Charlotte, North Carolina
Learn more about Charlotte, North Carolina
|Charlotte, North Carolina|
|Nickname: ""The Queen City," "Hornet's Nest""|
|Mecklenburg County in the state of North Carolina|
|Counties||Mecklenburg County, North Carolina|
|Mayor||Pat McCrory, (R)|
|- City||280.5 mi² - 629.0 km²|
|- Land||279.9 mi² - 627.5 km²|
|- Water||0.6 mi² - 1.6 km²|
|- City (2005)||610,949|
|Time zone||EST (UTC-5)|
|- Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
Charlotte is the largest city in North Carolina and the 18th largest in the United States, with a population of approximately 610,949 (2005 estimate). The Charlotte metropolitan area (MSA) had a 2006 estimated population of 1,794,799. As of 2005, Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord (referred to locally as "Metrolina") had a combined statistical area (CSA) population of 2,420,745. The city is at the center of one of the fastest growing metropolitan regions in the United States, with an average influx of roughly 40,000 newcomers each year over the past decade, and over 80,000 in the year 2005. Charlotte has become a truly diverse city.
Charlotte is the county seat of Mecklenburg CountyGR6, and is located in south-central North Carolina, near the South Carolina border. Nicknamed The Queen City (which it shares with Cincinnati, Ohio), Charlotte was named in honor of Queen Charlotte, wife of King George III of United Kingdom. After being driven out by the fierce opposition of the city's citizens to British occupation during the American Revolution, General Cornwallis famously wrote Charlotte was "a hornet's nest of rebellion." A resident of Charlotte is referred to as a Charlottean (IPA: [ˌʃaɹləˈtʰiːən).
Charlotte was founded in the mid-18th century at the intersection of two Native American trading paths, one of which ran north-south Great Wagon Road, followed closely today by U.S. Route 21, and a second that ran east-west along what is now modern-day Trade Street. In the early part of the 18th century, the Great Wagon Road led settlers of Scots-Irish (who were mostly Presbyterian and founded many churches) and German descent from Pennsylvania into the Carolina foothills. The majority of the churches in Charlotte are still Presbyterian. Charlotte has been called "The City of Trees" and "The City of Churches".
In 1755, early settler Thomas Polk (uncle of United States President James K. Polk) built his house at the crossroads of a Native American trading path and the Great Wagon Road, which subsequently became the village of "Charlotte Town," incorporated in 1768. The crossroads, perched atop a long rise in the piedmont landscape, is the heart of modern Uptown Charlotte. The trading path became Trade Street, and the Great Wagon Road became Tryon Street, in honor of William Tryon, a royal governor of colonial North Carolina. The intersection of Trade and Tryon is known as "The Square" or simply "Trade & Tryon."
Both the city and its county are named for Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, the German-born wife of British King George III. Loyalty to King George and his consort was "short-lived". On May 20, 1775, townsmen allegedly signed a proclamation later known as the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence, a copy of which was allegedly sent, though never officially presented, to the Continental Congress a year later. There is no generally accepted historic proof of the document, and some doubt it ever existed, yet the supposed date of the Declaration appears on North Carolina's state flag), and 11 days later the same townsmen met to create and endorse the Mecklenburg Resolves, a set of laws to govern the newly independent town.
Charlotte was a site of encampment for both American and British armies during the Revolutionary War, and during a series of skirmishes between British troops and Charlotteans the village earned the lasting nickname "Hornet's Nest" from frustrated Lord General Charles Cornwallis. An ideological hotbed of revolutionary sentiment during the Revolutionary War and for some time afterwards, the legacy endures today in the nomenclature of such landmarks as Independence Boulevard, Independence High School, Independence Center, Freedom Park, Freedom Drive, and the former NBA team Charlotte Hornets.
In 1799, 12 year-old Conrad Reed brought home a rock weighing about 17 pounds, which the family used as a bulky doorstop for three years before it was recognized by a jeweler as near solid gold and bought for a paltry $3.50 . The first verified gold-find in the fledgling United States, young Reed's discovery became the genesis of the nation's first gold rush. Many veins of gold were found in the area throughout the 1800s and even in to the early 1900s, thus the founding of the Charlotte Mint in 1837 for minting local gold. The state of North Carolina "led the nation in gold production until the California Gold Rush of 1848" , although the total volume of gold mined in the Charlotte area was dwarfed by subsequent rushes. Some locally based groups still pan for gold occasionally in local (mostly rural) streams and creeks. The Reed Gold Mine operated until 1912. The Charlotte Mint was active until 1861, when Confederate forces seized the mint at the outbreak of the Civil War. The mint was not reopened at the end of the war, but the building survives today, albeit in a different location, now housing the Mint Museum of Art.
The city's first boom came after the Civil War, as a cotton processing center and a railroad hub. Population leapt again during World War I, when the U.S. government established Camp Greene north of present-day Wilkinson Boulevard. Many soldiers and suppliers stayed after the war, launching an ascent that eventually overtook older and more established rivals along the arc of the Carolina piedmont.
