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krazeeboi

Charlotte area "ring cities"

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Lovely day for a drive to Dallas in Gaston County. Greek Revival courthouse. This style was copied nearly exactly in many county seats. Courtrooms upstairs and county offices ground floor. Lancaster SC used their copy of this building as the ONLY courthouse until about 2005.  175 years in the same building there. 1848 here. Dallas sits on a ridge and is centrally located n the county. Court personnel and jurors had to travel by horse and reducing travel time was critical so central location ruled. Rail line came through Gastonia and sped the textile revolution. Seat of government moved there in 1911.

 

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Now a walk around the courthouse square. Nearly every original building survives, as far as I can tell.

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Across from courthouse is jail. This building is for sale from Preservation NC.

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Glass windows came some time after building original use.

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Remains of extra large  hinges. Jails needed to keep people in and also keep people out.

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View of courthouse from jail.

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Renovation for Sammys's. Sammy's is in Belmont and I am unsure if this is for Sammy's opening, has Sammy's been here for some time? This is North side of square.

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Around a corner and facing the rear of the courthouse is this original building. It, too is for sale. Note the upping block used for mounting and dismounting horse or carriage.

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Former home now Pickles restaurant.

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Hoffman Hotel from 1852. This is around a corner facing the south side of the courthouse.

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Jurors may have been called to court for more than a day session in the 1800's. Not same as now. (I have a Sam Ervin story below about this situation)

Now county art and history museum

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Home (I assume) next to hotel

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 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sam_Ervin  Sam was judiciary committee chairman during Watergate hearings. Among a lifetime of service, and devotion to the best of personal and civic virtue.

I heard him tell this story which I was reminded of by the Dallas Courthouse. 

(paraphrased) Long ago a Burke County farmer was called for jury duty. It was a miserable day to travel. Cold hard rain, but his community called him. He arrived in Morganton and put his horse away and trudged through the mud. He entered the courthouse soaked to the bone. The heat for the building was a central wood stove in the hallway. Town lawyers and clerks were seated around the stove talking and laughing. The farmer did not wish to push his way through to comfort himself so he cleared his throat. Everyone ignored him. He slapped his wet hat against his mackinaw and everyone continued talking. Finally he cleared his throat and said in a loud voice "I had a dream last night. Dreamed I was in Hell, I did". There was a pause among those near him. He repeated his comment about dreaming about Hell. "Well, farmer, tell us what it was like" said one town lawyer. "It was a lot like the Burke County Courthouse. A man could not get close to the heat 'cause of all the lawyers."

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Thanks for the Gaston County shout out!  Sammy's in Belmont is not going anywhere.  The owner jumped at the chance to redo the building in Dallas, and is opening a second location.  Not to get TOO off topic, but another good restaurant that used to be in Dallas is moving to downtown Gastonia.  The Pita Wheel is rehabbing an old gas station on York Street, and should be opening soon.

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17 hours ago, tarhoosier said:

Lovely day for a drive to Dallas in Gaston County. Greek Revival courthouse. This style was copied nearly exactly in many county seats. Courtrooms upstairs and county offices ground floor. Lancaster SC used their copy of this building as the ONLY courthouse until about 2005.  175 years in the same building there. 1848 here. Dallas sits on a ridge and is centrally located n the county. Court personnel and jurors had to travel by horse and reducing travel time was critical so central location ruled. Rail line came through Gastonia and sped the textile revolution. Seat of government moved there in 1911.

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Dallas, North Carolina should be an object lesson for anyone who opposes mass transit. The  railroad didn't just happen to go to present-day Gastonia: When the newfangled modern conveyance was being plotted through Gaston County, the townsfolk of Dallas rejected the original attempt to route the railroad through or by Dallas. They feared it would be too noisy, too smoky, too disruptive. So instead the line went (which was cheaper anyway) more directly west from Charlotte, through the countryside. 

And the result? Development immediately clustered along the rail line, and what had been the center of Gaston County soon shifted southward and a brand new town ended up being the county seat by 1911. The silver lining is that the decline of Dallas helped preserve its central square it as it was in the mid-19 century.   

Further historical note: Dallas only became the county seat of Gaston County in 1846 because before 1846 there was no Gaston County. Prior to then, it was part of Lincoln County, which originally encompassed Gaston to the south and Catawba (county) to the north, with its eastern and northern boundaries formed by the Catawba River, and included portions of Cleveland to the west too, I believe. (My paternal grandmother was originally from Gaston County, so I know a moderate amount of its local history.)

