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Thought y'all might like to see my little comparison shot of uptown from the same vantage point, 1986-2019

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk  

Bonnie Cone, founder of Charlotte's university. A remarkable and rare person. How many universities are started by women?  I hope every UNCC student knows they stand on her legacy. I met her once

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OK history buffs.  Odd question, but I have always wondered about this.  Does anyone know the importance/background on such powerful street names as Providence, Freedom and Independence?  Do any of them have any ties to the George Washington quote of Charlotte being a "hornet's nest" way back when?  These particular street names (and any others that reference the same aspects of liberty) have always intrigued me.

Charlotte was in part settled by Presbyterians and the name of several roads were based on the end points of those roads.  So Providence was named after Providence Presbyterian Church, Sharon Road after Sharon Presbyterian Church.  Sharon Amity connects Sharon Presbyterian Church and Amity Presbyterian Church.  Then you also have Sugar Creek, etc.

I cannot speak to Independence and Freedom.

Most rural roads are named for either 1) prominent family names or 2) places. 

Historically, North Carolina used townships to further subdivide counties. In Mecklenburg, outside of Charlotte there were a number of townships whose names still have relevance today. Providence, Sharon, Steele Creek, Berryhill, Mallard Creek, etc. can be seen on this map. In fact, the Providence Township boundary was used as the basis of the Ballantyne group that wanted to secede from the city a few years back. Also if you search google maps for these townships, you can see some un-annexed portions of Mecklenburg County that fall under those jurisdictions.

I've been searching for information about Independence and Freedom in old newspaper articles and I haven't come up with anything definitive yet. They both were started in the 40s. East-west traffic flow has always been a challenge in this city. The original Independence concept that wrapped around uptown and included Wilkinson was the highest priority, so it's possible that "Freedom Drive" didn't come to be until after the adoption of the 1960 Thoroughfare Plan. 

 

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On a related question, what was considered uptown (or downtown) Charlotte before the creation of I-277? I know 1st street is inside the loop, but the numbered streets go as high as 37th, and stretch all the way out to North Davidson.

The area considered downtown was much smaller and much less defined. Like most small towns, "downtown" is generally coterminous with the CBD or central office/commercial area of town. Because I-277 wasn't there, the 'business district' area more seamlessly bled into the surrounding neighborhoods. In this map from 1958, it references "a part of the main business district" and it goes from 1st St to 9th along Tryon. I've read references in older Observer articles (prior to Independence Blvd being constructed) that seem to go as far south as Morehead St.. 

Charlotte_Main_Business_District_of_Charlotte_NC_1958.jpg

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OK history buffs.  Odd question, but I have always wondered about this.  Does anyone know the importance/background on such powerful street names as Providence, Freedom and Independence?  Do any of them have any ties to the George Washington quote of Charlotte being a "hornet's nest" way back when?  These particular street names (and any others that reference the same aspects of liberty) have always intrigued me.

Independence Blvd, was named after Independence Park which it cut through when it was built.  The road was championed by Mayor Douglas and is one of his achievements along with overseeing the construction of the airport.  You can likely find why the park was named Independence Park in the October 21st 1904 edition of the Charlotte Observer. 

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  • 8 months later...

Not sure if this was posted elsewhere, but here is what city planners in 1965 envisioned for Uptown Charlotte:

  • A zoo and botanical garden. A zoo would eventually be built in Asheboro, and the botanical garden in Belmont.
  • A new stadium. We ended up getting one with the construction of the Bank of America Stadium, but the proposed one was apparently a replacement for the Memorial Stadium.
  • A new hospital in Uptown. Pretty interesting proposal, considering the Charlotte Memorial Hospital (later named CMC) and Presbyterian Hospital were nearby. 
  • An underground promenade beneath Trade, between College and Church. It would have been limited to pedestrians, along with a connection to a bus transfer center.
  • Massive residential district in First Ward, surrounding a new park. Very similar to Levine's current plans, along with the currently existing development in the southeast corner.
  • Pushing for retail was one of their key visions for Uptown, but that was subverted by the onslaught of commercial malls like SouthPark and Eastland.
  • Demolishing Brooklyn in Second Ward. The area was seen as a slum to city planners, and removing the neighborhood was already happening by the time this plan was adopted.