The city's modern-day banking industry achieved prominence in the 1970s and 1980s, largely under the leadership of financier Hugh McColl. McColl transformed North Carolina National Bank (NCNB) into a formidable national player that, through a series of aggressive acquisitions, eventually became Bank of America. Another bank, First Union, experienced similar growth, and is now known as Wachovia. Today, measured by control of assets, Charlotte is the second largest banking headquarters in the United States after New York City.
Charlotte's penchant for looking ahead -- a drive for economic development that kicked into particularly high gear during the mid-to-late 20th century -- led to the destruction of a series of landmark buildings as the city's downtown expanded. Historically-driven preservationists often struggle to maintain old-city landmarks in the face of modern-minded boosters.
Famous natives of Charlotte include evangelist Billy Graham, R&B singer Nick Cannon, pop music stars K-Ci and JoJo of Jodeci, R&B singer Anthony Hamilton, R&B singer Sunshine Anderson, pro wrestler Ric Flair, actor Randolph Scott, U.S. Presidents James K. Polk (Pineville) and Andrew Jackson (born near the line between North and South Carolina), independent filmmaker Ross McElwee, humorist Rich Hall, film critic Molly Haskell, musican Prairie Prince, artists Romare Bearden and Ben Long, actress Berlinda Tolbert (of "The Jeffersons") and Emmy-nominated actress Sharon Lawrence ("NYPD Blue"). Novelist Carson McCullers wrote her best-known work, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, while a resident of the city, and W.J. Cash wrote his seminal "The Mind of the South" in a downtown apartment building.
 Geography and climate
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 242.9 square miles (629 square kilometers). Out of that, 242.3 sq. mi. (627.5 km²) of it is land and 0.6 sq. mi. (1.6 km²) of it is water. The total area is 0.25% water.
Charlotte constitutes most of Mecklenburg County in the Carolina Piedmont. Uptown Charlotte, so named because it sits atop a long rise between two creeks, was built on the gunnies of the St. Catherine's and Rudisill gold mines.
Charlotte is located in North America's humid subtropical climate zone. The city has mild winters and hot, humid summers. In January, morning lows average around 0 °C (32 °F) and afternoon highs average 11 °C (51 °F). In July, lows average 22 °C (71 °F) and highs average 32 °C (90 °F). The highest recorded temperature was 40 °C (104 °F) on September 6, 1954 . The lowest recorded temperature was -21 °C (-5 °F) in January 1985. Charlotte's location puts it in the direct path of subtropical moisture from the Gulf as it heads up the eastern seaboard along the jet stream, thus the city receives ample precipitation throughout the year but also a very large number of clear, sunny, and pleasantly warm days. On average, Charlotte receives about 1105.3 mm (43.52 in) of precipitation annually, including some Winter snow and more frequent ice-storms due to its inland location.
In 1989, the city took a direct hit from Hurricane Hugo. Passing through Charlotte with wind gusts over 160 km/h (100 mph), Hugo caused massive property damage and knocked out power to ninety eight percent of the population. Many residents were without power for several weeks and cleanup took months to complete. Being a city far inland- residents, city government and the utilities were not prepared to handle such a powerful hurricane. Over 80,000 trees were destroyed in Charlotte.
In December 2002, Charlotte (and much of central North Carolina) was hit by a massive ice storm that knocked out power to over 1.2 million Duke Power customers. According to a Duke Energy representative: "This ice storm surpasses the damage from Hurricane Hugo in 1989, which had 696,000 outages." During an abnormally cold December, many were without power for more than two weeks.
|Avg high [°C](°F)||11 (51)||13 (56)||18 (64)||23 (73)||27 (80)||31 (87)||32 (90)||31 (88)||28 (82)||23 (73)||17 (63)||12 (54)||22 (72)|
|Avg low temperature [°C](°F)||0 (32)||1 (34)||6 (42)||9 (49)||14 (58)||19 (66)||22 (71)||21 (69)||17 (63)||11(51)||6 (42)||2 (35)||11 (51)|
|Rainfall (millimeters)(inches)||101.6 (4.00)||90.2 (3.55)||111.5 (4.39)||74.9 (2.95)||93.0 (2.66)||86.9 (3.42)||96.3 (3.79)||94.5 (3.72)||97.3 (3.83)||93.0 (3.66)||85.3 (3.36)||80.8 (3.18)||1105.3 (43.52)|
- Uptown The center of Charlotte is known as Uptown but locals still call it downtown. In the 19th century, Uptown was divided into four political wards, and today the First and Fourth Wards are largely residential, with Fourth Ward housing the majority of Charlotte's remaining 19th century Queen Anne architecture. At the center of Uptown is the Square, the intersection of Trade and Tryon Streets and the point at which all four wards converge. Uptown is home to the majority of the city's skyscrapers, as well as Bank of America Stadium (home of the Carolina Panthers) and the Charlotte Bobcats Arena. Johnson & Wales University, the Museum of the New South, Discovery Place, and the Mint Museum of Craft + Design are also located Uptown, along with the government district for both Mecklenburg County and the City of Charlotte. Uptown Charlotte is currently in the midst of a construction and developmental boom, with numerous high-rise buildings under construction, as well as major retail and cultural projects.
