Winston-Salem, North Carolina

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Winston-Salem, North Carolina
City of Winston-Salem
Winston-Salem skyline.jpg
Skyline of Winston-Salem with the redeveloped Bailey Power Plant in the foreground and 100 North Main Street, Winston Tower, and the Reynolds Building in the background
Winston-Salem flag.gif
Winston-salem logo.png
Twin City, Camel City, Winston
"Urbs Condita Adiuvando" (A city founded on cooperation)
Forsyth County North Carolina incorporated and unincorporated areas Winston-Salem highlighted.svg
Location in Forsyth County and the state of North Carolina.
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Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Location in the contiguous United States
Coordinates: 36°6′9.95″N80°15′37.77″W / 36.1027639°N 80.2604917°W / 36.1027639; -80.2604917 Coordinates: 36°6′9.95″N80°15′37.77″W / 36.1027639°N 80.2604917°W / 36.1027639; -80.2604917
CountryFlag of the United States.svg United States
State Flag of North Carolina.svg North Carolina
Counties Flag of Forsyth County, North Carolina.svg Forsyth
Founded1766 (Salem),
1849 (Winston)
Consolidated 1913 (Winston-Salem)
  MayorAllen Joines (D) [1]
  City ManagerLee D. Garrity [2]
   City 133.82 sq mi (346.59 km2)
  Land132.61 sq mi (343.47 km2)
  Water1.20 sq mi (3.12 km2)
970 ft (300 m)
   City 229,617
(2019) [4]
  Rank 5th in North Carolina
90th in United States
  Density1,869.67/sq mi (721.88/km2)
391,204 (US: 96th)
676,673 (US: 83rd)
1,642,506 (US: 33rd)
Demonym(s) Winston-Salemite
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
  Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Area code(s) 336/743
FIPS code 37-75000
Primary Airport Piedmont Triad International Airport
Interstates I-40.svg I-74.svg I-285.svg
U.S. Routes US 52.svg US 158.svg US 311.svg US 421.svg

Winston-Salem is a city in and the county seat of Forsyth County, North Carolina, United States. [5] With a 2019 estimated population of 247,945 it is the second largest municipality in the Piedmont Triad region, the fifth most populous city in North Carolina, the third largest urban area in North Carolina, and the ninetieth most populous city in the United States. [6] With a metropolitan population of 680,876 it is the fourth largest metropolitan area in North Carolina. Winston-Salem is home to the tallest office building in the region, 100 North Main Street, formerly known as the Wachovia Building and now known locally as the Wells Fargo Center.


Winston-Salem is called the "Twin City" for its dual heritage. "Camel City" is a reference to the city's historic involvement in the tobacco industry related to locally based R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company's Camel cigarettes. Many locals refer to the city as "Winston" in informal speech. Winston-Salem is also home to many colleges and institutions, most notably Wake Forest University and Winston-Salem State University.

In 2012, the city was listed among the ten best places to retire in the United States by CBS MoneyWatch. [7] Winston-Salem has seen a surge in growth and revitalization in the downtown area with hotels, restaurants, and apartments under construction.


The city of Winston-Salem is a product of the merging of the two neighboring towns of Winston and Salem in 1913.


The origin of the town of Salem dates to January 1753, when Bishop August Gottlieb Spangenberg, on behalf of the Moravian Church, selected a settlement site in the three forks of Muddy Creek. He called this area "die Wachau" (Latin form: Wachovia) named after the ancestral estate of Count Nicolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf. The land, just short of 99,000 acres (400 km2), was subsequently purchased from John Carteret, 2nd Earl Granville.

On November 17, 1753, the first settlers arrived at what would later become the town of Bethabara. This town, despite its rapid growth, was not designed to be the primary settlement on the tract. Some residents expanded to a nearby settlement called Bethania in 1759. Finally, lots were drawn to select among suitable sites for the location of a new town.