Back to Charlotte’s future? In 1965, here’s what city leaders imagined

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I felt like this was the best place to put this. Are you guys aware 500 West Trade St. the Old Buick dealership building from 1925 (thats 91 years old) might be torn down due to more apartments. I personally think it just needs a facelift done right and it would look great. With all the develop happening in 3rd ward I am concerned that they may tear it down. I love Charlotte, I was born and raised here but the city's history just keeps getting torn down and i'm not a fan of that. Like it makes me mad when i see pictures of old buildings like Hotel Charlotte and i'm like it's not here anymore it was yet again torn down, but over in Concord they have kept their Hotel Concord. Anyway i wanted to know what y'all thought about this building and what should happen. Thanks 

*Notice the building all the way in the top of the black and white picture. Yep it's the dealership.*
684660-Large-fullheightview-from-across-south-graham-street-to-the-south.jpg307081-Medium-fullheightview-looking-west-from-trade-street.jpgH_2000_01_168.00.jpg

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"The Polk Building"

Yep, c'mon Charlotte, do it. Do it. How is it not done already?

I'm surprised still standing but how has it not been redone into a shining example of American architecture celebrated strong as it ever was after a mere century. 

 

Is is it because it would put everything built in the last 15 years to shame? I suspect so. 

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22 minutes ago, GoldenEagle128 said:

I felt like this was the best place to put this. Are you guys aware 500 West Trade St. the Old Buick dealership building from 1925 (thats 91 years old) might be torn down due to more apartments. I personally think it just needs a facelift done right and it would look great. With all the develop happening in 3rd ward I am concerned that they may tear it down. I love Charlotte, I was born and raised here but the city's history just keeps getting torn down and i'm not a fan of that. Like it makes me mad when i see pictures of old buildings like Hotel Charlotte and i'm like it's not here anymore it was yet again torn down, but over in Concord they have kept their Hotel Concord. Anyway i wanted to know what y'all thought about this building and what should happen. Thanks 

*Notice the building all the way in the top of the black and white picture. Yep it's the dealership.*
684660-Large-fullheightview-from-across-south-graham-street-to-the-south.jpg307081-Medium-fullheightview-looking-west-from-trade-street.jpgH_2000_01_168.00.jpg

FYI. The developer of the apartments is seeking to save the building for reuse.

If I were you I'd write a letter, and have all your friends wrote a letter, to the NCDOT and CDOT, because as far as they are concerned this building is in the Graham Street and Trade Street ROW, so it must be torn down. 

They are the hold up. Graham needs a road diet and wider sidewalks. Until that happens Polk is only 4.5 feet from Graham and is seen as a problem.

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31 minutes ago, GoldenEagle128 said:

I was not aware of this. That's good. I'll try but I'm guessing they would need more than a couple letters to change their mind. Thanks

 

There are a large variety of issues with saving this building. The developer is looking to do apartments but so much more as well. The building is in really really really really bad shape and it comes down to cost benefit of saving and it's looking likely that it's not. 

To simplify and list the issues why it's likely gone (the reuse route is highly unlikely):

the building is a fortress. Has it been done in other cities, saving a building like this? Sure. But running modern electrical, hvac, etc through this building is a challenge that doesn't seem worth taking

another issue is the building is TECHNICALLY built in the ROW. What this means is anything else they build has to sit off the building itself which again makes it very expensive and inefficient to build here. 

Theyre exploring saving the facade but again it's not entirely realistic as there will be a gap between the facade and the new structure due to the ROW. 

I have made it known I wouldn't lament the loss of this building. It's in bad shape, I think it's ugly and even if somehow restored to its original facade the interior is just a wreck. Those car elevators are ridiculous.  

All this comes together to say, don't get your hopes up to be saved. And while Charlotte has done a ton of destruction of its history, you also need to take a step back and look at the reality of the economics. The Charlotte market just doesn't justify pumping the money into saving a building like this. So it's either let it stand abandoned or take it down it for a solid development. Pick your poison. 

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35 minutes ago, Jayvee said:

There are a large variety of issues with saving this building. The developer is looking to do apartments but so much more as well. The building is in really really really really bad shape and it comes down to cost benefit of saving and it's looking likely that it's not. 

To simplify and list the issues why it's likely gone (the reuse route is highly unlikely):

the building is a fortress. Has it been done in other cities, saving a building like this? Sure. But running modern electrical, hvac, etc through this building is a challenge that doesn't seem worth taking

another issue is the building is TECHNICALLY built in the ROW. What this means is anything else they build has to sit off the building itself which again makes it very expensive and inefficient to build here. 

Theyre exploring saving the facade but again it's not entirely realistic as there will be a gap between the facade and the new structure due to the ROW. 

I have made it known I wouldn't lament the loss of this building. It's in bad shape, I think it's ugly and even if somehow restored to its original facade the interior is just a wreck. Those car elevators are ridiculous.  

