Thomas Polk Park

Last updated
Thomas Polk Park
Thomas Polk Park from Above.gif
Thomas Polk Park from Above
Thomas Polk Park
Type Pocket park
Location Charlotte, North Carolina
Coordinates 35°13′38″N80°50′37″W / 35.22728°N 80.84355°W / 35.22728; -80.84355
Area1,510 square yards (1,260 m2)
Created1991 (1991) [1]
Designer Angela Danadjieva [1]
Etymology Thomas Polk
Owned byCity of Charlotte
Operated byCharlotte Center City Partners [1]
Public transit access BSicon TRAM1.svg Tryon Street

Thomas Polk Park is located in Charlotte, North Carolina, and comprises the west quadrant of Independence Square, at the intersection of Trade and Tryon Streets. Named for Thomas Polk, a founding father of Charlotte and was among the residents and officials of Mecklenburg County who drafted and adopted the Mecklenburg Resolves. [2]



Appointed by the Charlotte Mecklenburg Planning Commission, in 1993 Danadjieva & Koenig Associates designed the award - winning Thomas Polk Park - the main open space of the city's business district. The $1.2 million project celebrates Charlotte's historic location, the Square, the site of Native American crossroads, and The Declaration of Independence. The park's fountains, plantings and pavings lead to the Square at the intersection of Trade and Tryon Streets. [3] [4]

Design and features

Park features a 30-foot (9.1 m) cascading waterfall fountain. Thomas Polk Park.jpg
Park features a 30-foot (9.1 m) cascading waterfall fountain.

The park was designed with strong diagonal lines crossing the intersection to reinforce the streets grid. Designed as a respite for Uptown workers to enjoy a break in their day and a refreshment amongst lush plantings and a 30-foot (9.1 m) cascading waterfall. The park had also incorporated a relief map in bronze and granite shows Charlotte in 1780, at the Battle of Charlotte. Red granite in various shades reflects the Piedmont's distinctive red clay. Patterns inspired by Indian motifs connect the four corners and recall Trade and Tryon as Indian paths. Granite pillars 25 feet (7.6 m) high act as gateways and, with carved dates and figures, memorialize historic events.

It had trees and water features along the edge of the park, with low granite ledges for sitting. The open area had been used as stage for musical performances and other events. Carved reliefs of historic figures, such as Revolutionary War Gen. Nathaniel Greene, are behind the water. Mini-museum beneath the cascade has exhibits on historical subjects such as gold mining, along with an information booth and Ticketron outlet. [3]

Demolition and rebranding

On March 13, 2023 the Charlotte City Council approved a proposal to reinvigorate and rename the park after Hugh McColl, former Chairman and CEO of Bank of America; this was followed by a commitment of $10 million fundraised by the Hugh McColl Park Coalition. [5] [6] In May 2023, the city committed $350 thousand to the demolition of Thomas Polk Park, razing the centerpiece fountain designed by Angela Danadjieva. [7]

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Charlotte, North Carolina</span> Largest city in North Carolina

Charlotte is the most populous city in the U.S. state of North Carolina. Located in the Piedmont region, it is the county seat of Mecklenburg County. The population was 874,579 at the 2020 census, making Charlotte the 15th-most populous city in the U.S., the seventh-most populous city in the South, and the second-most populous city in the Southeast behind Jacksonville, Florida. The city is the cultural, economic, and transportation center of the Charlotte metropolitan area, whose 2020 population of 2,660,329 ranked 22nd in the U.S. Metrolina is part of a sixteen-county market region or combined statistical area with a 2020 census-estimated population of 2,846,550.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mecklenburg County, North Carolina</span> County in North Carolina, United States

Mecklenburg County is a county located in the southwestern region of the state of North Carolina, in the United States. As of the 2020 census, the population was 1,115,482, making it the second-most populous county in North Carolina and the first county in the Carolinas to surpass one million in population. Its county seat is Charlotte, the state's largest city.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Pineville, North Carolina</span> Town in North Carolina, United States