Winkler Bakery in Old Salem Old Salem-1.jpg
Winkler Bakery in Old Salem

The town established on the chosen site was given the name of Salem (from "Shalom" meaning "Peace", after the Canaanite city mentioned in the Book of Genesis) chosen for it by the Moravians' late patron, Count Zinzendorf. On January 6, 1766, the first tree was felled for the building of Salem. Salem was a typical Moravian settlement congregation with the public buildings of the congregation grouped around a central square, today Salem Square. These included the church, a Brethren's House and a Sisters' House for the unmarried members of the Congregation, which owned all the property in town. For many years only members of the Moravian Church were permitted to live in the settlement. This practice had ended by the American Civil War. Many of the original buildings in the settlement have been restored or rebuilt and are now part of Old Salem Museums & Gardens. [8]

Salem was incorporated as a town in December 1856. [9] Salem Square and "God's Acre", the Moravian Graveyard, since 1772 are the site each Easter morning of the world-famous Moravian sunrise service. This service, sponsored by all the Moravian church parishes in the city, attracts thousands of worshipers each year. [10]


In 1849, the Salem congregation sold land north of Salem to the newly formed Forsyth County for a county seat. The new town was called "the county town" or Salem until 1851 when it was renamed Winston for a local hero of the Revolutionary War, Joseph Winston. [11] For its first two decades, Winston was a sleepy county town. In 1868, work began by Salem and Winston business leaders to connect the town to the North Carolina Railroad. [12] That same year, Thomas Jethro Brown of Davie County rented a former livery stable and established the first tobacco warehouse in Winston. That same year, Pleasant Henderson Hanes, also of Davie, built his first tobacco factory a few feet from Brown's warehouse. In 1875, Richard Joshua Reynolds, of Patrick County, Virginia, built his first tobacco factory a few hundred feet from Hanes's factory. By the 1880s, there were almost 40 tobacco factories in the town of Winston. Hanes and Reynolds would compete fiercely for the next 25 years, each absorbing a number of the smaller manufacturers, until Hanes sold out to Reynolds in 1900 to begin a second career in textiles.

Winston-Salem, 1891 Winston-Salem 1891.jpg
Winston-Salem, 1891


In the 1880s, the US Post Office began referring to the two towns as Winston-Salem. In 1899, after nearly a decade of contention, the United States Post Office Department established the Winston-Salem post office in Winston, with the former Salem office serving as a branch. After a referendum the towns were officially incorporated as "Winston-Salem" in 1913.

The Reynolds family, namesake of the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, played a large role in the history and public life of Winston-Salem. By the 1940s, 60% of Winston-Salem workers worked either for Reynolds or in the Hanes textile factories. [13] The Reynolds company imported so much French cigarette paper and Turkish tobacco for Camel cigarettes that Winston-Salem was designated by the United States federal government as an official port of entry for the United States, despite the city being 200 miles (320 km) inland. [13] Winston-Salem was the eighth-largest port of entry in the United States by 1916. [13]

In 1917, the Reynolds company bought 84 acres (340,000 m2) of property in Winston-Salem and built 180 houses that it sold at cost to workers, to form a development called "Reynoldstown." [13] By the time R.J. Reynolds died in 1918, his company owned 121 buildings in Winston-Salem. [13]

In 1920, with a population of 48,395, Winston-Salem was the largest city in North Carolina. [14] [15] [16]

In 1929, the Reynolds Building was completed in Winston-Salem. Designed by William F. Lamb from the architectural firm Shreve, Lamb and Harmon, the Reynolds Building is a 314 feet (96 m) skyscraper that has 21 floors. [17] [18] When completed as the headquarters of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, it was the tallest building in the United States south of Baltimore, Maryland, and it was named the best building of the year by the American Institute of Architects. [19] The building is well known for being the predecessor and prototype for the much larger Empire State Building that was built in 1931 in New York City. [20] In 1892, Simon Green Atkins founded Slater Industrial Academy, which later became Winston-Salem State University, a public HBCU University. [21] In 1956, Wake Forest College, now known as Wake Forest University would move to Winston-Salem from its original location in Wake Forest, North Carolina. [22]

Notable early businesses

The Tavern at Old Salem, est. 1784 Old Salem, Winston-Salem, North Carolina.jpg
The Tavern at Old Salem, est. 1784
Smoke stack from R.J. Reynolds' former Bailey Power Plant RJR Tobacco.JPG
Smoke stack from R.J. Reynolds' former Bailey Power Plant
Only surviving novelty Shell service station, one of several built by Quality Oil Company, a local distributor. Shell Service Station-WS NC.JPG
Only surviving novelty Shell service station, one of several built by Quality Oil Company, a local distributor.


