The skyline in Charlotte, NC is one of the most beautiful and impressive collections of skyscrapers in the United States. During the day, it marches boldly across your line of sight, standing tall and proud in the gleaming sun surrounded by the bustle of the city. At night, it sparkles with a thousand lights.
For the tourist, the Charlotte skyline at night seems to hold a thousand questions, too. Questions such as, how did the Charlotte skyline come to be, and what will it look like in years to come? Where can we view it today in its fullest glory?
This article will guide you through the past, present, and future of the Charlotte skyline and show you why it is one of the most worthwhile attractions in North Carolina.
A Brief History Of The Charlotte Skyline
The skyline of skyscrapers in Charlotte began with the construction of the Independence Building in 1909. It was the city’s first skyscraper and rose to 186 ft in height. In the following century, new buildings were erected that beat out the Independence Building’s height, such as the 266-foot tall Johnston Building in 1924 and the Two Wells Fargo Center in 1971. In 1978, the Independence Building was officially registered as a Historic Place in 1978. But it was eventually demolished and replaced with the 302-foot tall 101 Independence Center.
In 1992, construction on the tallest building in North Carolina, the Bank of America Corporate Center was completed. It remains the tallest skyscraper in Charlotte, beating out seven previous contenders. It still hasn’t met its match in the entire state. The height of the skyline itself is ranked 4th among the tallest cities in the Southeastern United States.
The Buildings In The Charlotte Skyline
In total, there are 48 skyscrapers in Charlotte that rise over 200 ft. But only a handful of those make up the famous Charlotte skyline. Below is a list of the buildings in the skyline.
Duke Energy Center – completed in 2010, with 54 floors and a height of 786 ft
One Wells Fargo Center – completed in 1988, with 42 floors and a height of 588 ft
Two Wells Fargo Center – completed in 1971, with 32 floors and a height of 422 ft
Charlotte Plaza – completed in 1982, with 27 floors and a height of 388 ft
Bank of America Plaza – completed in 1974, with 40 floors and a height of 503 ft
1 Bank of America Center – completed in 2010, with 32 floors and a height of 484 ft
Bank of America Corporate Center – completed In 1992, with 60 floors and a height of 871 ft
Truist Center – completed in 2002, with 47 floors and a height of 659 (formally named Hearst Tower)
The Vue – completed in 2010, with 50 floors and a height of 560 ft
Where To See The Charlotte Skyline At Night
If you want to see real magic, you need to view the Charlotte Skyline at night. The lights, the colors, and the varying heights of the buildings, all work together to present a dazzling display that’s free to look at. You don’t need to buy tickets or pay outrageous parking fees to enjoy it.
Yelp recommends a few free and easily accessible locations that are optimal for seeing the glorious spread of the Charlotte skyline. We share them below.
Romare Bearden Park – 300 S Church St, Charlotte, NC 28202
This park has a four and a half star rating. Visitors to the park who posted reviews on Yelp say it’s a great place for friends and family to hang out and enjoy the skyline view. It even has its own attractions, such as a fountain and pretty plants bordering the walkways.
Midtown Park – S Kings Dr And Pearl Park Way, Charlotte, NC 28204
This park is a little further from the skyline, but that just means you can take in more of the view. It’s close to a shopping center, and on your walk, you may find some lovely features like water fountains and sculptures.
First Ward Park – 301 E 7th St, Charlotte, NC 28202
This park is located near some restaurants, so you can easily grab some food during your visit. It has playground and exercise equipment for all ages, as well as a fountain and a splash pad to beat the summer heat. There are plenty of distractions to keep you occupied until the sun sets and the skyline lights up for the night.
A Future Look Into The Charlotte Skyline
The great thing about the Charlotte skyline is it is only going to get bigger, brighter, and more impressive to look at. As time marches forward and the economy brings more new people, businesses, and money into Charlotte, the skyline will continue to evolve. As recently as April 2019, according to local news outlet WSOCTV, a 29-story high rise was under construction in uptown Charlotte. The projected finish date is sometime in 2021.
While you’re waiting on that new high rise, you can rest assured that the skyline as it appears today will remain the same, as there are currently no plans to demolish any existing buildings. The lights, the colors, the magic will all be there when you come to view the Charlotte skyline.