SkyscraperCity banner
1 - 20 of 158 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,172 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Much has been made of the lack of old buildings in downtown Charlotte. So I thought I would do a photo series about the lost old buildings. In this series I will show you the old building that no longer stands and then I will show you what stands in its place today. So lets get started. The old building images are courtesy of the Carolina Room at the Char-Meck Public Library and the UNC-Charlotte Library Special Collections.

Charlotte Auditorium: Built in the late 1800s, demolished in the 1920s.


Today this site is occupied by the Hearst Tower, specically the corner with Blue Restarant.


Stonewall Hotel: Built in 1907, demolished in the 1960s


Southern Railroad Station built in 1905


Both the Stonewall and Southern Station are now a parking lot and the Greyhound bus station, future plans are for this to be the site of Gateway Station


Queen City Hotel: Built in the late 1800s


Now it is home to the International Trade Center and Holiday Inn


Stratford Hotel: Built in 1899


Now it is the site of Zink Restarant and the IJL Tower


Carnegie Library: Built in 1903


Now it is the site of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Public Library


Charlotte's first YMCA: built in 1888


Commercial Bank(tall) built in 1920 and American Trust (short) built in 1910.


The YMCA, Commercial Bank, and American Trust are now the site of the 200 South Tryon office building


Selwyn Hotel built in 1907


Now it is the site of the Marriott Hotel


Realty Building aka Independence Building was built in 1908


Now it is the site of Independence Center office tower


Southern Manufacturers Club built in 1894


Now it is a parking lot


Charlotte second YMCA built in 1909


Now it is the site of the Charlotte Chamber building


United States Post Office built in 1881


Now it is the site of the Charles Jonas Federal Court Building


Mecklenburg County Courthouse built in 1898


Now it is the sight of Wachovia Main and the Atrium


Clayton Hotel built in 1905


Now it is the site of Avenue Condos


Mecklenburg Hotel built in 1914


Now it is a parking lot that in the future will be part of Trinity's new development


Hotel Charlotte built in 1923


Now it is the site of the Carrilon office tower


Charlotte City Hall built in 1890


Now it is the site of the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center


Trust Building built in 1890


Now it is the Johnston Building


Professional Building built in 1924


Now it is Transamerica Sqaure
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,098 Posts
It would've been great to keep those older buildings.
Just think what Charlotte would look like today if it kept all of those historical buildings in addition to the current buildings.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,172 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah if Charlotte was able to keep a lot more of these older buildings plus have all the new buildings that it does....well that would just be totally hot!
 

·
Megalomaniac
Joined
·
4,171 Posts
uptownliving said:
Yeah if Charlotte was able to keep a lot more of these older buildings plus have all the new buildings that it does....well that would just be totally hot!
it would be. oh well...

great thread, thanks.

-
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,319 Posts
EXCELLENT work, uptownliving :eek:kay: While I admire Charlotte's vision and direction, I must say that several of those buildings SHOULD have been preserved. The Southern Manufacturers Club, especially, looks like it was a GREAT building to have. Given there is a parking lot today where that building once stood, it is definitely a big loss. But in all fairness, Charlotteans are doing a good job creating history for their city, instead of [simply] inheriting it. Back to the photos, I am truly happy to see this thread. I was working on a similar thread for the city I am representing, but never completed it :( Keep up the great work. Threads like this are golden ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Looks like what Atlanta has done on a much smaller scale!! there is a book called Atlanta then and Now, so much of Atlantas great old buildings have been torn down to replace with ugly 60's and 70's architecture. Atlanta would truly be much larger and much more unique with todays architecture with its past
 

·
Here come the warm jets
Joined
·
445 Posts
well, i think the nicest of these buildings (e.g. city hall, courthouse) are better off as skyscrapers bc of the locations, but the manufacturer's building would be nice. Love to have em all, of course, but eh, give me a dense skyline. sorry. GREAT thread by the way
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,061 Posts
Many of those old building would cost too much to bring up to today's standards.
The distance between floors was a lot less than today's buildings. If we keeped them all, where would you put todays highrise buildings.
Just because a building is old, does not mean it should be saved it. I am for saving any build that has a historical value and qualitlty of life. As small as uptown Charlotte central city is it would be a hard to save many buildings unless you move the central business area to another area, which would cause more problems.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,845 Posts
I know that there's no way ALL of those buildings could have been saved, but I really do wish at least half of them were standing now, especially The Southern Manufacturers Club and the old railroad depot. But lack of space shouldn't really have been a reason, as uptown Charlotte is really not that dense at all. I would much prefer a varied, denser skyline than a taller skyline.