Local government

Winston-Salem City Hall Winston-Salem City Hall.jpg
Winston-Salem City Hall

The governing body for the City of Winston-Salem is an eight-member City Council. Voters go to the polls every four years in November to elect the Mayor and Council. The Mayor is elected at large and council members are elected by citizens in each of the eight wards within the city. The City Council is responsible for adopting and providing for all ordinances, rules and regulations as necessary for the general welfare of the city. It approves the city budget and sets property taxes and user fees. The Council appoints the City Manager and City Attorney and approves appointments to city boards and commissions. [28]

As of September 2020, the mayor of Winston-Salem is Allen Joines (D), who was first elected in 2001 and is longest-serving mayor in the history of the city. [29] The members of the City Council are Mayor Pro Tempore, Denise Adams, (North Ward), Barbara Hanes Burke (Northeast Ward), Annette Scippio (East Ward), James Taylor, Jr. (Southeast Ward), John Larson (South Ward), Kevin Mundy (Southwest Ward), Robert Clark (West Ward), Jeff MacIntosh (Northwest Ward).

City officials appointed by the City Council include City Attorney Angela Carmon and City Manager Lee Garrity. [30]

Geography and climate

Winston-Salem is in the northwest Piedmont area of North Carolina, situated 65 miles (105 km) northwest of the geographic center of the state. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 133.7 square miles (346.3 km2), of which 132.4 square miles (343.0 km2) is land and 1.2 square miles (3.2 km2), or 0.93%, is water. [31] The city lies within the Yadkin–Pee Dee River Basin, mainly draining via Salem Creek, Peters Creek, Silas Creek, and Muddy Creek.

Less than 30 miles (48 km) north of Winston-Salem are the remains of the ancient Sauratown Mountains, named for the Saura people who lived in much of the Piedmont area, including what is now Winston-Salem.

Winston-Salem is located 16.66 miles northwest of High Point, North Carolina, 25.32 miles west of Greensboro, North Carolina, 69.04 miles northeast of Charlotte, North Carolina, and 80.20 miles east of Boone, North Carolina.



Winston-Salem has many different neighborhoods such as Ardmore, West Salem, West End, Mount Tabor, Downtown North, and West Highlands. One of the most notable neighborhoods West End, features the West End Historic District which covers an area of 229 acres that is predominantly residential, most of the buildings in West End were built between 1887 to 1930. Major thoroughfares in West End are West End Boulevard, Northwest Boulevard, and First Street that all lead to downtown Winston-Salem. Ardmore, one of the largest neighborhoods in Winston-Salem features Ardmore Historic District which contains over 2,000 buildings and two sites. Ardmore is in close proximity to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center which is the second largest hospital in North Carolina. Wake Forest Baptist Health is the largest employer in Forsyth County with over 13,000 employees and serves North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, and South Carolina. Major thoroughfares in Ardmore are South Hawthorne Road, Miller Street, Cloverdale Avenue, and Queen Street.


Community renovations are planned for the corner of Peters Creek Parkway and Academy Street. On September 11, 2018 The Winston-Salem Journal reported that The City of Winston-Salem Committee approved the Peters Creek Community Initiative project, which is an collaboration of The Shalom Project, North Carolina Housing Foundation, and The National Development Council. The group plans to purchase property where the Budget Inn currently stands and build 60 apartment units with a 4,000 square foot community space. [32] PCCI plans to build a four-story building that will house The Shalom Project in the bottom floor, along with other businesses. [33]


The city of Winston-Salem has a humid subtropical climate characterized by cool, sometimes moderately cold winters, and hot, humid summers. The Köppen Climate Classification subtype for this climate is Cfa. [34] The average high temperatures range from 51 °F (11 °C) in the winter to around 89 °F (32 °C) in the summer. The average low temperatures range from 28 °F (−2 °C) in the winter to around 67 °F (19 °C) in the summer. [35]

Climate data for Winston-Salem, North Carolina Smith Reynolds Airport 1991–2020 normals, extremes 1899–present
Record high °F (°C)79
Average high °F (°C)48.8
Daily mean °F (°C)39.8
Average low °F (°C)30.7
Record low °F (°C)−10
Average precipitation inches (mm)3.35
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)9.59.411.
Source: NOAA [36] [37]


Historical population
1870 443
1880 4,194846.7%
1890 10,729155.8%
1900 13,65027.2%
1910 22,70066.3%
1920 48,395113.2%
1930 75,27455.5%
1940 79,8156.0%
1950 87,88110.1%
1960 111,13526.5%
1970 133,68320.3%
1980 131,885−1.3%
1990 143,4858.8%
2000 185,77629.5%
2010 229,61723.6%
2019 (est.)247,945 [4] 8.0%
U.S. Decennial Census [38]
2018 Estimate [39]

Winston-Salem's population grew by 6.5% from 2010 to 2018, [40] making it the fifth largest city in North Carolina. As of the estimate of 2017, [41] the population was 244,605, with 94,105 households and a population density of 1,846.08 people per square mile.

