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monsoon

New Urbanism Works in Charlotte

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I have lived downtown for a couple years now... and in just the last few years I have noticed a difference in the amount of people downtown after hours....it used to be mainly a weekend thing...now its just about every day of the week. Its a nice change.

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:blink:

It was about time for a Charlotte photo thread! Wow, I was born here and I haven't seen this side of Charlotte before...I was too young to really remember all of this going on. We didn't go downtown much, the only time I went downtown as a kid was to the Old Convention Center with my Dad to the International Car Show that comes once a year. Thanks for posting! Charlotte really has changed DRAMATICALLY.

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Wow!!! Outstanding photos from the past. Some day you will be scared to even look at them :) The transition of Uptown Charlotte from a sleepy center to a more vibrant place is something to cheer about and I must congratulate the city's leaders for making it happen. This was not a small thing, or even simple. As a request, I would like to see photos from the same angles, today, so we can do a "before" and "after" comparison. It doesn't have to be a busy Saturday... just to see how the "landscape" changed.

Thanks a lot for sharing these nice photos, monsoon. I always look forward to your posts ;)

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I was living in Charlotte at this time. It was definately dead after 5 during the week with the exception of the bus line up on trade street every hour or so.

It's also nice to see Charlotte is keeping it's clean image.

Does Charlotte have a entertainment district in uptown?

What type of restaraunts are in the area?

Are there any pictures?

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My girlfriend and I like to go to the Rock Bottom Brewery if we are in the area. :)

I hadn't been to Charlotte at that point, but I have seen many older pictures of it, and its amazing how much the city has changed!

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The only real problem with a lot of the redevelopment is that a lot of the pedestrian scale businesses were replaced with monolithic blank walls. In the early days of NCNB/Nationbank/BofA's redevelopment downtown, the company was very insensitive to the streetscape by not incorporating street level retail into projects. This was a nationwide trend I realize, it just sucks. In recent years, the bank has been very careful to include a lot of retail in most every project it develops. Just look at the Hearst Tower and all the street level space in that structure and compare it to the Corporate center - where all the retail is indoors save one spot at the square.

monsoon, thanks so much for these images, they're really priceless. I have never seen images from this time period in Charlotte.

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My girlfriend and I like to go to the Rock Bottom Brewery if we are in the area. :)

You're making me hungry! I love that place!

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Finally another look down west Trade taken from the square.  Not the best photo in the world, but at least is another view.  I am not sure which tower that is under construction. 

I think it's the Interstate Tower under construction.

(if so Faison was the developer and KPF the architect)

great photos, by the way... i hope you have time to post some more...

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The only real problem with a lot of the redevelopment is that a lot of the pedestrian scale businesses were replaced with monolithic blank walls. In the early days of NCNB/Nationbank/BofA's redevelopment downtown, the company was very insensitive to the streetscape by not incorporating street level retail into projects. This was a nationwide trend I realize, it just sucks. In recent years, the bank has been very careful to include a lot of retail in most every project it develops. Just look at the Hearst Tower and all the street level space in that structure and compare it to the Corporate center - where all the retail is indoors save one spot at the square.

monsoon, thanks so much for these images, they're really priceless. I have never seen images from this time period in Charlotte.

There was an article in the observer this week that said BofA is going to do some renovating at the base of the corporate tower. The plaza facing the square is getting a new a new look that will include an upscale restaurant. So the banks are starting to go back and rethink the older towers and renovate. Also, the Independence Center just across Tryon has done a lot of remodeling too to have stores and bars that open onto the street like Grand Central and Starbucks.

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From a column written by Mayor Pat McCrory about the changes in Charlotte in the past 10 years:

Charlotte/Douglas International Airport was an international airport mostly in name only. Now we have an international concourse that supports 1.3 million passengers and direct flights to 25 international destinations.

Charlotte was not known as a headquarters city, and now we are in the Top 5 cities with headquarters operations for Fortune 500 companies, including such industry leaders as Bank of America, Wachovia, Duke Energy, Goodrich, Continental Tire and key operations of General Dynamics and TIAA-CREF. More impressive is that 100,000 jobs have been created.

Center City was a ghost town after 5 p.m. and on the weekends. Now Center City is alive with 8,500 residents, two grocery stores, incredible restaurants and a vibrant nightlife. Soon we will enjoy the influx of Johnson & Wales' inaugural Charlotte class of 1,200 students. Ten years ago, no one in Charlotte had even heard of Johnson & Wales University.

Central Piedmont Community College was a small, quiet community college. Now it is an education powerhouse that has six campuses and a multitude of offerings in skills and trades and certifications and accreditations.

Earl Village, Dalton Village and Fairview Homes were known for drugs and substandard housing. Now we have rebuilt those crime-ridden housing projects and turned them into neighborhoods that are safe for children and places where families can prosper.

South End, NoDa and Plaza-Midwood were places to be avoided. Now they are revitalizing and have become desirable neighborhoods.

Murder claimed 122 victims in 1993. We have almost cut that in half to 66 homicides in 2003.

The city's property tax rate was 46 cents per $100 valuation. Now it is 42 cents per $100 valuation.

The Charlotte Trolley was a small, grass-roots effort. Now we are helping to give Charlotteans more job access and mobility with a comprehensive transportation system that will include light rail.

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