Fact Friday 92 - Charlotte City Hall & Blumenthal Performing Arts Center
Happy Friday everyone!
Charlotte’s third city hall was constructed in 1891 on the corner of North Tryon and Fifth streets, right in the heart of the city’s rapidly developing First Ward area. The grand Richardson Romanesque-style structure was designed by Swedish architect Gottfrid L. Norrman, who also planned many of the buildings at the Savannah College of Art and Design. One of the few brownstone buildings in the city when it was built, it featured a weather vane in the shape of a dragon and a four-sided clock that made it a distinctive feature of Charlotte’s skyline at the turn of the twentieth century. At the time of this photograph, the city hall housed all of the city’s services, including the police department and the fire department. The clock bell, which tolled every hour, was a familiar sound to residents and could be heard across the city.
This early 1900s postcard depicts City Hall and its neighbor on North Tryon Street, the Colonial Club.
By the early 1920s the prospering city had outgrown its city hall. In 1925, a huge new municipal complex, consisting of an administrative building, a fire station, a police station, and a public health building, was constructed nearby on East Trade Street, and the 1891 building was demolished.
The North Carolina Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, containing three performance spaces and attached to the Bank of America Corporate Center Tower complex, opened on the site of the old city hall in 1992. In this current view below, the nearby Hearst Tower dominates the background of the Blumenthal. The fourth-tallest structure in Charlotte, the 659-foot skyscraper opened in 2002 and is anchored by the Hearst Publishing Company and Bank of America. A plaque on the sidewalk outside reminds passersby of the building that once stood here.
Until next week!
Email me at chris@704Shop.com if you have interesting Charlotte facts you’d like to share or just to provide feedback!
Information taken from:
Charlotte: Then & Now, 2013, Brandon D. Lunsford
“We have to do with the past only as we can make it useful to the present and the future.” – Frederick Douglass