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  17 hours ago, tarhoosier said:

Lovely day for a drive to Dallas in Gaston County. Greek Revival courthouse. This style was copied nearly exactly in many county seats. Courtrooms upstairs and county offices ground floor. Lancaster SC used their copy of this building as the ONLY courthouse until about 2005.  175 years in the same building there. 1848 here. Dallas sits on a ridge and is centrally located n the county. Court personnel and jurors had to travel by horse and reducing travel time was critical so central location ruled. Rail line came through Gastonia and sped the textile revolution. Seat of government moved there in 1911.

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Dallas, North Carolina should be an object lesson for anyone who opposes mass transit. The  railroad didn't just happen to go to present-day Gastonia: When the newfangled modern conveyance was being plotted through Gaston County, the townsfolk of Dallas rejected the original attempt to route the railroad through or by Dallas. They feared it would be too noisy, too smoky, too disruptive. So instead the line went (which was cheaper anyway) more directly west from Charlotte, through the countryside. 

 

Yes, this is truth^^^. Early railroads spewed smoke and cinders and ash along the route endangering building and crops. Vibration and risk of derailment and the noise were all issues on those coal and wood fired locomotives. Many a farmer had his fields burnt. Homes by the track were perforce cheaply built because if they did not burn they might collapse from the vibration.  Only after the guarantee of economic growth was certain did the risk/benefit calculation trend toward the favor of rail. Also country folk were conservative by nature. 

There were vehicles driving through the Dallas during my stroll but the only humans on foot other than I were a a group of five  18-19 yo folk.

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Industrial developments have popped up throughout the Charlotte region in recent years, especially along interstates and highways. Another has now taken hold in Anson County. Atlantic Gateway Logistics Park has been in the works for about four years, said John Marek, executive director of the Anson Economic DevelopmentPartnership. Now, it is being rolled out as a strong spot along U.S. Highway 74 for industrial space.
 

https://www.bizjournals.com/charlotte/news/2020/09/24/anson-county-atlantic-gateway-logistics-park.html

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Concord is one of the top 25 best places to live so says Money Magazine.  

from Biz Journal article

""Concord is once again one of the nation's top places to live, according to Money magazine.  The publication ranked the Charlotte suburb at No. 24 on its new list of the 50 best places to live in America. Concord landed at No. 79 last year and at No. 38 in 2017. It didn't make the ranking in 2018, but Rock Hill did, with the South Carolina city coming in at No. 49 that year.  "Though the job market was dinged by the pandemic, it has been recovering relatively quickly. With a median home price of $226,000, Concord is more affordable than popular North Carolina destination Raleigh ($297,000), but with demand outpacing supply buyers need to act fast," it read.  The growing suburb has contributed to the population boom occurring in the greater Charlotte region. The local metro area counted an estimated 2.64 million residents in 2019, up 17.9% from 2010.  Concord's population was 96,341 as July 1, 2019, according to the most recent U.S. Census Bureau estimates. That's up 21.4% since 2010, when there were 79,389 residents in that city.""   Morrisville next to Cary and RTP only other town in the state ranking higher at #10. 

https://www.bizjournals.com/charlotte/news/2020/09/25/charlotte-suburb-on-ranking-of-best-places-to-live.html

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16 hours ago, rancenc said:

I wonder how much of the opposition will actually be directly affected by this.  Not many people live in "downtown" Huntersville, although I think that's partly a symptom of there being hardly anything to do there.  If Huntersville played its cards right, it could have a nice stretch of urbanity along Gilead Rd between US 21 and NC 115, but that seems very unlikely given how pro-sprawl everyone seems to be.

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3 hours ago, nicholas said:

I wonder how much of the opposition will actually be directly affected by this.  Not many people live in "downtown" Huntersville, although I think that's partly a symptom of there being hardly anything to do there.  If Huntersville played its cards right, it could have a nice stretch of urbanity along Gilead Rd between US 21 and NC 115, but that seems very unlikely given how pro-sprawl everyone seems to be.

I'm not familiar with this project, but I can't figure out the NIMBY approach to it. Despite being the biggest of the northern towns (by a lot), it easily has the least defined downtown. Does anyone know if they have a downtown masterplan or something similar? 

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