Why Is Charlotte’s Center City Called ‘Uptown’?

2013 November 21

Whatever you do.


charlotte-skyline-nightDon’t say I’m going DOWNTOWN for dinner tonight, when you are headed to Charlotte’s center city.

‘We say UPTOWN’… and folks might correct you.

I asked around when we first moved here? Why is it called Uptown?
Most people have no idea. Just because, I guess, was the most common response.

My friend Lisa Frame (self-appointed Charlotte expert and blogging friend of mine pre-move-to-Charlotte) had a real answer for me though. The Corner of Trade and Tryon in Charlotte is 746 feet above sea level. And higher than most surrounding areas. So, literally… you’re going UP when you drive into the city.

I did a little Google-searching and there ARE higher elevations in the city, out in some suburb north of downto… er… I mean UPTOWN.  But no one cares about that.

And others think the uptown chatter started as recently as the 1980s as a PR campaign to make Charlotte sound better. Does Uptown sound like a nicer city than downtown? Well for whatever reason…

I’m kind of in love with Charlotte’s Uptown.

I’m trying to adopt some of the South’s lovely traditions. Answering Yes Ma’am to everything. Not wearing my pajamas to Walmart. Pearls and monograms. (I don’t think I’ll be saying y’all too soon, but who knows?) And sure? Uptown it is.

I’ll meet you at the Amelie’s in Uptown for lunch!

—See some pretty pictures from a recent ‘walkabout’ in Uptown Charlotte with my son!

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One Response
  1. November 27, 2013

    I remember the 1980’s campaign, but we called it Uptown from the time I moved there in the 1960’s. I always thought it was because most of the suburban growth was south of the city center, rather than north, like most cities. So since you would be going ‘up’ north to get to the business district, the term Uptown fits. In most other cities you go south, or down, to the city center, hence the term downtown. So glad you’re finding time to go Uptown!

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