Historic preservation

Matthews at the crossroads: Can it grow up, instead of just grow?

When I moved to Charlotte more than 30 years ago, Matthews was the suburb. Years of attracting people looking for a small town and a private getaway have built a fabric of large lawns and scattered houses, and more lawns and more houses. Where does a it go from here?

Why is restoring NoDa’s textile mills so hard?

In any other time, the request might not have been so hard. But a nonprofit developer’s plea for $2.3 million in city money from federal grants to restore a historic NoDa textile mill came after a lingering economic downturn, and after the city had already put $6.7 million into the property. Why is it so hard to restore an important piece of city history? Well, it’s complicated ...

Downtown Salisbury honored as one of America’s 10 Great Neighborhoods

Downtown Salisbury has been named one of “10 Great Neighborhoods” for 2012 by a national planning organization. The town remained vibrant through the decline of the textile industry by maintaining its historic character and promoting agri-tourism and an authentic North Carolina experience through culture, arts and food rooted in its picturesque setting.

City pushes Carolina Theatre rivals to work together on plans

Charlotte city officials are pushing two groups with competing visions for the future of the Carolina Theatre to work together to help save the history-rich venue that’s been vacant, on a prominent uptown corner, for more than 30 years.

Don't squander chance for a great public park

Missing from recent discussion about granting more public money for a privately developed baseball park in Third Ward is any talk about the potential advantages of using the land for public purposes year-round. Architect Murray Whisnant would save the Virginia Paper Co. building and build an Energy Park.

Uptown time traveler

View of North Tryon Street, looking north from The Square. Photo courtesy Charlotte Mecklenburg Library How has uptown Charlotte changed in the past century? An interactive graphic shows you how the 1911 urban pattern of small lots and small buildings has become a modern quilt of big projects filling whole blocks.

Gastonia, New York, Jane Jacobs and me

New York City and Gastonia don’t, at first glance, appear to have much in common. Yet both can offer an example of “urbanism.” And both suffered harm from well-intentioned “progress.” Charlotte architect Terry Shook reminisces ...

Boosters: Downtrodden downtowns can thrive

Downtown Bessemer City. Around the Charlotte region, many downtowns share similar histories: A long-ago heyday followed by decay as dollars and foot traffic flowed to suburban malls and interstate eateries.