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What Charlotte, NC looked like in the 1980s Through Stunning Photos

While Charlotte’s economy began to change during the 1980s, the banking industry became the next frontier. Due to a North Carolina law that allowed branches across the state. In 1982, Hugh McColl, a North Carolina National Bank banker, bought a small out-of-state bank. The innovation resulted in an overhaul of banking laws across the country. Major league sports arrived in Charlotte as it broke into the top 20 U.S. cities. Charlotte Hornets were founded in 1988 in a region known for its love of college basketball (especially since Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have long-standing rivalries, a tradition that Michael Jordan shared with his Tar Heel roots).

Mecklenburg County’s population doubled between 1990 and 2015, surpassing one million residents. Charlotte’s city, county, and outlying towns, still technically separate but facing the same challenges of rapid urbanization, building new hospitals, schools, roads, and Charlotte’s first modern light rail transit lines.

Below are some stunning vintage photos that will take you back to the 1980s in Charlotte.

#1 Terrell building, 1980s

Terrell building, 1980s

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#2 Taylor Hall, 1980s

Taylor Hall, 1980s

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#3 ATC building, 1980s

ATC building, 1980s

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#4 The LRC, Giles, and Kratt taken from the quad, 1980s

The LRC, Giles, and Kratt taken from the quad, 1980s

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#5 Giles and Kratt taken from the quad, 1980s

Giles and Kratt taken from the quad, 1980s

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#6 The ATC building on the left and the Citizens building on the right, 1986

The ATC building on the left and the Citizens building on the right, 1986

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#7 The Library (LRC) from the side along the front entrance, 1980s

The Library (LRC) from the side along the front entrance, 1980s

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#8 The Library (LRC) extension construction, 1982

The Library (LRC) extension construction, 1982

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#9 Library (Exterior) After Construction, 1980s

Library (Exterior) After Construction, 1980s

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#10 the Citizens center on Central Piedmont Community College Campus, 1980s

the Citizens center on Central Piedmont Community College Campus, 1980s

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#11 Citizens Center under construction, 1980s

Citizens Center under construction, 1980s

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#12 The Central Piedmont Community College welcome and registration center, 1980s

The Central Piedmont Community College welcome and registration center, 1980s

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#13 Majors bookstore construction, 1970s

Majors bookstore construction, 1970s

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#14 the sign for the bookstore in the basement of Garinger (Central high), 1980s

the sign for the bookstore in the basement of Garinger (Central high), 1980s

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#15 Hebrew United Brotherhood, 1980s

Hebrew United Brotherhood, 1980s

Charlotte's first synagogue, the Hebrew United Brotherhood, was erected in 1916 at 409 West 7th Street (now Fourth Ward). There were twenty-five families in the original congregation. William Greenberg, who came in the 1930s was the first English-speaking Rabbi. The Seventh Street Synagogue was sold to the Mormons; the building is no longer standing.

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#16 Morrison Hall Dorm Room, 1980s

Morrison Hall Dorm Room, 1980s

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#17 Biddle Hall from southeast, 1980s

Biddle Hall from southeast, 1980s

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#18 Library (Exterior) After Construction, 1980

Library (Exterior) After Construction, 1980

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#19 Aerial view of Central Piedmont Community College, and construction of Citizens Center, 1980s

Aerial view of Central Piedmont Community College, and construction of Citizens Center, 1980s

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#20 Smith Hall, Charlotte, 1980s

Smith Hall, Charlotte, 1980s

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#21 McCrorey Theological Seminary, 1980s

McCrorey Theological Seminary, 1980s

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#22 Van Every building, 1980s

Van Every building, 1980s

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#23 Majors Bookstore, 1986

Majors Bookstore, 1986

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#24 Belk at Central Piedmont Community College, 1987

Belk at Central Piedmont Community College, 1987

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#25 Student/ visitor parking lot at Central Piedmont Community College, 1980s

Student/ visitor parking lot at Central Piedmont Community College, 1980s

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#26 The construction behind old Central building, 1980s

The construction behind old Central building, 1980s

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#27 The Central Forum Cafeteria, Charlotte, 1980s

The Central Forum Cafeteria, Charlotte, 1980s

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#28 The inside of old central high, in the auditorium full of students for graduation, 1980s

The inside of old central high, in the auditorium full of students for graduation, 1980s

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#29 Welcome and Registration Center, 1980s

Welcome and Registration Center, 1980s

The front of the Central Piedmont Community College welcome and registration center. In the photograph is also shown a map of the campus.

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#30 Majors Bookstore, 1986

Majors Bookstore, 1986

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#31 Elizabeth Avenue Median, 1980s

Elizabeth Avenue Median, 1980s

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#32 Citizens Center under Construction, along Independence Boulevard, 1980s

Citizens Center under Construction, along Independence Boulevard, 1980s

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#33 Belk Chapel, 1980s

Belk Chapel, 1980s

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#34 Smith Cottage, Charlotte, 1980s

Smith Cottage, Charlotte, 1980s

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#35 Students in a science classroom, Charlotte, 1980s

Students in a science classroom, Charlotte, 1980s

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#36 Students speaking at a Johnson C. Smith University Homecoming football game, 1980s

Students speaking at a Johnson C. Smith University Homecoming football game, 1980s

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#37 Interior of James B. Duke Memorial Library, 1980s

Interior of James B. Duke Memorial Library, 1980s

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Written by Aung Budhh

Husband + Father + librarian + Poet + Traveler + Proud Buddhist. I love you with the breath, the smiles and the tears of all my life.

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