- University City comprises northeastern Charlotte. If autonomous, "University", as it is commonly known, would be one of North Carolina's largest cities, with nearly 200,000 residents. The primarily suburban University City is the home of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte as well as University Research Park, a 3,200 acre (13 km²) research and industrial park. The outer edge of University City stretches into Cabarrus County and is also home to Lowe's Motor Speedway and the state's largest tourist attraction, Concord Mills.
- South End takes its name from South Boulevard, its main thoroughfare, and its location just south of Uptown. An area of light industry and cotton mills for much of its history, today its former industrial buildings and mills are loft condominiums, restaurants, breweries, shops, and offices. Charlotte's historic trolley also originates in the neighborhood.
- Dilworth, Charlotte's first streetcar suburb, was developed in the 1890s on 250 acres (1 km²) southwest of the original city limits and included the Joseph Forsyth Johnson designed Latta Park. Planned largely with a grid pattern similar to the city's original four wards, it was initially designated the Eighth Ward. Centered on East Boulevard, today Dilworth is popular with Charlotte's young professionals drawn to its historic turn of the century architecture and traditional neighborhood feel.
- Elizabeth takes its name from Elizabeth College, a small Lutheran women’s college founded in 1897 on the present-day site of Presbyterian Hospital. Elizabeth began to develop rapidly after 1902, when a trolley line was completed, and was annexed in 1907. Home of Independence Park, the first public park in the city, Elizabeth became one of the most fashionable residential areas in Charlotte in its early days.
- Myers Park is populated by some of the city's oldest and largest houses. Myers Park's streets are lined with towering oaks, the remaining originals of which were raised on James B. Duke's New Jersey estate before being transplanted to the new development. Designed by John Nolen of Boston in 1911, Myers Park was initially a "streetcar suburb" whose residents commuted to town via electric trolley. Nolen discarded the original grid street pattern of Uptown and Dilworth and instead planned curving avenues following the area’s topography. Myers Park is largely a product of the building boom of the 1920s.
- Starmount is a residential neighborhood in the South Boulevard area of South Charlotte. Bounded by Archdale Drive to the north, Starbrook Drive to the south, Old Pineville Road to the west and Park Road to the east, Starmount was one of several Charlotte communities built by developer Charles Ervin  in the late 1950s and 1960s. Consisting of nearly 1,400 individual homes, Starmount is the largest established neighborhood in the South Charlotte area.
- Plaza-Midwood was conceived as a complement to nearby Myers Park; beginning in the 1990s it enjoyed a revival that has made it a sought-after, more bohemian alternative to other higher-priced city neighborhoods. It also has a significant gay and lesbian population.
- SouthPark, located in south central Charlotte, is both an upscale residential and commercial neighborhood. The area's name derives from the fashionable SouthPark Mall, located at the intersection of Sharon and Fairview Roads. Luxury retailers such as Louis Vuitton, Neiman Marcus, Juicy Couture, J.Crew, Ralph Lauren, St.John, Billy Reid, Burberry, Nordstrom, and Tiffany & Co. are found there.
- Eastland, developed primarily during the 1960s and 70s, comprises a majority of the city's east side, including the namesake Eastland Mall. Changing demographics have made Eastland home to one of Charlotte's larger Latino communities.
- Ballantyne is a planned mixed-use development that has grown exponentially in recent years and lies in the southernmost part of Charlotte, along the North and South Carolina border. Like SouthPark, Ballantyne has a high concentration of both impressive homes and commercial development.
- The Arboretum is situated a few miles south of central Charlotte, along Pineville-Matthews Road, and was developed primarily around the Arboretum Shopping Center. The area is home to Providence Plantation, Hembstead, and the country club community of Raintree.
- NoDa is the city's "arts district" on and around North Davidson Street, located a mile northeast of Uptown. Formerly an area of textile manufacturing and mill workers' residences, the area has also served as a center for the arts. The name "NoDa" was coined by architect Russell Pound.
- Steele Creek encompasses a large area of the southwestern part of Mecklenburg County formerly rural and residential but now rapidly approaching total annexation, especially after the completion of the western leg of I-485 through the area. Generally the entire area south of Charlotte-Douglas Airport and west of Sugar Creek and I-77 is referred to as Steele Creek. Approximately 72% of its 25,282 residents now fall within the boundaries of the city of Charlotte.
- Biddleville, west of Uptown, is home to Johnson C. Smith University, a historically black college once called the Biddle Institute. Biddleville arose as a supporting community of the Institute and was distinctly separate from Charlotte.
- Derita is located north of I-85 and south of W.T. Harris Blvd and is generally centered on West Sugar Creek Road between North Graham Street and Nevin Road
 Metropolitan area
The Combined Statistical Area of Charlotte-Gastonia-Salisbury, NC-SC, has a population, as of the 2005 census estimate, of 2,420,745.
