Images along Blue Line tell city’s unheralded stories

While Charlotte’s light rail line runs through the city’s glittering uptown – a tunnel of office towers and parking decks – at the farther reaches, the landscape tells different stories. Along the route of the Blue Line, from the edge of Pineville on the south to the UNC Charlotte campus at the north, you find reminders of Charlotte’s once-agricultural past, its long and continuing industrial history and its booming future.

Some places evoke the car-infatuated 1950s. Others tell of a 21st-century city. A close eye will find small businesses that are decades old; other shops display the role immigrant entrepreneurs play in building Charlotte’s economy.

Photographer Nancy Pierce took a journey along the Blue Line and the newly opened Blue Line Extension, documenting the people and places she found along the way. Retrace her journey with the accompanying photos.

— Mary Newsom