I understand the expense factor, CLTNC, but keep in mind that the upkeep would have continued throughout the life of the buildings. Several other cities have managed to do so with their older highrises, even converting them to condos, apartments, and hotels. Two of Columbia's oldest highrises are becoming upscale apartments and a 5-star Sheraton, so it's definitely possible.

Oh well, we gotta let bygones be bygones. Thanks for the pics, uptownliving; I was familiar with a few of those buildings, but had no idea where they were located or what replaced them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
147 Posts
krazeeboi said:
as uptown Charlotte is really not that dense at all. I would much prefer a varied, denser skyline than a taller skyline.
Walk down Tryon street from the Ratcliffe to Odell and tell me Uptown isn't very dense. Admittedly only in certain areas, but where it HAS been built up it has the density that some cities envy. College is becoming that way as well, with the Ritz-Carlton, aloft and Epicentre being constructed adjacent to each other.

Back on topic, I can't say I would really mourn the loss of any of those buildings that have already fallen. Sure, they're aesthetically pleasing in design (to some) and provide a window into the past, but Charlotte doesn't have that much history in high-rises to begin with (Most of our history is in finance and textiles, and both businesses and new developments are constantly paying homage to that all across the city), and our older high- and mid-rises were really not all that spectacular. Most would look completely out of place among today's taller skyline, and I'm sure that it would be, at best, a chore to keep their interior and exterior updated enough to be relevant to the needs of Class-A office space and luxury residential, two of the biggest players in Uptown QC, while still preserving their historic character.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,845 Posts
TheCharlottean said:
Walk down Tryon street from the Ratcliffe to Odell and tell me Uptown isn't very dense. Admittedly only in certain areas, but where it HAS been built up it has the density that some cities envy. College is becoming that way as well, with the Ritz-Carlton, aloft and Epicentre being constructed adjacent to each other.
Tryon is only one corridor in Uptown. As a whole, Uptown, inside the loop, really does lack density, as shown by this aerial:



Back on topic, I can't say I would really mourn the loss of any of those buildings that have already fallen. Sure, they're aesthetically pleasing in design (to some) and provide a window into the past, but Charlotte doesn't have that much history in high-rises to begin with (Most of our history is in finance and textiles, and both businesses and new developments are constantly paying homage to that all across the city), and our older high- and mid-rises were really not all that spectacular. Most would look completely out of place among today's taller skyline, and I'm sure that it would be, at best, a chore to keep their interior and exterior updated enough to be relevant to the needs of Class-A office space and luxury residential, two of the biggest players in Uptown QC, while still preserving their historic character.
I really find sentiments like this somewhat amusing, as it basically justifies mistakes the city has made in the past. Now I'm not saying that everything old should still be standing--even Charleston and Savannah didn't preserve every single solitary structure. But compare a city like Richmond to Charlotte. Richmond didn't have much in the way of historic high rises; most of their historic structures are mid- to low-rises, and it adds to the character, charm, and beauty of the city in a very significant way. And on top of that, the city has still managed to build a dense skyline. Although Charlotte is certainly moving forward in the right direction, and has done so for the past few years, the core should be much denser for a city its size. Old structures do not look out of place among shiny new scrapers; as a matter of fact, they complement each other (see: Boston). I find it funny that what is described as a "hassle" and a "chore" in maintaining such buildings, other cities have managed to do quite well in integrating them into their existing urban fabric.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
140 Posts
Actually, I consider the majority of these old buildings that were demolished and replaced by skyscrapers a 'trade up'. Though a few of the buildings were definitely gems, i dont think many of them would really have added much density and/or character to what is already there. Sure cities like richmond have older buildings that add character, but i think the effect seems greater given that the skyline itself isn't that tall/large to begin with.
 

·
Megalomaniac
Joined
·
4,171 Posts
wow, i'm having deja vu...just when we had a lot of good Charlotte threads comes the fanboy boosters. :runaway:

CLTNC said:
Many of those old building would cost too much to bring up to today's standards.
The distance between floors was a lot less than today's buildings. If we keeped them all, where would you put todays highrise buildings.
Just because a building is old, does not mean it should be saved it. I am for saving any build that has a historical value and qualitlty of life. As small as uptown Charlotte central city is it would be a hard to save many buildings unless you move the central business area to another area, which would cause more problems.

