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Charlotte Walking Tour

Take a walking adventure through the streets of Uptown Charlotte.

Stroll the streets of Charlotte and you'll find a city on the move, with modern skyscrapers standing tall amongst historical landmarks.  Plan an urban adventure by taking a self-guided walking tour through Uptown Charlotte where you'll discover historical sites as well as artistic, architectural and entertainment attractions. 

Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture
Named for Charlotte’s first African-American mayor, this building showcases a unique display of African-American art and expressive culture and is also Charlotte’s skinniest building at only 45 feet wide.

The Green
Giant books and a walkway of magical sounds enliven this literary-themed wonderland of a park. The giant fish sculptures created by Carolyn Braaksma spout water so children can splash and play. The giant stacked bronze book sculptures on the far side of the park depict classics of world literature. Jim Green’s sound art installation, “Rhythm Walk,” features the sounds of water running and kittens purring when triggered by motion sensors. The most popular sculpture in the park is the signpost, “Charlotte – The Center of the Known World,” created by Gary Sweeney in 2002. The signpost points the mileage and direction to other Charlottes throughout the world. Sweeney also produced the signs in the park, which use the names of cities to create the names of famous authors

Ratcliffe’s Flowers Sign
This historic neon sign hung above the entrance to Ratcliffe’s Florist Shop. The building was constructed on the site in 1929 and later relocated 75 feet north.

Wells Fargo History Museum
Charlotte struck it rich as the site of the nation’s first gold rush in the 1800s. See how Charlotte earned the Midas touch while you pan for gold electronically and learn the story of Wells Fargo in this free history museum.

Bechtler Museum of Modern Art and “The Firebird”
The prominent terra-cotta tiled structure houses amazing works by Warhol, Picasso, Miro and more. Be sure to take a picture in front of Niki de Saint Phalle’s mosaic statue, “The Firebird.” Standing 17 feet and 5 inches tall, the sculpture is a whimsical, bird-like creature covered from top to bottom in pieces of mirrored glass.

Mint Museum Uptown
The Mint Museum Uptown houses world-renowned Craft + Design, American and Contemporary collections. The Mint Museum’s other location on Randolph Road was the original branch of the United States Mint.

Bank of America Stadium
The 13-story, 73,778-seat stadium is the home of the NFL’s Carolina Panthers. Take a snapshot near one of the larger-than-life bronze panther sculptures protecting the stadium entrances.  A pair of eight foot tall panthers, created by Todd Andrews, stand guard over each gate.  

Green’s Lunch
Opened in 1926, this diner is Uptown Charlotte’s oldest restaurant.

Romare Bearden Park
Take a relaxing stroll through this urban oasis featuring year-round fitness and cultural arts programs such as free art and photography classes, yoga sessions, live musical performances, festivals and more. The BB&T Ballpark next door is the home of the AAA Charlotte Knights.

Latta Arcade
Built in 1914 by developer Edward Dilworth Latta, this building was originally used for grading cotton under the natural light of the glass ceiling. Now restaurants, salons and businesses fill its quaint interior. Just outside, you’ll find Brevard Court, a cobblestone courtyard filled with pubs, restaurants and shops.

Wells Fargo Plaza
Celebrate the exuberance of childhood with the statues of children playing in the cascading fountain, created by Dennis Smith and David Wagner.

Il Grande Disco
A bronze sculpure titled “Il Grande Disco” stands in front of the Bank of America Plaza. The large, coin-shaped piece with dark edges was created for the space by Italian sculptor Arnaldo Pomodoro. The disco wheel was installed in October 1974. A sister piece was placed in the Piazza Filippo Meda, in Milan, Italy in 1980. “Il Grande Disco” is a popular stop for tourist photos. The plaque attached to the piece by Pomodoro states, in part, “We do not know what our world will become. I try to say something about this uncertainty in my work. I try to communicate a sense of viatality and connection with the movement of life today … and to be a part of its movement.

The Square at Trade and Tryon
This intersection is home to four historical statues, each standing about 25 feet tall, representing elements that have contributed to the growth of the city: commerce, transportation, industry and the future. History says the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence was read by Thomas Polk on the courthouse steps at Trade and Tryon on May 20, 1775.

Bank of America Corporate Center
Enjoy the shops at Founders Hall and the frescoes by Ben Long in the lobby of Bank of America Corporate Center, Charlotte’s tallest building at 60 stories.

First Presbyterian Church
Built on the site of Charlotte’s interdenominational town church, this Gothic-revival style church from 1857 was modified in the late 1800s. Ben Long’s fresco, The Good Samaritan, provides inspiration in the fellowship building.

Settlers’ Cemetery
This was the town cemetery from 1776 to 1867. Those laid to rest here include town founder Thomas Polk and Revolutionary War officer, Maj. Gen. George Graham, the hero who helped hold back Cornwallis’ troops at the Battle of McIntyre’s Farm.

