Around Charlotte

Published on June 12th, 2015 | by Genevieve Williams


Uptown vs. Downtown

Do you wonder why some people refer to the Charlotte-metro area as “Uptown,” or do you shake your head at those that call it “Downtown”? Many native Charlotteans use the moniker Uptown, and believe that only the non-natives refer to the area as Downtown. CharlotteFive’s Michael Solender interviewed people around town as to which term they use, but most importantly, he asked Levine Museum of the South’s staff historian Tom Hanchett. Hanchett said the official term, so-to-speak, is Uptown, with the following explanation:

There is a two-part answer: The first part is rooted in geographic reality. In the mid-1700s, the nations trading path from the southeast to the Atlantic ran along a ridge top. One of those Indian trading paths in Charlotte came to be Tryon Street and it crossed another that became Trade Street. This was the highest elevation point and the city grew around it. When people came to this point, they were going up. The second part is more recent. On September 23, 1974, a city council proclamation declared that the shopping and business district in the center city be officially named Uptown Charlotte. The push for this came from local merchant and booster, Jack Wood. Wood argued that uptown name was in use in the 50s and needed to be restored.

To read the interviews from other local people regarding the Uptown vs. Downtown battle, check it out here:

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