Winston-Salem was 53.0% female, and 27.8% of its firms were owned by women. The median age was 35 years. 23.9% of the population was under 18 years old, and 13.7% of the population was 65 years or older. [42]

The racial composition of the city in 2017 was 56.1% White, 34.7% Black or African American, 2.2% Asian American, 0.3% Native American, 0.1% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific native alone, and 2.3% two or more races. In addition, 14.8% was Hispanic or Latino, of any race. Non-Hispanic Whites were 45.8% of the population in 2017. [43]

38.4% were married couples living together, 17.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.7% were non-families. 33.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.38 and the average family size was 3.06. [44]

The median income for a household in the city was $41,228, and the median income for a family was $53,222. The mean income for a household in the city was $60,637, and the mean income for a family was $74,938. Males had a median income of $41,064 versus $33,683 for females. The per capita income for the city was $24,728. 20.6% of the population and 15.7% of all families were below the poverty line. 26.2% of the total population, 31.6% of those under the age of 18 and 8.2% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line. [44]


Moravian Church Home Moravian Church - panoramio.jpg
Moravian Church

Winston-Salem is the most religious city in North Carolina,[ citation needed ]‘ with 54.14% of the population being religiously affiliated. Christianity is the largest religion, with Baptists (15.77%) making up the largest religious group, followed by Methodists (12.79%) and Catholics (4.39%). Pentecostals (2.97%), Episcopalians (1.3%), Presbyterians (2.59%), Lutherans (0.96%), Latter-Day Saints (0.90%) make up a significant amount of the Christian population as well. The remaining Christian population (11.93%) is affiliated with other churches such as the Moravians and the United Church of Christ. Islam (0.43%) is the second largest religion after Christianity, followed by Judaism (0.20%). Eastern religions (0.02%) make up the religious minority. [45]

The city's long history with the Moravian church has had a lasting cultural effect. The Moravian star is used as the city's official Christmas street decoration. In addition, a 31-foot Moravian star, one of the largest in the world, sits atop the North Tower of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center during the Advent and Christmas seasons. [46] Another star sits under Wake Forest University's Wait Chapel during the Advent and Christmas seasons as well. Also, Moravian star images decorate the lobby of the city's landmark Reynolds Building.


Former R.J. Reynolds headquarters, built in 1929 Reynolds Building street view.jpg
Former R.J. Reynolds headquarters, built in 1929

It is the location of the corporate headquarters of HanesBrands, Inc., Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Inc., Lowes Foods Stores, ISP Sports, Reynolds American (parent of R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company), Reynolda Manufacturing Solutions, K&W Cafeterias, [47] [48] and TW Garner Food Company (makers of Texas Pete). [49] Blue Rhino, the nation's largest propane exchange company and a division of Ferrellgas, is also headquartered in Winston-Salem. Wachovia Corporation was based in Winston-Salem until it merged with First Union Corporation in September 2001; the corporate headquarters of the combined company was located in Charlotte, until it was purchased by Wells Fargo in December 2008. PepsiCo has its Customer Service Center located in Winston-Salem. BB&T was also based in Winston-Salem until it was merged with SunTrust Banks in December 2019; the corporate headquarters of the combined company were relocated to Charlotte.

Although traditionally associated with the textile and tobacco industries, Winston-Salem is transforming itself to be a leader in the nanotech, high-tech and bio-tech fields. Medical research is a fast-growing local industry, and Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center is the largest employer in Winston-Salem. In December 2004, the city entered into a deal with Dell, providing millions of dollars in incentives to build a computer assembly plant nearby in southeastern Forsyth County.[ citation needed ] Dell closed its Winston-Salem facility in January 2010 due to the poor economy.[ citation needed ] In January 2015, Herbalife opened a manufacturing facility in the space left vacant by Dell. [50]

Public and private investment of $713 million has created the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, an innovation district in downtown Winston-Salem which features business, education in biomedical research and engineering, information technology and digital media, as well as public gathering spaces, apartment living, restaurants, and community events. [51]

Largest employers

According to the Winston-Salem Business Inc.'s 2012–2013 data report on major employers, [52] the ten largest employers in the city were:

