Articles

  • Camp North End takes shape

    Camp North End, a major adaptive reuse project in Charlotte, is transforming a former Model T factory, warehouse and distribution site, missile plant and munitions dump into creative office, restaurant, brewery and retail space. 
  • Participants left sticky notes with their desires for Charlotte's center city neighborhoods at a recent event. Responses included a transit hub, more affordable housing and more parks. Photo: Ely Portillo

    2020: Four plans coming together next year will guide growth for a generation

    Next year’s news cycle is already looking pretty crowded, between big-ticket events like the Republican National Convention in Charlotte, the summer Olympics in Tokyo and, of course, the 2020 presidential, gubernatorial and congressional elections.  But if there weren’t so much else going on, 2020 might be known as something else in Charlotte: The Year of the Plan.
  • Heller’s blazing star in the Amphibolite Mountains. Photo: Crystal Cockman

    Preserving rare plants: In search of Heller’s blazing star

    How do you protect a plant that grows only on rocky outcrops at high elevations in the Amphibolite Mountains of northwestern North Carolina? It takes a team. 
  • An aerial view of “Teeter-Totter Wall,” a reimagining of the border wall between the US and Mexico by Ronald Rael and partner Virginia San Fratello. Courtesy Ronald Rael.

    ‘Horrifyingly beautiful:’ An architect and designer turns his attention to borders and walls

    Ronald Rael gained national attention this summer for installing teeter-totters through the U.S.-Mexico border fence, allowing children on either side to play, but the architect and designer has been studying borders, walls and their meaning for much longer. 
  • A bagworm in the Charlotte neighborhood of Dilworth.

    Finding the beauty in a bagworm

    The overall cluster was about the size of my fist.  A woven cylindrical core was decorated with willow oak leaves, some of them whole and others torn.  They had been applied in an intriguingly symmetrical pattern, creating the effect of wings and a tail.  Tiny twigs with swollen buds had also been incorporated into the design, their weight providing a ballast.  The creature twirled and fluttered in the breeze, a sylvan ballerina.
  • Charlotte Center City Partners' 2020 Vision Plan was adopted in 2011. Planning is underway for the next vision plan, to go through 2040. Photo: Center City Partners 2020 plan cover.

    Charlotte is planning a new vision for center city. How’d we do on the last one?

    Charlotte is a city that loves big plans and heady visions. And since the 1960s, making a new plan for the city’s center has been the most regularly repeated tradition in Charlotte visions. Last week, Charlotte Center City Partners formally kicked off their next planning effort, meant to guide the development of uptown, South End and the neighborhoods just west of Charlotte for the next two decades.
  • A new program to fund and support faculty research into some of the most pressing issues facing Charlotte is getting underway this fall, with fellowships from the Urban Institute. Photo: Nancy Pierce.

    The Urban Institute Research Faculty Fellows seek to better our region

    A new program designed to identify solutions for some of the pressing needs and issues of the greater Charlotte region is getting underway this fall at the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute. For the first time, the Institute has named a cohort of Faculty Fellows to conduct short-term research projects and work alongside community stakeholders to understand and share findings that can guide community decision-making.
  • Rickey Hall,  a lifelong west Charlotte resident who co-founded the West Charlotte Community Land Trust, and executive director Charis Blackmon in front of the first lot the group purchased, on Tuckaseegee Road.

    Can a community land trust stop gentrification in west Charlotte? This group thinks so.

    With a full-time executive director and a $200,000 grant, a three-year-old west Charlotte nonprofit is accelerating its efforts to stave off displacement with a housing strategy that’s unprecedented in this fast-developing city.
  • Optimist Hall, a food hall and Duke Energy Innovation Center, is in a reused mill that dates to 1891.

    Charlotte’s torn down a lot of old buildings. But one type has staying power.

    Breweries, apartments, hip food halls, creative offices, coworking spaces: Charlotte developers keep finding new uses for the city’s old mills. As a post-war, Sunbelt boomtown, Charlotte has garnered a reputation for tearing down its old buildings and replacing them with sterile plaques to make way for the city’s glittering new skyline. But while many once-grand buildings have fallen (Goodbye, Masonic Temple and Hotel Charlotte), the humble, sturdy mill has proved surprisingly resilient. 
  • Piazza Navona in Rome. Credit: Paul Edmondson/National Trust for Historic Preservation

    Why do old places matter? A Mecklenburg native explores the question.

    Why do we care about old places, and why should we work to preserve them? A Huntersville native and prominent national preservationist takes a look at those questions through a lens that stretches from Eastland Mall to the historic wonders of Rome.