St. Peter’s Hospital
When this facility opened its doors at this location in 1878, it was the first civilian hospital in North Carolina. It would close on Oct. 8, 1940, when Charlotte Memorial Hospital, what is today’s Carolinas Medical Center, opened its doors.

Fourth Ward Neighborhood
This historic neighborhood artfully blends restored 100-plusyear-old Victorian homes with luxury condominiums. It is anchored by the beautiful Fourth Ward Park. Free maps detailing the stately homes can be found at Poplar and 6th streets and at Poplar and 9th streets—don’t miss Overcash House, which was built before the Civil War.

Alexander Michael’s
Founded in 1983 and named after its creators Alexander Copeland III and A. Michael Troiano Jr., Alexander Michael’s is a restaurant and tavern located in the former Crowell-Berryhill Store, a grocery store that opened in 1897.  The beer cooler is circa 1920. 

Patricia McBride and Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux Center for Dance
This center is named for two former New York City Ballet stars who are now NC Dance Theatre’s artistic directors. Pliés and pirouettes are visible to passers-by on Tryon Street in these NC Dance Theatre studios.

McColl Center for Art + Innovation
Built in 1926 as a church and repurposed after a fire as a sanctuary for artists in 1999, the exposed brick and vaulted ceiling provides the perfect canvas for galleries and studios. Peek in one of the studios to catch an artist in residence at work.

UNC Charlotte Center City Building
This prominent 12-story building showcases a modern design reflective of its vibrant, urban location. The campus also features an 18,000-square-foot outdoor plaza, a 300-seat auditorium, a book store and an art gallery.

ImaginOn: The Joe and Joan Martin Center
Designed to excite all ages from toddlers through teens, ImaginOn is an extraordinary high-tech, “green” library and children’s theatre. Enjoy the large outdoor sculptures of The Writer’s Desk by Larry Kirkland.

Seventh Street Parking Deck
Situated along the LYNX Light Rail and on the ground floor of the Seventh Street Parking Deck, Seventh Street Public Market celebrates the local food culture with a variety of vendors offering selections straight from the farm. The exterior of the building also features Christopher Janney’s “Touch My Building,” which showcases dozens of 30-foot-tall “light fins” that light up and play a melodic tune when touched.

Spirit Square / The Light Factory
This arts and education complex was originally the First Baptist Church built in 1909. Spirit Square now houses two theatres, McGlohon Theatre, named for jazz composer Loonis McGlohon of Charlotte, and Duke Energy Theatre as well as The Light Factory Contemporary Museum of Photography and Film, one of only four such museums in the U.S.

At Peace, At Play
The oak trees of At Peace, At Play, along with a variety of animals found in North Carolina, form a welcoming arch to mark the entrance to a peaceful green space. The sculpture was forged and fabricated from bars and flat sheets of mild steel, using heat and hammer. No molds or casting were used in the construction. Many of the hand tools necessary for the project were made by the artist. At Peace, At Play was commissioned by Bank of America in 1998.  Mr. Miller lives and works in Brasstown, North Carolina.

Transamerica Square
In the middle of the building’s domed arched walkway, Ben Long’s open-air fresco, Continuum, portrays a variety of NC symbols. Look closely along the dome’s rim for the blue goat Tar Heel mascot, Bank of America CEO Hugh McColl and more.

The Dunhill Hotel
Built in 1929, this elegant 10-story hotel with neoclassical features is the only surviving historic hotel in Uptown Charlotte.

Charlotte Mecklenburg Library
Find your favorite quote among the dozens adorning the columns at Charlotte’s main library branch. From Aristotle to Jimmy Buffett, you’ll discover words of wisdom from a variety of iconic figures in history.

Queen Charlotte Statue
Charlotte was founded in 1768 during the reign of King George III of England. To win favor of the crown, the city was named in honor of his wife Queen Charlotte Sophia of Mecklenburg-Strelitz in Germany. This statue honors Queen Charlotte, the namesake for the “Queen City.”

Time Warner Cable Arena
The arena is home to the NBA Charlotte Hornets, the AHL Charlotte Checkers and also serves as a venue for top entertainers. On the Plaza between Trade and Fifth streets, see Andrew Leicester’s colorful cylindrical art that celebrates Charlotte’s textile mill roots with his 23-foot Bobbins and six-foot Textile Shuttles. 

NASCAR Hall of Fame
Walk through the Ceremonial Garden to see the names of legends that have been enshrined in the NASCAR Hall of Fame®, a museum honoring the history and heritage of the sport.

Charlotte Convention Center
The facility houses artists from across the nation in addition to creations from homespun talent.  Look up to take in the “Oculus Reflector” by nationally acclaimed artist James Carpenter. Not just an intricate skylight, this piece uses glass and steel to reflect and refract sunlight creating shifting patterns and designs on the floor.