Pineville is a suburban town in the southernmost portion of Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, United States, situated in the Waxhaws district between Charlotte and Fort Mill.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bank of America Corporate Center</span> Headquarters of Bank of America and skyscraper in Uptown Charlotte, North Carolina

The Bank of America Corporate Center is an 871 ft (265 m) skyscraper in Uptown Charlotte, North Carolina. Designed by Argentine architect César Pelli and HKS Architects, and best known as the headquarters of the namesake Bank of America, it has been the tallest building in North Carolina since its 1992 construction, and is the 31st-tallest building in the United States as well as the 174th-tallest building in the world.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Uptown Charlotte</span> Place in North Carolina

Uptown Charlotte, also called Center City, is the central business district of Charlotte, North Carolina. The area is split into four wards by the intersection of Trade and Tryon Streets, and bordered by Interstate 277 and Interstate 77. The area is managed and overseen by the Charlotte Central City Partners, which is one of the three Municipal Service Districts in Charlotte. Uptown Charlotte is the largest business district in Charlotte and the Carolinas.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Truist Center</span> Truist headquarters and 47-story skyscraper in downtown Charlotte, North Carolina

The Truist Center is a 47-story, 659 feet (201 m) skyscraper in Uptown Charlotte, North Carolina. The city's third tallest building, it is located along North Tryon Street. It was opened on November 14, 2002, and was the city's second tallest building, and was known as the "Hearst Tower" until 2019. The structure is composed of a 32-story tower resting atop a 15-floor podium. During Bank of America's occupancy in the building located on the podium was a three-story trading facility designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and operated by Bank of America. The trading facility included a 6,000-square-foot (560 m2), two-story trading floor. Now the former trading floor is part of Truist's 100,000 square feet (9,300 m2) technology innovation center. The building is currently the headquarters of Truist Financial, which purchased the building in March 2020.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Charlotte Route 4</span>

Route 4 is an 18.6-mile (29.9 km) partial ring road located in Charlotte, North Carolina. Beginning and ending at Interstate 85 (I-85), it loops south around Uptown Charlotte along state-maintained secondary roads, connecting the Charlotte Douglas International Airport and several city neighborhoods including Madison Park, Myers Park, Windsor Park and Sugar Creek. The route is posted by the Charlotte Department of Transportation (CDOT), using a modified pentagonal county road shield, with a green background and the city's crown logo above the number. The loop has a radius of about 4 miles (6.4 km), hence the number.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Charlotte Transportation Center</span>

The Charlotte Transportation Center (CTC), also known as Arena or CTC/Arena, is an intermodal transit station in Center City Charlotte, North Carolina, United States. It serves as the central hub for the Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) buses and connects with the LYNX Blue Line and CityLYNX Gold Line. It is located on East Trade Street, Fourth Street and Brevard Street. Notable places nearby include the Bank of America Corporate Center, Belk Theater, EpiCentre, Overstreet Mall and the Spectrum Center.

The Mint Museum, also referred to as The Mint Museums, is a cultural institution comprising two museums, located in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Mint Museum Randolph and Mint Museum Uptown, together these two locations have hundreds of collections showcasing art and design from around the globe.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">One South at The Plaza</span> Office / Retail in South Tryon Street

One South at The Plaza is a 503 feet (153 m), 40-story skyscraper in Charlotte, North Carolina. It is the 7th tallest in the city. It contains 891,000 square feet (82,777 m2) of rentable area of which 75,000 sq ft (7,000 m2) of retail space, and the rest office space. On the ground floor is the Overstreet Mall, which connects to neighboring buildings via skybridges; located below-grade is the parking garage with space for 456 vehicles and leases a nearby five-level garage, providing 730 additional parking spaces.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">9th Street station (Charlotte)</span>

9th Street is a light rail station in Charlotte, North Carolina. The at-grade dual side platforms are a stop along the Lynx Blue Line and serves Uptown Charlotte's First Ward as well as First Ward Park and the UNC Charlotte Center City Campus.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">South Tryon Square</span> Office and hotel high-rises in Charlotte, North Carolina