The population of the City of Charlotte was 599,359 according to the US Census 2004 Estimate. Due to recent annexations and an influx of newcomers, the city's population has risen to 710,949. The Charlotte metropolitan area, formerly known as the Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord MSA (metropolitan statistical area), extends across 2 states (North Carolina and South Carolina), and includes the following counties:
Suburban towns located within 30 miles of uptown Charlotte include:
- Belmont, NC (NW)
- Clover, SC (SW)
- Concord, NC (NE)
- Cornelius, NC (N)
- Davidson, NC (N)
- Dallas, NC (W)
- Fort Mill, SC (S)
- Gastonia, NC (W)
- Harrisburg, NC (NE)
- Huntersville, NC (N)
- Indian Trail, NC (SE)
- Kings Mountain, NC (W)
- Lake Wylie, SC (S)
- Lowell, NC (W)
- Matthews, NC (SE)
- Mint Hill, NC (E)
- Monroe, NC (SE)
- Mooresville, NC (N)
- Mt. Holly, NC (NW)
- Pineville, NC (S)
- Rock Hill, SC (S)
- Shelby, NC (W)
- Stallings, NC (SE)
- Waxhaw, NC (SE)
- Weddington, NC (SE)
- York, SC (SW)
Charlotte has become a major U.S. financial center, and both the nation's second largest (based on assets) (Bank of America) and fourth largest (Wachovia) financial institutions call the city home. Their headquarters, along with other regional banking and financial services companies, are located primarily in the uptown financial district. Thanks in large part to the expansion of the city's banking industry, the Charlotte skyline has mushroomed in the past two decades and boasts the Bank of America Corporate Center, the tallest skyscraper between Philadelphia and Atlanta. The 60-story postmodern gothic tower, designed by renowned architect Cesar Pelli, stands 871 feet tall and was completed in 1992. During the year 2006, Bank of America passed Citigroup to become the largest finacial services company in the world, based on market capitalisation.
- Bank of America
- Duke Energy
- Family Dollar
- Goodrich Corporation
- Sonic Automotive
- SPX Corporation
Other major companies headquartered in Charlotte include Time Warner Cable (a business unit of Fortune 500 company Time Warner), Belk, Meineke Car Care Centers, Carlisle Companies, LendingTree, Compass Group USA and Royal+SunAlliance.
Charlotte is also a major center in the American motorsports industry, with NASCAR having multiple offices in and around Charlotte. Approximately 75% of the industry's employees and drivers are based within two hours of downtown Charlotte. Charlotte is also the future home of the NASCAR Hall of Fame, expected to be completed in 2009. The center city/uptown area of Charlotte has seen remarkable growth over the last decade. Numerous residential units continue to be built uptown. Many new restaurants, bars and clubs now operate in the uptown area. The growth of Charlotte and the surrounding area continues to accelerate every year.
 Colleges and universities
- Central Piedmont Community College
- Charlotte School of Law
- Johnson & Wales University
- Johnson C. Smith University
- Kings College
- Pfeiffer University at Charlotte
- Queens University of Charlotte
- University of North Carolina at Charlotte
- Wake Forest University (Babcock MBA campus)
 For-profit universities
- The Art Institutes (a Charlotte campus)
- DeVry University (a Charlotte campus)
- Strayer University (two Charlotte campuses)
- University of Phoenix (a Charlotte campus)
 Private schools
- Al-Huda Islamic Academy
- Charlotte Catholic High School
- Charlotte Christian
- Covenant Day School
- Charlotte Country Day School
- Charlotte Jewish Day School
- Charlotte Latin School
- Charlotte Preparatory School
- Holy Trinity Catholic Middle School
- Northside Christian Academy
- Providence Day School
- SouthLake Christian Academy
- Trinity Episcopal School
- Victory Christian Center School
 Public schools
 Law, government and politics
Charlotte is the county seat of Mecklenburg County. The current mayor of Charlotte is Pat McCrory, of the Republican Party. McCrory has served as mayor since his election in 1995. Charlotte holds elections for mayor every two years, with the next election in 2007; there is no term limit.
 Charlotte City Council
- Pat Mumford (Republican)
- Susan Burgess (Democrat)
- John Lassiter (Republican)
- Anthony Foxx (Democrat)
- 1 (Central): Patsy Kinsey (Democrat)
- 2 (Northwest): James Mitchell, Jr. (Democrat)
- 3 (West): Warren Turner (Democrat)
- 4 (Northeast): Michael Barnes (Democrat)
- 5 (East): Nancy Carter (Democrat)
- 6 (South-central): Andy Dulin (Republican)
- 7 (Deep South): Don Lochman (Republican)
 People and culture
|Historical populations <ref>Gibson, Campbell (June 1998). Population of the 100 Largest Cities and Other Urban Places in the United States: 1790 to 1990. U.S. Bureau of the Census - Population Division.</ref>|
As of 2005, census estimates show there are 710,949 people living within Charlotte's city limits, and 896,372 in Mecklenburg County. The county's population is projected to break 1 million in 2010.
Figures from the more comprehensive 2000 census show Charlotte's population density to be 861.9/km² (2,232.4/mi²). There are 230,434 housing units at an average density of 367.2/km² (951.2/mi²).
The city's breakdown by race is as follows:
- 58.26% White
- 32.72% Black or African American
- 7.36% Hispanic or Latino of any race
- 3.41% Asian [including Indians (largely Gujarati), Chinese, and Vietnamese]
- 0.34% Native American
- 0.05% Pacific Islander
- 3.56% from other races
- 1.66% from two or more races.
