Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

New Name

The boom before Urban Planet

16 posts in this topic

There were construction booms before Urban Planet was here to document and toil over every aspect of them. I'd be interested to see any pictures, renderings, commentary on everything that was already finished before UP came around. How about construction of the Westin? What went through everyone's mind when the first rendering of this building came out? Construction of Gateway? I know someone must have photo's of The Arena being built. Heart Tower? Let's see em...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


...I'm disappointed. Did anyone on this forum live in CLT before 2004?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmmm...the Westin was supposed to be taller, but it was reduced due to the economic slowdown of the early 2000's. It looked better as originally proposed, because the "notch" was more vertically centered.

The relocated Charlotte Hornets arena in 3rd Ward (where the baseball stadium is going) was much worse in urban design than what we got....sunken plaza...ewwww

The Arlington "bait and switch" episode has been played out many times on here.

Honestly, I don't remember much fanfare about Hearst before it started construction.

On the other hand, BofA Corp Center was built to much fanfare in the media, and what it would mean for our skyline and how it compared to other highrises nationally.

One Wachovia used to be much cooler when they lit the arch up in green each night.

Earle Village was a crappy place that was difficult to avoid driving through if coming Uptown from the East....it's demolition was not missed.

In my opinion, Charlotte civic pride peaked in the last 90's and then regressed, though I have seen a steady resurgence in the last 3 years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
...I'm disappointed. Did anyone on this forum live in CLT before 2004?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do not have pictures of 08s and 90s in Charlotte. I did not get a digital camera until 2001. I did not want to waste money going around taking pictures of landscapes and buildings.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've lived here since 1997, I try to forget what it was like after 5:00pm downtown back then.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The construction of the BofA Corporate Center definitely was well documented in the media. Somewhere in my box of newspapers that I have kept I have an Observer special section that talked all about the construction of the building.

I remember when 400 North Church was built; I had a friend whose folks bought into the building. Seemed kinda crazy in the mid-90s that someone would pay a quarter of a millions dollar for a 2BR condo ... it even had a rooftop terrace. Rock Bottom was the coolest thing since sliced bread when it opened.

A few years after that when Three Wachovia was built, a fire broke out on the roof during construction, nothing serious, but enough to get the local TV stations excited. The collapse of a concrete floor when the Westin was under construction was also kindof interesting.

I think Emporis has pictures of some Charlotte buildings under construction going back to the late 1990s, but I didn't really take that many pictures back then. Gotta love digital cameras!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember thinking it was kind of funny that, right after the BOA (then NB) Corporate Center was announced, WBTV added it to their newscast skyline backdrop before it was even built. You don't see that any more!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


One Wachovia used to be much cooler when they lit the arch up in green each night.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of the things that triggered this topic was my curiosity about the Gateway Area. It seems like that is an urban utopia in design. It seems like everything was done right. So why does that area feel so ignored, abandoned and desolate? I wondered what the original plans were, how they were changed, and how that would reflect on similar projects upcoming like Brooklyn Village.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you do a search for Gateway Village in the title thread, there is a brief thread on that project with pictures of the initial model that I believe BofA had on display in 1997.....it is pretty much built out as proposed minus the the two buildings on the surface lots closest to I-77, one of which was a 14 story office tower.

The whole concept was to be the "technology hub" for BofA....those plans slowed dramatically with their shift to off-shoring.

It feels abandoned, because BofA essentially abandoned it, though they do still occupy a large portion of that space. They have put up the two parcels containing the surface lots for sale, so who knows what will happen.

J&W was an after-thought, though a welcome addition.

One thing that has irked me about that project is the corridor is too "narrow", essentially only 1.5 blocks wide, which limits the urban steetscape. Only Cedar between 5th and Trade is a truly urban block.

Without BofA's interest in the area anymore, I don't see it evolving quickly considering the vast amount of available land closer to the square.

In summary, it was a McColl and Palermo initiative that died once they left the bank.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, I'll bite. These aren't very old, but they do show the Hearst Tower and Ratcliffe on the Green under construction. I took them in October 2001 and got a lot of odd looks from people as I was shooting, since it was so soon after 9/11.

Charlotte1001_1.jpgCharlotte1001_2.jpgCharlotte1001_3.jpgCharlotte1001_4.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sure y'all remember this one:

cityCharlotteNC03futureish.jpg

cityCharlotteNC04futureish.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
One of the things that triggered this topic was my curiosity about the Gateway Area. It seems like that is an urban utopia in design. It seems like everything was done right. So why does that area feel so ignored, abandoned and desolate? I wondered what the original plans were, how they were changed, and how that would reflect on similar projects upcoming like Brooklyn Village.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For goodness sake, there are how many developments pending around Gateway Village and we're calling it abandoned? Patience...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


early 90s - the now bofa corp center and the carillon were rising.

old_bofa01.jpg

old_bofa02.jpg

2000-2004 - hearst tower, ratcliffe and green, westin, multifamily in 4th ward, southpark, arena.

old_hearst01.jpg

old_hearst02.jpg

old_hearst03.jpg

old_hearst04.jpg

old_green01.jpg

old_westin01.jpg

old_westin02.jpg

old_westin03.jpg

old_cottonmills01.jpg

old_southpark01.jpg

old_southpark02.jpg

old_arena01.jpg

old_arena02.jpg

old_arena03.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.