South Tryon Square is a development consisting of two 14-story high-rises in Charlotte, North Carolina. The first building, at 201 South Tryon, was opened in 1961 as the Barclays American; from its second renovation, in 1999, the facade was changed to the current gray and green granite with green glass and ornamental metal. The second building, at 237 South Tryon, was opened in 2001 as a hotel branded Courtyard by Marriott and houses the 698-space parking garage. Both buildings are also connected to the neighboring BB&T Center by dual skybridges, as part of the Overstreet Mall.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Little Sugar Creek Greenway</span> Park and stream restoration project

Little Sugar Creek Greenway is a linear park and stream restoration project in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. When completed it will consist of twenty miles of trails and paved walkways running from Cordelia Park just north of uptown Charlotte, then south through midtown Charlotte, and continuing all the way to the South Carolina state line. The Little Sugar Creek Greenway is a key part of the Cross Charlotte Trail (XCLT) and a segment in the Carolina Thread Trail, a regionwide network of trails that pass through 15 counties.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Thomas Polk</span> Revolutionary War officer and politician

Thomas Polk was a planter, military officer in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War from 1775 to 1781, and a politician who served in the North Carolina House of Commons, North Carolina Provincial Congress, and Council of State. Polk commanded the 4th North Carolina Regiment in the Battle of Brandywine. In 1786, Polk was elected by the North Carolina General Assembly to the Congress of the Confederation, but did not attend any of its sessions. Polk was a great-uncle of the 11th President of the United States, James K. Polk.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Harvey B. Gantt Center</span>

The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture, formerly known as the Afro-American Cultural Center, is in Charlotte, North Carolina and named for Harvey Gantt, the city's first African-American mayor and the first African-American student at Clemson University. The 46,500 sq ft, four-story center was designed by Freelon Group Architects at a cost of $18.6 million — and was dedicated in October 2009 as part of what is now the Levine Center for the Arts.

Spirit Square, also called Spirit Square Center for the Arts, is located in Charlotte, North Carolina. Its McGlohon Theater in the former First Baptist Church on North Tryon Street, named for Loonis McGlohon, is now part of North Carolina Blumenthal Performing Arts Center.

Angela Danadjieva is a landscape architect who founded the multidisciplinary design firm Danadjieva & Koenig Associates with her partner Thomas Koenig. She is well known for her work with Lawrence Halprin & Associates, including the Ira Keller Fountain in Portland, Oregon and Freeway Park in Seattle, Washington.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tryon Street station</span> Streetcar station in Charlotte

Tryon Street is a streetcar station in Charlotte, North Carolina. The at-grade dual side platforms on West Trade Street are a stop along the CityLynx Gold Line, serving Independence Square and the second largest financial hub of the United States.


  1. 1 2 3 "Thomas Polk Park Renovation" (PDF). Charlotte Center City Partners. April 8, 2019. Retrieved March 29, 2022.
  2. "Thomas Polk Park Historical Marker". The Historical Marker Database. Retrieved March 29, 2022.
  3. 1 2 "A PLACE AT THE HEART A GRAND VISION FOR PLAZA PARK". August 22, 1987 via Charlotte Observer (NC) (Published as Charlotte Observer, The (NC)).
  4. "Angela Danadjieva". The Cultural Landscape Foundation. Retrieved January 11, 2017.
  5. Moore, Evan (March 14, 2023). "Park in middle of uptown Charlotte to get major renovation, bear Hugh McColl's name". The Charlotte Observer . Retrieved March 14, 2023.
  6. Sands, Alexandria (May 18, 2023). "Work starts on Hugh McColl Park — a makeover of the 'obsolete' Polk Park". Axios Charlotte . Retrieved May 26, 2023.
  7. Contino, Genna (May 26, 2023). "Charlotte's Polk Park demolished without public input. Now, community wants answers". The Charlotte Observer. Retrieved May 26, 2023.