Along The Trolley Line
Approaching the Arena stop, the trolley crosses Trade Street. Charlotte’s history began at what is now Independence Square, two blocks west. Today Independence Square is the intersection of Trade and Tryon Streets, but in the mid-1700’s it was the junction of two Indian trading paths. They became the city’s main arteries, and their crossing is the center of the grid of Uptown streets and the center point of the four wards.
An underpass nicknamed the "subway" carried East Trade under the railroad tracks between College and Brevard streets beginning in the 1910s. These two bridges do not seem remarkable today, but in the early twentieth century when dozens of daily trains backed up traffic at other crossings, these bridges were very important.
Fronting on Trade Street, the new Charlotte Arena was opened in October 2005, and is the home to the city’s men’s and women’s professional basketball teams. The arena also hosts a variety of events, ranging from college basketball games and tournaments to popular concerts and family shows.
The building’s unique design represents the Charlotte area's diverse urban culture as well as the strength, stability and foundation of the city's heritage. Contemporary elements highlight Charlotte’s focus on, and anticipation of, an exciting future for the city. The architectural highlight of the building is a crescent “C” shape surrounding a large portion of the arena, beginning at the entry lobby on Trade Street and sweeping around the building towards Fifth Street. The "C" serves as a symbol of community unity and as a welcome icon for arena patrons.
From the Arena stop , the trolley rider who walks two blocks west to Tryon Street will find a variety of attractions along Tryon between Trade Street and 6th Street.
Founders Hall, 100 N. Tryon: In the heart of Charlotte's center city, Founders Hall offers visitors a unique shopping destination, the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, and three beautiful venues in which to host special events.
Connected to the Bank of America Corporate Center, the tallest building in Charlotte and the home of the nation's largest bank, Founders Hall features a timeless design accented by an elegant curved staircase; cool, classic marble floors; and a vaulted atrium. Complementing the elegance of Founders Hall, the spacious Corporate Center lobby is warmed by rich, red-brown marble floors and three commanding frescoes by North Carolina artist Ben Long.
North Carolina Blumenthal Performing Arts Center , 100 N. Tryon: The Blumenthal has three performance spaces: the 2,100-seat Belk Theatre, the 434-seat Booth Playhouse, and the Studio Theater which seats 150. The Center is home to the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, Opera Carolina, North Carolina Dance Theatre, Carolina Voices, the Charlotte Philharmonic Orchestra, Moving Poets Theater of Dance, and the Carolinas Concert Association.
Mint Museum of Craft + Design, 220 N. Tryon: The Mint Museum of Craft + Design is located in the renovated four-story Montaldo’s department store, designed by Charlotte architect Louis Asbury in 1953. The site previously served as the J.M. Harry Funeral Home and as the Wadsworth Livery Stable. It is an adjunct of the Mint Museum of Art, which is housed in an original Federal-style building designed by William Strickland as the first branch of the United States Mint. That museum formally opened to the public on October 22, 1936 as North Carolina's first art museum.
The Mint Museum of Craft + Design was opened in the late 1990’s, and features a permanent collection that documents contemporary studio craft, tracing the movement’s historical roots in the 19th century and its relationship to traditional decorative arts and industrial design. The techniques and inspiration of artists throughout the world are showcased in collections of ceramics, fiber, glass, metal and wood.
Discovery Place, 301 North Tryon Street: From the frontiers of space to the depths of the sea, Discovery Place is an ever-changing, ever-growing cutting edge science center. Its Discovery Halls and IMAX® Dome Theatre offer something fun and educational for everyone in the family.
Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, 310 N. Tryon: The current Main Library, which opened in 1989, serves as the hub for 24 branch libraries around Mecklenburg County. The building incorporates design details which allude to the original 1903 Carnegie Library building in the same location, although the very first “subscription” library in Charlotte operated in rooms above a book store on South Tryon Street for nine years starting in 1891.