distance from Stone Mountain. They have a pretty downtown area full of old buildings, and up until about 6 or 7 years ago people would flock to dt Elkin from everywhere to cruise the dt circle. Local government had that put to an end unfortunately. There are of course a couple strip malls, but all in all, its a very pretty town.

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Any updates on whats going on in the small cities? You know small NC cities/towns need some love too.... LOL!

The only information I have is horse racing is becoming big in surrounding Raeford/Hoke County area.

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