The median income for a household in the city is $46,975, and the median income for a family is $56,517. Males have a median income of $38,767 versus $29,218 for females. The per capita income for the city is $26,823. 10.6% of the population and 7.8% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 13.8% of those under the age of 18 and 9.7% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.
The birthplace of Billy Graham, Charlotte was and still is locally known as the "The City of Churches." Of those who practice a religion, most Charlotteans are Christians of various Protestant denominations. Throughout much of its history Presbyterian churches were the most prominent in Charlotte (Charlotte is the historic seat of Southern Presbyterianism), but the changing demographics of the city's rapidly increasing population have brought scores of new denominations and faiths to the city. The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Wycliffe Bible Translators' JAARS Center, and the SIM Missions Organization also make their homes in Charlotte. In total, Charlotte proper lays claim to more than 700 places of worship.
The Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America is headquartered in Charlotte, and both Reformed Theological Seminary and Gordon Conwell Seminary have campuses there; more recently, the Religious Studies academic departments of Charlotte's local colleges and universities have also grown considerably.
Charlotte is the see of the bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte. The largest Christian congregation within Charlotte is that of St. Matthew Catholic Church.
The African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church (AME Zion) is headquartered in Charlotte.
Jewish synagogues (Temple Beth El, Reform, Temple Israel, Conservative, Ohr HaTorah, Lubavitch, Havurat Tikvah, Reconstructionist, and a Charlotte Torah Center congregation) are located in or adjacent to Shalom Park on Providence Road. In recent decades, Judaism has thrived in Charlotte and the Carolinas  , with local Jews such as Leon Levine and Herman Blumenthal  making huge charitable and philanthropic contributions to the city and surrounding regions.
The Charlotte area has five mosques: The Islamic Society of Greater Charlotte, Islamic Center of Charlotte, Masjid Ash-Shaheed, South Musallah, and the Islamic Society of Gastonia.
Hindus meet at the Hindu Center or the Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) temple.
The dominant newspaper in the region is The Charlotte Observer. Charlotte is also served by a local edition of the Greensboro based Rhinoceros Times along with the Atlanta based Creative Loafing. The Charlotte Post, is the city's African American newspaper.
- WBTV, Channel 3 (CBS affiliate)
- WSOC-TV, Channel 9 (ABC affiliate)
- WHKY-TV, Channel 14 (Independent)
- WUNE-TV, Channel 17 (PBS/UNCTV affiliate)
- WCCB-TV, Channel 18 (FOX affiliate)
- WNSC-TV, Channel 30 (PBS/SCETV affiliate)
- WCNC-TV, Channel 36 (NBC affiliate)
- WTVI, Channel 42 (PBS affiliate)
- WJZY-TV, Channel 46 (The CW affiliate)
- WMYT-TV, Channel 55 (My Network TV affiliate)
- WUNG-TV, Channel 58 (PBS/UNCTV affiliate)
- WAXN-TV, Channel 64 (Independent)
Charlotte is home to three nationally/internationally available cable television networks:
The metro area is also served locally by a 24-hour cable news channel, News 14 Carolina, available on Time Warner Cable.
Carolina Place Mall opened in the early 1990s and is located about 12 miles south of uptown in suburban Pineville, North Carolina. Carolina Place offers over 1.1 million square feet of retail, and its proximity to the South Carolina border draws many shoppers from the Palmetto state.
Concord Mills is a sprawling retail and entertainment outlet mall about 10 miles northeast of uptown. Concord Mills has over 200 outlet stores and a 24 screen theater within its nearly one-mile interior circumference and is North Carolina's largest tourist attraction.
Eastland Mall was constructed in the mid-1970s as an alternative to then five-year-old SouthPark Mall, its claim to fame being an indoor skating rink in its central atrium. While SouthPark flourished and transformed itself into the region's source for high-end merchandise, Eastland experienced a general decline over the years with many stores vacating the mall. Efforts to reinvigorate the mall and surrounding area are currently being discussed.
Northlake Mall opened in 2005 and is located 8 miles north of Uptown. Northlake was built to serve the population of rapidly growing north Charlotte and University City, as well as the nearby suburbs of Davidson and Huntersville. Northlake features a variety of both upscale and conventional retailers.
SouthPark Mall, the region's most upscale shopping center, is located about 5 miles south of uptown. SouthPark has over 125 stores, many of which are unique in the Carolinas, including Tiffany & Co., Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Neiman Marcus, and Kate Spade.
 Sites of interest
- The Carolina Renaissance Festival
- Afro-American Cultural Center, preserves, promotes and presents African-American art, history and culture
- Bank of America Stadium, home of the Carolina Panthers
- Benedictine College and Monastery, on the historic registry for the college, the monastery and grotto
- Blumenthal Performing Arts Centre
- Carolinas Aviation Museum, dedicated to the preservation of historic aircraft
- Carolina Raptor Center, dedicated to the conservation and rehabilitation of birds of prey
- Charlotte Bobcats Arena
- Charlotte Convention Center
- The Charlotte Museum of History
- Children's Theatre of Charlotte, one of the top youth theatres in the country
- Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, a 111 acre (0.5 km²) botanical garden located just west of Charlotte in Belmont
- Discovery Place, a science museum and IMAX Dome theater
- Historic Latta Plantation, a cotton plantation turned living history farm
- Historic Rosedale Plantation
- Historic Rural Hill Farm
- ImaginOn, cutting-edge educational children's library and theater
- Kings Mountain National Military Park, the site of a decisive Revolutionary War battle, located approximately 30 miles (50 km) west of Charlotte in Blacksburg, SC.