#Employer# of Employees
1 Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center 11,750
2 Novant Health 8,145
3 Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools 6,692
4City/County Government4,689
5 Reynolds American, Inc. 3,000
6 Wells Fargo 2,800
7 Hanesbrands Inc. 2,251
8 Truist Financial 2,200
9 Wake Forest University 1,680
10 Lowe's Foods 1,500

Major industries

According to the Winston-Salem Business Inc.'s 2012 data report on major industries, [53] the major industries in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County are by percentage:

#Employment by Sector % Percentage
1Health Care and Social Assistance29%
2Trade, Transportation and Utilities19%
3Professional and Business Services14%
4 Manufacturing 10%
5Leisure and Hospitality10%
5Financial Activities6%
7Public Administration4%
8 Construction 3%
9Other Services3%


City of Arts and Innovation

Winston-Salem was officially dubbed the "City of Arts and Innovation" in 2014. [66]


An mural located on the Winston-Salem Chronicle that honor the history of black press in the United States Looking Back Winston-Salem Mural.jpg
An mural located on the Winston-Salem Chronicle that honor the history of black press in the United States

The city created the first arts council in the United States, founded in 1949, and because of the local art schools and attractions. These include the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, The Little Theatre of W-S, Winston-Salem Theatre Alliance, Spirit Gum Theatre Co., the Piedmont Opera Theater, the Winston-Salem Symphony, the Stevens Center for the Performing Arts, the Downtown Arts District, the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts, the Hanesbrands Theater, Piedmont Craftsmen, and the Sawtooth School for Visual Arts.

The city's Arts District is centered around Sixth and Trade Streets, where there are many galleries, restaurants and workshops; nearby is also the ARTivity on the Green art park, established by Art for Art's Sake. [67]

It is also home to the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA), and the Reynolda House Museum of American Art (the restored 1917 mansion built by the founder of the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company [68] and now affiliated with Wake Forest University).

The city plays host to the National Black Theatre Festival, the RiverRun International Film Festival and the Reynolda Film Festival.

Winston-Salem is also the home of the Art-o-mat and houses nine of them throughout the city. [69]

The city is also home to Carolina Music Ways, a grassroots arts organization focusing on the area's diverse, interconnected music traditions, including bluegrass, blues, jazz, gospel, old-time stringband, and Moravian music. [70]

Once a year the city is also the home of the Heavy Rebel Weekender music festival, featuring over 70 bands, primarily rockabilly, punk and honky tonk, over three days.


The east end of downtown Winston-Salem is anchored by the Innovation Quarter, one of the fastest growing urban-based districts in the United States. Governed by Wake Forest School of Medicine, the Innovation Quarter is home to 90 companies, over 3,600 workers, 1,800 students seeking a college degree, and more than 8,000 workforce trainees. The Innovation Quarter is a place for research, business, biomedical science, digital media, and clinical services. It consists of over 1,900,000 square feet (180,000 m2) feet of office, laboratory, and educational space covering more than 330 acres (130 hectares). There are more than 1,000 residential units within the Innovation Quarter. The goal is to drive even more economic development and create programs for tenants and residents for new ideas. Because of its location in downtown Winston-Salem, the Innovation Quarter serves as an urban, creative, and welcoming place for scientists, innovators, and technology leaders. [71]

In 2019, the Innovation Quarter became one of the first nine steering committee members of the Global Institute on Innovation Districts, making it one of the leading districts of its kind in the world. [72]


Winston-Salem is home to Hanes Mall, the largest shopping mall in North Carolina, The area surrounding the mall along Stratford Road and Hanes Mall Boulevard has become one of the city's largest shopping districts. [73]

Other notable shopping areas exist in the city, including The Thruway Center (the city's first shopping center), Hanes Point Shopping Center, Hanes Commons, Stratford Commons, Stratford Village, Reynolda Village, Pavilions, Shoppes at Hanestowne Village, Burke Mill Village Shopping Center, Oak Summit Shopping Center, Stone's Throw Plaza, Cloverdale Plaza Shopping Center Silas Creek Crossing, and the Marketplace Mall.

Movies filmed in Winston-Salem


Winston-Salem State University RamsBasketballNCAA C. E. Gaines Center
Winston-Salem State University RamsAmerican FootballNCAA Bowman Gray Stadium
Winston-Salem State University RamsSoftballNCAAWashington Park
Winston-Salem State University RamsTennisNCAAWSSU Tennis Center
Winston-Salem State University RamsTrack & FieldNCAACivitan Park
Winston-Salem Dash Baseball Carolina League Truist Stadium
Carolina Thunderbirds Ice Hockey FPHL Winston-Salem Fairgrounds Annex
Winston-Salem Wolves Basketball East Coast Basketball League Childress Center
Wake Forest football American footballNCAA Truist Field at Wake Forest
Wake Forest basketball BasketballNCAA LJVM Coliseum

The Winston-Salem State University Rams have men's and women's NCAA Division II sports teams that are members of the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA).

