Baseball as a redevelopment strategy? Three cities pin their hopes on it

In the wake of manufacturing-based economies that once formed the basis for much of the region’s prosperity, three cities and towns in the Carolinas Urban-Rural Connection study area are hoping the crack of a bat will herald economic revival. Gastonia and Kannapolis were once textile powerhouses, while High Point remains an important player in the […]

Paddlers on Stumpy Pond near Great Falls, S.C. Photo: Nancy Pierce

‘A wilderness experience’: Do rivers hold the key to rebirth for these towns?

Where the hard rock of the Piedmont gives way to the sandy Coastal Plain, two company towns that lost their companies are looking for economic revival to the rivers that put them on the map. Great Falls in South Carolina and Badin in North Carolina grew up along the geologic fall line beside wild, majestic […]

Finding the Music, Part 3: ‘A 38-year overnight success story’

This is the third part in a three-part series. Read Part 1: Turning to musical heritage to fuel the future and Part 2: Looking for one ‘unique asset’ to catch up on the story. The revivalists in Shelby focused on “Uncle Earl” Scruggs and Don Gibson, approaching the county, the courthouse’s owner, about a first-rate […]

Five 2019 Historic Preservation Awards winners announced in Charlotte

Charlotteans often lament how many old buildings here have been torn down, but there are still structures worth saving, along with groups and developers willing to put in the work. 

On Thursday, the Charlotte Museum of History announced the winners of its 2019 Historic Preservation Awards. The five honorees, from 27 nominations, include a historic high school gym, a hip, repurposed mill, and historic houses. 

Charlotte’s torn down a lot of old buildings. But one type has staying power.

Breweries, apartments, hip food halls, creative offices, coworking spaces: Charlotte developers keep finding new uses for the city’s old mills. As a post-war, Sunbelt boomtown, Charlotte has garnered a reputation for tearing down its old buildings and replacing them with sterile plaques to make way for the city’s glittering new skyline. But while many once-grand […]

Why isn’t Charlotte built on the water?

After visiting a city with a waterfront, maybe stopping for a drink and a bite to eat along whichever river or ocean it’s built along, I’m usually left with one overriding thought: “Wow, Charlotte could really use some of this.” Water plays a prominent role in the design and history of most cities, whether it be a river, bay or ocean. And Charlotte’s skyline and downtown sit tantalizingly close-but-yet-so-far from a major river and lake system. So, the question looms: Why isn’t Charlotte built on the water? 

With mill preserved, new effort saves Loray’s village

Although Brian Miller grew up in Charlotte, he always felt drawn to Gastonia’s Loray Mill village, where his mother lived as a child. The 30-block neighborhood with about 500 small houses surrounded the historic Loray Mill, site of a bloody 1929 labor strike that claimed the lives of Gastonia Police Chief Orville Aderholt and union […]

Gaston, once a manufacturing sector powerhouse, now lags Union

Local perceptions may not have caught up with the new reality in the Charlotte region’s manufacturing economy. Even before the recession began in 2007, declines in the textile and furniture industries were changing the structure of local employment. As the downturn continued, counties that depended less on textile and furniture manufacturing lost fewer jobs. The […]