- The Levine Museum of the New South
- Lowe's Motor Speedway
- The Mint Museums, two separate facilities, one dedicated to fine art and the other to craft and design
- Paramount's Carowinds, regional amusement park located on the border of North and South Carolina
- Reed Gold Mine, site of the first gold find in the United States
- U.S. National Whitewater Center, state of the art facility opened in August 2006.
- University of North Carolina at Charlotte Botanical Gardens
- Wing Haven Gardens and Bird Sanctuary
<tr bgcolor="#ADADAD"> <td width="300px">Club</td> <td width="120px" align="left">Sport</td> <td width="75px" align="left">Founded</td> <td width="270px" align="left">League</td> <td width="180px" align="left">Venue</td> <td width="50px" align="left">Logo</td> </tr>
<td width="250px">Charlotte RFC</td> <td width="120px" align="left">Rugby Union</td> <td width="75px" align="left">1971</td> <td width="270px" align="left">USA Super League</td> <td width="180px" align="left">Skillbeck Athletic Grounds</td> <td width="50px" align="left">Image:Oldeoriginal beer.jpg</td>
<td width="250px">Charlotte Knights</td> <td width="120px" align="left">Baseball</td> <td width="75px" align="left">1976</td> <td width="270px" align="left">IL</td> <td width="180px" align="left">Knights Stadium, Fort Mill</td> <td width="50px" align="left">Image:CharlotteKnightslogo.jpg</td>
<td width="250px">Carolina Panthers</td> <td width="120px" align="left">Football</td> <td width="75px" align="left">1993</td> <td width="270px" align="left">NFL</td> <td width="180px" align="left">Bank of America Stadium</td> <td width="50px" align="left">Image:CarolinaPanthers 100.png</td>
<td width="250px">Charlotte Checkers</td> <td width="120px" align="left">Ice Hockey</td> <td width="75px" align="left">1993</td> <td width="270px" align="left">ECHL</td> <td width="180px" align="left">Charlotte Bobcats Arena</td> <td width="50px" align="left">Image:CharlotteCheckers.PNG</td>
<td width="250px">Charlotte Eagles &
Charlotte Lady Eagles</td> <td width="120px" align="left">Soccer</td> <td width="75px" align="left">1993</td> <td width="270px" align="left">USL-2
W-League</td> <td width="180px" align="left">Waddell Stadium</td> <td width="50px" align="left">Image:Charlotte-eagles.jpg</td>
<td width="250px">Charlotte Sting</td> <td width="120px" align="left">Basketball</td> <td width="75px" align="left">1997</td> <td width="270px" align="left">WNBA</td> <td width="180px" align="left">Charlotte Bobcats Arena</td> <td width="50px" align="left">Image:CharlotteSting 100.png</td>
<td width="250px">Charlotte Bobcats</td> <td width="120px" align="left">Basketball</td> <td width="75px" align="left">2004</td> <td width="270px" align="left">NBA</td> <td width="180px" align="left">Charlotte Bobcats Arena</td> <td width="50px" align="left">Image:Charlotte Bobcats logo.png</td>
Charlotte is home to the NFL's Carolina Panthers, which debuted in the league in 1995. The Panthers play in Bank of America Stadium, located in Uptown. The team won the NFC Championship of the 2003-2004 NFL season when it beat the Philadelphia Eagles, 14-3, in Philadelphia. In Super Bowl XXXVIII on Feb. 1, 2004, the Panthers were defeated, 32-29, by the New England Patriots. They have been in two other NFC Championship games: in 1996 (their second year) and 2006.
Charlotte was home to the World Football League's Charlotte Hornets during 1974 and 1975. The city has also been home to two Arena Football League teams, the Charlotte Rage and Carolina Cobras. The NCAA football Meineke Car Care Bowl is played annually in December at Bank of America Stadium.
From 1988 to 2002, Charlotte hosted an NBA franchise named the Charlotte Hornets. The franchise relocated to New Orleans, Louisiana in 2002 after bitter animosity between the team's fans and principal owner George Shinn led to slumping attendance and ill feelings towards the Hornets.
The WNBA Charlotte Sting have played in Charlotte since 1997. Charlotte is home to the Charlotte Eagles of the United Soccer Leagues and plays host to the annual Wachovia Championship, an increasingly prestigious stop on the PGA Tour.
Charlotte is the hub of stock car racing, with major races being held at nearby Lowe's Motor Speedway, considered by most fans and participants in the sport to be NASCAR's 'home track'. A vast majority of NASCAR teams and race shops are located within 40 miles of Charlotte, and most NASCAR drivers maintain a residence in or near the city. Seventy-three percent of American motorsports employees are based within two hours of downtown Charlotte. The NASCAR Hall of Fame is set to open in Charlotte in early 2009.
