Hundreds of years ago, two primitive trading paths crossed at the intersection of what is now Tryon and Trade Street in Uptown Charlotte. The founding of our city took place at this significant crossroad. Over the years, four distinct settlements emerged in the quadrants created by the Trade and Tryon Street intersection. Today we call these the First, Second, Third and Fourth Wards in Uptown Charlotte. Defined by the I-277 freeway loop, this square mile represents the original city. Almost nothing old remains but the 1790s grid system of streets and the 19th-century names for the four political wards. Uptown Charlotte is largely shiny, new and business oriented. The Center City is a haven for night time hot spots, upscale restaurants, bars and trendy clubs. The biggest change over the last few years has been the change of a banking hub, to a corporate hub. An even bigger change over the past decade has been the housing rebirth. Today, upscale condominiums, apartments and single-family houses have sprouted throughout the Wards of Uptown, creating a boom of urbanites. Fourth Ward, the Victorian pocket neighborhood with some of the city’s oldest remaining homes, has been a showplace for years.Charlotteans refer to the center city as ‘Uptown”because the epicenter is actually uphill from all surrounding areas. City officials also deemed the term more positive than “downtown.”
Charlotte’s First Ward Neighborhood is an award‐winning mixed income district that was revitalized through a $41.6 million HUD HOPE VI grant. The neighborhood is home to about 1,000 residents as well as the Spirit Square Arts Center, Imaginon, Charlotte Bobcats Arena, Levine Museum of the New South,and the Mint Museum of Craft + Design. First Ward’s boundaries are E Trade St., N Tryon St and I‐277 (an urban loop highway). First Ward has experienced a wave of major development bringing new residential homes and entertainment venues.
Charlotte’s Second Ward, known as “the government district”, is also undergoing a surge in exciting new growth. This area, which was once dominated by city office buildings, now features a new county courthouse and Charlotte’s new NASCAR Hall of Fame, new convention center, several upscale hotels and exclusive condominium residences. The Center City 2010 Vision Plan recommends a master plan be produced for Second Ward with a major emphasis on creating a new neighborhood with lots of housing, restaurants, shops, and a neighborhood park.
Charlotte’s Third Ward is the most diverse of the city’s four original quadrants. It includes sports and entertainment area focused on Bank of America Stadium and a planned new AAA baseball stadium with a 5‐acre park. Residential neighborhoods are a mix of single family homes, apartments and condominiums, with dozens of new developments planned, under construction and nearing completion. Anchoring the west side of Third Ward is Bank of America’s 1.5 million square foot mixed use complex called Gateway Village. This innovative complex combines technology‐oriented office space
Charming, Quaint and Delightful. These reactions are typical of a first‐time visitor’s stroll through Fourth Ward. This predominantly residential neighborhood artfully blends restored100‐plus‐year‐old homes with newer construction designed to be compatible with its surroundings. Along the edges of the neighborhood, features include the North Tryon arts and entertainment district and as well as pricey new condominiums.The hallmark of much of the recent development has been combining retail offices, restaurants and galleries on the Tryon Street side with residential on the Church Street side. And although mid‐rise structures characterize much of the new developments in the area, the scale has been monitored carefully so as not to overwhelm adjacent single family homes.