Most are aware that our city was inspired by and named after the wife of King George III (of Great Britain and Ireland), Queen Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. And if you’ve flown in or out of Charlotte, you’ve likely seen the billowing statue of her. Commissioned specifically for placement at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport in 1990, she was modeled to “appear like she is blowing in the wind produced by an airplane.” Despite the powerful gusts, she carefully embraces her precious crown in her right hand, as if to say, “The crown must never fall.” Those of us that adore our city --- our “Queen City” --- have clearly taken note. The statue is made of bronze and originally sat atop a tall stone base rising from a decorative water fountain outside the terminal, but was moved in January 2014 due to airport expansion and construction. She’s now placed in between the daily parking decks where she stands on a white stone column surrounded by elaborate landscaping. The statue was both designed and sculpted by renowned sculptor and architect, and Pittsburgh native, Raymond Kaskey. If you’ve visited the National World War II Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., then you’ve undoubtedly witnessed the impressive architectural sculptures, which he also created. Staying close to home though, you may not know that Kaskey was also responsible for the statues that pin-point the 4 corners of Trade and Tryon streets in Uptown, also known as Independence Square. Dedicated in 1995, these structures are also made of bronze and individually represent Commerce, Industry, Transportation, and The Future. A group of anonymous, local philanthropists called “Queens Table” paid for both of Kaskey’s aesthetic contributions to the Queen City, where the combined cost of both commissions was $750,000. Good thing there’s a lot of money in this city! And its even better that they’re willing to donate it towards making the city majestic. Her Majesty demands greatness of us all and we here at 704 Shop will continue to do our part.
P.S. Anyone know who those millionaires are? We need them to buy a shirt and a snapback! j/p…but no, for real…
This was the original full view of the Queen Charlotte statue above the fountain below.
A more current view of the Queen Charlotte statue against the backdrop of the Carolina skies.
Four Corners Statues at Independence Square.