Baseball has a long, rich history in the Queen City, dating back to 1901 when the Charlotte Hornets were formed. The Triple-A Charlotte Knights, the top minor league affiliate of the Chicago White Sox, currently call the Charlotte area home (the team's stadium is located in nearby Fort Mill, South Carolina).
Charlotte is on the list of cities that the Florida Marlins are considering for relocation; team officials are expected to visit the city in late February or early March 2006 to discuss a move with city leaders and consider a plan to build a privately-funded stadium downtown. But city leaders stated as of April that they would not fund or support any attempt to bring the Florida Marlins to Charlotte.
Via the Hartford Wolf Pack and Binghamton Senators of the AHL, the Charlotte Checkers of the ECHL are a farm team for the NHL's New York Rangers and Ottawa Senators respectively. The Charlotte Checkers now play at the new Charlotte Bobcats Arena. Additionally, Charlotte is also home to a professional inline hockey team, the The Charlotte Outlawz.
Charlotte is home to the headquarters of the Big South Conference despite having no schools playing in the Big South (although near-by schools Winthrop University, from Rock Hill, South Carolina (full), and Gardner-Webb University, from Boiling Springs, North Carolina (football only) are members).
Sports Venues in Metrolina
In general, the occurrence of crime in Charlotte has been decreasing in recent years, as has crime nationally. According to the FBI's Uniform Crime Reports, violent crimes have dropped from a rate of 1630 occurrences per 100,000 population in 1997 to 1099 occurrences per 100,000 population in 2004 The violent crime rate has decreased steadily from 1997 to 2004, though the 2004 rate was slightly higher than the 2003 rate (1099 compared to 1077). From 1997 to 2002 property crime dropped from 7,779 occurrences per 100,000 population to 6,340 occurrences per 100,000 population. However, since then the rate has risen to 7090 occurrences per 100,000 population as of 2004, a trend not seen in the national statistics. In 2005 Charlotte had 85 homicides.
Direct comparisons to national crime rates are difficult as many different urbanization levels are present across the country. Compared to other cities with population from 500,000 to 999,999 for 2005, Charlotte's crime is higher than average. The average for cities in this category was 927 violent crimes per 100,000 population and 5968 property crimes per 100,000 population. Morgan Quitno ranks Charlotte as the 8th most dangerous city in the nation with a population greater than 500,000.
 Mass Transit
The Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) operates historical trolleys, express shuttles and bus service serving Charlotte and its immediate suburbs. The 2025 Corridor System Plan looks to upgrade Charlotte's public transportation by supplementing its established bus service with light rail & commuter rail lines called 'Lynx'. Lynx is designed to carry passengers along five key corridors at a total cost of over $1.7 billion, recently revised upwards to $6 billion. CATS has begun work on the $426.8 million light rail line which will run from downtown to suburban Pineville with service scheduled to begin in 2007. Plans for the Lynx and commuter rail network will link uptown Charlotte with its immediate suburbs along four additional key corridors.
Charlotte/Douglas International Airport is the 17th busiest airport in the US. It is served by many international and domestic airlines, and is the largest hub of US Airways. American Airlines, Air Canada, Continental, Delta, Northwest, United, AirTran, Jet Blue and Lufthansa are some of the major carriers that serve the airport. Nonstop flights are available to many destinations across the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, Latin America and Canada.
Charlotte's central location between the population centers of the northeast and southeast has made it a transportation focal point and primary distribution center, with two major interstate highways, I-85 and I-77, intersecting near the city's center. Charlotte's beltway, designated I-485 and nicknamed the "Outerbelt", is partially completed but stalled for funding. The new projection has it slated for completion by 2013. Upon completion, the Outerbelt will have a total circumference of approximately 67 miles (108 km). Within the city, the I-277 loop freeway encircles Charlotte's downtown (usually referred to by its two separate sections, the John Belk Freeway and the Brookshire Freeway) while Charlotte Route 4 links major roads in a loop between I-277 and I-485.
 Intercity rail
Amtrak's Crescent and Carolinian and Piedmont trains connect Charlotte with New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, Richmond, and Raleigh to the north, and Atlanta, Birmingham and New Orleans to the south. The Amtrak station is located at 1914 North Tryon Street.
CATS (Charlotte Area Transportation System) is currently constructing light rail lines connecting Uptown and Pineville, with more routes in the planning stages.
 Notable people associated with Charlotte
All people listed below are or have previously been residents of Charlotte, unless otherwise indicated.
