The IJL Financial Center is the seventh tallest building in Charlotte at 30 stories, but most people don't know that this birdhouse predates the building itself. Legend has it that the birdhouse actually inspired the building. It's located right in front of Bijoux, a restaurant on the ground level of the building facing Tryon.
Many modern high-rise buildings make up the Charlotte skyline, but the 3 which stand out are those I call "the trinity". The Wachovia building (leftmost), The tallest (871 feet, 266 m.) is The Bank of America building (centre), and the Transamerica building (rightmost) which appears to be rather short and squatty. From some angles, not this particular one, these three buildings appear to be closer together, but on touring Charlotte up close and personally, one can see they are each a good distance apart.
Charlotte is not normally known for its pre-modern structures, but the city hall building is one of the older ones. In the square is a statue honouring its veterans of World War I. Contrasting this comparatively old building is the ultra modern skyline in the background.
Charlotte and surrounding Mecklenburg County, North Carolina make up more than a half million people, so a big police force is needed. There are police precincts all over the county, but the headquarters is located just south of Uptown Charlotte. Across from the headquarters is a memorial garden and monument dedicated to all officers who died in the process of enforcing the people's law.
...but it took one of my distant kinfolks to get it back for the "good guys". Nathanael Greene married Nancy Terry (my grandfather Nathaniel Green Terry was a descendant of Nancy Terry- for whom my mama was named). Nathanael Greene and Nancy Terry Greene lived on a piece of land between South Boston and Halifax, Virginia which is today a public golf course known as Greene's Folly. Enlarge the photo and read the sign.
In a stunning contrast to the two older houses I captured on film in the fourth ward, new flats are springing up everywhere. If you enlarge the photo, pay careful attention to the garden terrace on the penthouse in the upper right. As you think of the difference in architectural style, consider the difference in monthly rent in that building versus the monthly mortgage payment the original owners of those older houses have to pay.
This is the home of Charlotte's main newspaper. Those who disagree with its editorial staff nickname it "The Charlotte Disturber". That nickname is quite popular as the editorial board frequently goes against local political opinion.
This relatively new building is more architecturally inventive than its predecessor some blocks away (still a vacant building). Mark tells me that is most noteworthy feature is the oculus (for those in Roxboro, North Carolina, "oculus" is the Latin word for "eye"). The sun shines through it and forms a ball of light on the floor. All sorts of trade groups and political organisations rent out the use of the convention centre.
As you can see, I'm big on fountains, but at this plaza, the atrium is what stands out over the fountains. If you enlarge the photo, you may see Mark in the process of tying his shoe. At the time this photo was taken, it was called First Union Plaza, but since then (March, 2003), Wachovia merged with First Union and, thus the name of the building changed.
I found 3 things impressive about this park. First, I was impressed by the fountains. Second, I like clocks probably because my late Grandpa Terry built and repaired watches and clocks. Third, I am struck by this old style clock's proximity to the ultra modern Hilton Hotel.
Charlotte's skyline is impressive. This is the Bank of America Tower, which is the highest building in the city at 61 storeys.
I also used to work for Bank of America, so I've spent some time in this building. On the very top is the Corporate Dining Room. Only Senior Executives can make reservations there so it's not open to the public. I've been twice by "special invitation" and it's awesome. Great food and what a view!
Banks have a tendency to change hands via mergers and acquisitions so as of right now this is the Wachovia Atrium (formerly the First Union). In fact, my former employer Bank of America has been through a number of mergers most notably in the late 90s when Nationsbank merged with Bank of America and when Bank of America merged with Fleet Bank of Boston and most recently when BofA purchased MBNA.
The Uptown Library is on the corners or both Tryon and College Streets and 7th. In 1996, it was vote the National Library of the Year. It's a great place to stop and browse or if you're just passing by you can read the great quotes on the pillars out front.
The Charlotte Convention Center is a great facility for business expos and conferences, but it's also worth a peek if you want to see some public art. There are murals lining the walls that depict scenes of Charlotte, but I like the Oculus Reflector in the ceiling that reflects many different facets of light on the floor below. It's by artist Jamie Carpenter.
To avoid the wait and sometimes hazard of crossing the street, not to mention temperature extremes and inclement weather, skyways are a comfortable and convenient way to get from building to building. On this street alone, there are 3 of them.