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The First N.C. Skyscraper


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Abstract:
Charlotte leaders in 1905 wanted their city to have a “New South” image. To create this, they began construction on the city's first skyscraper. The building was twelve stories tall and was built by Washington, D.C., architect Frank P. Milburn. The structure was named the “Reality Building” and its grand opening was attended by President William Howard Taft. When the building was first opened in 1908, the city had population of 25,000, which meant that there was not enough demand to fill the building's space. By 1927, however, Charlotte's population had risen to over 82,000, and the Reality Building was in great demand. Two floors were added to the building and its name was changed to the “Independence Building.” The structure became outdated over time, and by the 1970s only the first floor was leased to businesses. The property was bought by Faison Associates in 1981 and demolished on September 27, 1981. A new twenty-story structure will be built in its place.
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Record #:
8660
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