 Arts, Literature, Humanities and Entertainment
- Romare Bearden, famed artist
- Ben Browder, actor Farscape and Stargate SG-1
- Phillip Bush, American classical pianist
- David L Cook, Christian Recording Star, comedian
- Harry Golden, author
- Billy Graham, evangelist
- Anthony Hamilton, R&B singer
- Kwame Jackson, runner-up in the first season of "The Apprentice"
- Renneker Jenkins, actor
- Travis Jeppesen, author
- K-Ci and JoJo of 1990's R&B group Jodeci
- Sharon Lawrence, Hollywood actress, most known from NYPD Blue
- Ben Long, internationally-renowned artist, most known for his fresco work and his drawings
- Carson McCullers, author
- Si Kahn, singer-songwriter and activist (resident of Charlotte)
- Kathy Reichs, anthropologist and author
- James B. McMillan, Federal judge who ruled in favor of School busing to integrate Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools
- John Shelby Spong, retired Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark, noted author, lecturer, and theologian
- Erskine Bowles, served as Chief of Staff in Clinton White House
- Cheris F. Hodges, author
- ALTonya Washington, author
 Politics, Law and the Military
- Chris Cole, politician
- Richard Vinroot, attorney and politician
- Rebecca Carney, Democratic member of the North Carolina General Assembly
- Daniel G. Clodfelter, attorney and politician, Democratic member of the North Carolina General Assembly
- Charlie Smith Dannelly, educator and politician, Democratic member of the North Carolina General Assembly
- Robert Pittenger, real estate invester and politician, Republican member of the North Carolina General Assembly
- Sarah Parker, Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court (born in Charlotte)
- Jim Crockett, wrestling promoter
- Jacques Dallaire, NASCAR driver performance trainer
- Ray Durham, MLB second baseman
- Ric Flair, pro wrestler
- Jeff Gordon, NASCAR driver
- Rick Hendrick, NASCAR team owner
- Brandon Inge, Detroit Tigers third baseman
- Jimmie Johnson, NASCAR driver
- Ron "The Truth" Killings, pro wrestler and rapper
- Jeff McInnis, NBA guard
- Antawn Jamison, NBA foward, former University of North Carolina basketball star
- Sam Mills, American football linebacker who played twelve seasons in the National Football League for the New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers
- Jerry Richardson, owner of the Carolina Panthers
- Chad Tracy, MLB third baseman
- Reggie White, American football defensive end for the Carolina Panthers; career leader at the time of his retirement in sacks
- John Sadri, former tennis player, Australian Open singles finalist
- Jeff Hardy, pro wrestler
- Matt Hardy, pro wrestler
- Leon Levine, prominent billionaire, businessman and philanthropist
- Chelsea Cooley, Miss USA 2005
- Susan J. Helms, Brigadier General-select in the United States Air Force and former NASA astronaut
- Richard Hipp, software architect and primary author of SQLite
- DJ Flash, rapper
- Tammy Faye, Christian singer and television personality, former wife of televangelist, and later convicted felon, Jim Bakker
- Hank Hanegraaff, author, radio talk-show host and advocate of evangelical Christianity
- Billy Graham, evangelist
- David L Cook, Christian singer and Comedian. Inducted into the 2006 ICGMA Hall of Fame, 2006 Country Gospel Music Entertainer of the Year.
 Sister cities
Charlotte has a number of sister cities, including:
- Image:Flag of Peru.svg Arequipa, Peru (as of 1962)
- Image:Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg Baoding, People's Republic of China (as of 1987)
- Image:Flag of Germany.svg Krefeld, Germany (as of 1985)
- Image:Flag of Ghana.svg Kumasi, Ghana (as of 1995)
- Image:Flag of France.svg Limoges, France (as of 1992)
- Image:Flag of Russia.svg Voronezh, Russia (as of 1991)
- Image:Flag of Poland.svg Wrocław, Poland (as of 1993)
 See also
- Charlotte metropolitan area
- Mecklenburg County
- Bank of America
- I-85 Corridor
- US 74
- Hurricane Hugo
- SC-NC-VA Tornado Outbreak
 Further reading
- Hanchett, Thomas W. Sorting Out the New South City: Race, Class, and Urban Development in Charlotte, 1875-1975. 380 pages. University of North Carolina Press. August 1, 1998. ISBN 0-8078-2376-7.
- Kratt, Mary Norton. Charlotte: Spirit of the New South. 293 pages. John F. Blair, Publisher. September 1, 1992. ISBN 0-89587-095-9.
- Kratt, Mary Norton and Mary Manning Boyer. Remembering Charlotte: Postcards from a New South City, 1905-1950. 176 pages. University of North Carolina Press. October 1, 2000. ISBN 0-8078-4871-9.
- Kratt, Mary Norton. New South Women: Twentieth Century Women of Charlotte, North Carolina. Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County in Association with John F. Blair, Publisher. August 1, 2001. ISBN 0-89587-250-1.
 External links
- Official Charlotte-Mecklenburg County NC website
- Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission
- Charlotte Chamber of Commerce
- Charlotte Regional Partnership
- Charlotte City Guide
- Visit Charlotte--Charlotte Convention and Visitors Bureau
- The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Story a local history website
- City Committee
- Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS)
- Charlotte's Center City (downtown area)
- Charlotte Urban Discussion
- Charlotte Observer (newspaper)
- Charlotte Post (newspaper) Serving the African American Community
- Crime In Charlotte, NC Blog
- Charlotte Forums a website for the discussion of Charlotte issues.
- Sardis Roads the community website for Southeast Charlotte
- Just 1 Call Charlotte Community Services (run by the City of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County)
- Charlotte GIS/Polaris System Property and geographical mapping system and look-up
- Maps and aerial photos
|Sports Teams||Carolina Panthers-NFL | Charlotte Bobcats-NBA | Charlotte Checkers -ECHL | Charlotte Eagles-USL-2 | Charlotte Knights-IL | Charlotte RFC-RSL | Charlotte Sting-WNBA|
|Mass Transit Provider|