TheCharlottean said:
Walk down Tryon street from the Ratcliffe to Odell and tell me Uptown isn't very dense. Admittedly only in certain areas, but where it HAS been built up it has the density that some cities envy. College is becoming that way as well, with the Ritz-Carlton, aloft and Epicentre being constructed adjacent to each other.

Back on topic, I can't say I would really mourn the loss of any of those buildings that have already fallen. Sure, they're aesthetically pleasing in design (to some) and provide a window into the past, but Charlotte doesn't have that much history in high-rises to begin with (Most of our history is in finance and textiles, and both businesses and new developments are constantly paying homage to that all across the city), and our older high- and mid-rises were really not all that spectacular. Most would look completely out of place among today's taller skyline, and I'm sure that it would be, at best, a chore to keep their interior and exterior updated enough to be relevant to the needs of Class-A office space and luxury residential, two of the biggest players in Uptown QC, while still preserving their historic character.

NCtarheel said:
Actually, I consider the majority of these old buildings that were demolished and replaced by skyscrapers a 'trade up'. Though a few of the buildings were definitely gems, i dont think many of them would really have added much density and/or character to what is already there. Sure cities like richmond have older buildings that add character, but i think the effect seems greater given that the skyline itself isn't that tall/large to begin with.
excuses, excuses, excuses, empty juvenile excuses. why have a nice city fabric when we can have shiny offices? there's more to cities than the skyline kiddies. :nuts: :baaa: :gaah: :blahblah:

krazeeboi said:
But compare a city like Richmond to Charlotte. Richmond didn't have much in the way of historic high rises; most of their historic structures are mid- to low-rises, and it adds to the character, charm, and beauty of the city in a very significant way. And on top of that, the city has still managed to build a dense skyline. Although Charlotte is certainly moving forward in the right direction, and has done so for the past few years, the core should be much denser for a city its size. Old structures do not look out of place among shiny new scrapers; as a matter of fact, they complement each other (see: Boston). I find it funny that what is described as a "hassle" and a "chore" in maintaining such buildings, other cities have managed to do quite well in integrating them into their existing urban fabric.
actually, Richmond has some really nice historic high-rises; it has the 2nd tallest pre-WWI skyscraper in the south (Birmingham has the tallest.)

i think Columbia's a better comparison, with age and Columbia's war damage making up for historic discrepancies. Columbia has better center city old urban fabric than Charlotte, and IMO is the more charming, enjoyable city for it.

Charlotte is like an old man divorcing his MILF wife of many years for a hot 18-year-old.

-
 

·
Brooklyn Real Estater
Joined
·
182 Posts
Looks like money-making progress was on the minds of Charlotte's city leaders, rather than historical building preservation. Too many southern cities go down this route. It looks like "out with the old, in with the new progress," but oftentimes cities regret tearing down beautiful buildings like these. What replaces them is most likely gleaming, dominating, stale, and cookie-cutter buildings.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,845 Posts
NCtarheel said:
Sure cities like richmond have older buildings that add character, but i think the effect seems greater given that the skyline itself isn't that tall/large to begin with.
But Richmond's skyline IS rather expansive. Two other cities that have historic mid-rises and high-rises that add character and charm that also have a plethora of modern high-rises would be Philly and Boston. Now I'm not comparing Charlotte's historic stock to that of those two cities, but the two can most certainly peacefully co-exist. If anything, I think Charlotte's skyline would have been denser today if some of those buildings worth saving would have been. This isn't a Charlotte bash-fest or anything, but clearly, this is the one thing that really stands out about the cityscape (at least in Uptown): it's just too freakin' brand new.

BUT, to the city's credit, it has managed to preserve a few of its mills, and even adaptively reuse them--and upkeep and maintenance didn't seem to be too much of an obstacle in converting them for modern use.
 

·
Megalomaniac
Joined
·
4,171 Posts
JorgiPorgi said:
Lsyd,

I guess when nothing is going on in your city, you have to come in on other threads and talk bad about other cities.
ooooooooooooh, defensive, and snobby. :bash:
plenty going on in my city, especially conversion and rehab of many fine old buildings into new uses besides offices.
but if it's not a new skyscraper in CTL, ATL, Houston, or even Miami, very few people here really care. it's thankfully different on skyscraperpage's southern forum.
besides, it takes more time for me to edit photos, especially photos of things other than a skyline, than to copy and paste booster biz journal stories.

-
 
1 - 20 of 158 Posts
Top