All this comes together to say, don't get your hopes up to be saved. And while Charlotte has done a ton of destruction of its history, you also need to take a step back and look at the reality of the economics. The Charlotte market just doesn't justify pumping the money into saving a building like this. So it's either let it stand abandoned or take it down it for a solid development. Pick your poison. 

Honestly. The only fact worth mentioning with this building is the ROW, and it's not that it was built in the ROW, its the fact the building was eventually encroached on by the ROW as the roads kept getting wider. The expenses you are mentioning become frivolous when you consider, Demo, Grading, Building, running electrical, HVAC, Finishing, etc.

As you said... It's a fortress. You know what else is a in bad shape fortress? Savona Mill. Yet, It's being repurposed in a currently crappy area of town with big hopes for the future. This isn't in a bad area, it's in a fantastic area, and it could be a great asset. Graham doesn't need to be a highway. It does not move tons of traffic, it basically dead ends into mint three blocks later. NCDOT needs to reduce the ROW of Graham, and the building needs to be saved. It's beautiful, yea it has some bumps, bruises, lesions and cuts, but those can be fixed, and it can have a pretty face again.

I'm sorry, you and I agree on a lot, a WHOLE LOT, but when it comes to adaptive reuse we just don't. 

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On August 9, 2016 at 10:22 PM, Jayvee said:

It's in bad shape, I think it's ugly and even if somehow restored to its original facade the interior is just a wreck. Those car elevators are ridiculous.  

All this comes together to say...

I'm sorry, did you say CAR ELEVATORS???

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It was a downtown Buick dealership. All dealerships were downtown. Many (all?) had inventory parked on the roof. I recall Frank Woods Pontiac on South Tryon where the Wachovia building is now, and also a Datsun dealer on Morehead just west of Tryon with a ramp to the roof of the one story building for parking. In this building the transport device was a car elevator. Many freight elevators are equivalent and could be used for this purpose if necessary.

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47 minutes ago, tarhoosier said:

It was a downtown Buick dealership. All dealerships were downtown. Many (all?) had inventory parked on the roof. I recall Frank Woods Pontiac on South Tryon where the Wachovia building is now, and also a Datsun dealer on Morehead just west of Tryon with a ramp to the roof of the one story building for parking. In this building the transport device was a car elevator. Many freight elevators are equivalent and could be used for this purpose if necessary.

You know you're a CLT old timer when you call it "Wachovia" :)

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I've writing a very long letter to David Ravin, as well as the Principals at Whiteside Industrial, and Argos Advisors, trying to get them to work together and save the Polk. I'm sure it will absolutely nothing. Once the letter is finished I'll post it here as well. 

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In no way related to the Polk building:

In maybe 1979 or so at the Datsun (pre Nissan) dealer on West Morehead where the American City Business Journal building is now there was a report of vandalism. The cars were driven up a ramp to the roof of the building and then a blockade of some type was secured to prevent the theft of the vehicles. The business considered the cars safe on the roof and left the keys in them overnight. Someone(s) crept up and had a dodgem-smashem time driving the cars into each other and then left the scene of destruction. There was a news report about it by their neighbor, the O.

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6 minutes ago, tarhoosier said:

In no way related to the Polk building:

In maybe 1979 or so at the Datsun (pre Nissan) dealer on West Morehead where the American City Business Journal building is now there was a report of vandalism. The cars were driven up a ramp to the roof of the building and then a blockade of some type was secured to prevent the theft of the vehicles. The business considered the cars safe on the roof and left the keys in them overnight. Someone(s) crept up and had a dodgem-smashem time driving the cars into each other and then left the scene of destruction. There was a news report about it by their neighbor, the O.

Thats the best story I've ever heard.

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1 hour ago, ricky_davis_fan_21 said:

I've writing a very long letter to David Ravin, as well as the Principals at Whiteside Industrial, and Argos Advisors, trying to get them to work together and save the Polk. I'm sure it will absolutely nothing. Once the letter is finished I'll post it here as well. 

QS_749c6b13af4a4a2fbf41e404dcffe7f4.jpg

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I missed the debate on the Polk building.  I would love to see it restored and incorporated into a new mixed-use development.  However, it seems like one of the worst candidates for historical preservation (though the best candidates are mostly no longer standing).  The exterior of the building has been dramatically altered to the point that it's not immediately recognizable as the original building and extensive damage has occurred also.  I can only imagine the extent of damage to the interior of the building.  Then you have to deal with the aforementioned road issues.  Even though I don't personally think it's a gorgeous building in it's original condition (it's not terrible but it's not the Chrysler building), I'd still love to see a restoration for the sake of history and architectural variety and character.  I just can't imagine a scenario where this will happen....hope I'm wrong.

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