Having lived in Charlotte for over 30 years I have seen a lot of changes in the skyline. When I arrived in August 1982 they had just imploded the old Independence Building at the Square (this is at the intersection of Trade and Tryon Streets in Center City, or Uptown as the old timers call it!) to prepare for a new building, also named Independence. Some nine years later, I was experimenting with a new SLR camera and took this picture from the corner of Morehead Street at South Church Street:
The newest skyscraper at that time was One First Union Plaza (on the right). At 45 stories, it was the tallest building in town until the 60 story Bank of America building was opened in 1992.
Take a look at Charlotte’s skyline now:
Now the skyline not only includes Charlotte’s two big banks, Bank of America and Wells Fargo (which brought out Wachovia at the beginning of the Great Recession of 2008) but also several high rise apartment buildings including the Vue. Duke Energy, formally Duke Power brought the naming rights to what would have been 5 Wells Fargo at the corner of Tryon and Stonewall Streets giving them a 48 story headquarters tower.
Unfortunately, the price of progress means that a lot of old Charlotte has been erased. Buildings such as the old Masonic Lodge on South Tryon Street at 3rd and Belks’ former flagship store at the square have been lost.
The price of progress doesn’t mean that we have to lose our old buildings. Charlotte is starting to remember that when they re-purpose the old textile mills or save a historic house, but has a long way to go.