The Winston-Salem Dash is a Class A Minor-League baseball team currently affiliated with the Chicago White Sox. After 52 years at historic Ernie Shore Field, the Dash now plays its home games at the new Truist Stadium, which opened in 2010. Previous names for the team include the Winston-Salem Cardinals, Twins, Red Sox, Spirits and, most recently, the Winston-Salem Warthogs. [76] Its players have included Vinegar Bend Mizell, Earl Weaver, Bobby Tiefenauer, Harvey Haddix, Stu Miller, Ray Jablonski, Don Blasingame, Gene Oliver, Rico Petrocelli, Jim Lonborg, George Scott, Sparky Lyle, Bill "Spaceman" Lee, Dwight Evans, Cecil Cooper, Butch Hobson, Wade Boggs, Carlos Lee, Joe Crede, Jon Garland, and Aaron Rowand, all of whom have played extensively at the major league level.

The Carolina Thunderbirds minor league hockey team began play in 2017 at the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds Annex in Winston-Salem. [77]

Wake Forest University is an original member of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). Wake Forest's football team plays its games at Truist Field at Wake Forest (formerly BB&T Field, and Groves Stadium), which seats 32,500. Wake Forest's soccer program made four consecutive final four appearances (2006–2009) and were NCAA champions in 2007.

The Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum is home to Wake Forest and some Winston-Salem State basketball games. [78]

NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing takes place from March until August at Bowman Gray Stadium. The K&N Pro Series East also races here. It is NASCAR's longest-running racing series, dating to the 1940s. In the fall, the stadium is used for Winston-Salem State Rams football games.

Winston-Salem hosts an ATP tennis tournament every year, the Winston-Salem Open. The matches are played at the Wake Forest tennis center.



Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools has most of its schools inside Winston-Salem. WS/FC Schools include 51 elementary schools, 25 middle schools and 13 high schools. The school with the largest student body population is West Forsyth High School with over 2,400 students as of the 2017–2018 school year. The district is the most diverse school system in North Carolina. Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School System is the fourth largest school system in North Carolina with about 59,000 students and over 90 schools operating in the district. [79]


Private and parochial schools also make up a significant portion of Winston-Salem's educational establishment.

Post-secondary institutions

Wait Chapel at Wake Forest University WakeWaitChapel.jpg
Wait Chapel at Wake Forest University
Watson Hall at University of North Carolina School of the Arts Ncsa5.jpg
Watson Hall at University of North Carolina School of the Arts

Winston-Salem has a number of colleges and universities, including:



The Winston-Salem Journal is the main daily newspaper in Winston-Salem. Yes! Weekly is a free weekly paper covering news, opinion, arts, entertainment, music, movies and food. Triad City Beat is a free weekly paper in the Triad area that covers Winston-Salem. [86] The Winston-Salem Chronicle is a weekly newspaper that focuses on the African-American community. [87]

Radio stations

These radio stations are located in Winston-Salem, and are listed by call letters, station number, and name. Many more radio stations can be picked up in Winston-Salem that are not located in Winston-Salem.

Television stations

Winston-Salem makes up part of the Greensboro/Winston-Salem/High Point television designated market area. These stations are listed by call letters, channel number, network and city of license.



Public transportation

Map of Winston-Salem Transit Authority Winston-Salem Transit Authority Map (2019).svg
Map of Winston-Salem Transit Authority

The Winston-Salem Transit Authority (WSTA) has the responsibility of providing public transportation. It took over from the Safe Bus Company, founded in the 1920s as the largest black-owned transportation company in the United States, in 1972. [89] Operating out of the Clark Campbell Transportation Center at 100 West Fifth Street, WSTA operates 30 daytime bus routes, 24 of which provide night service; 24 routes that operate from morning until midnight on Saturday and 16 Sunday routes. WSTA makes nearly 3 million passenger trips annually. In February 2010 WSTA added 10 diesel-electric buses to its fleet.

The Piedmont Authority for Regional Transportation (PART) operates a daily schedule from the Campbell center connecting Winston-Salem to Boone, Mt. Airy, High Point and Greensboro, where other systems provide in-state routes to points east. PART also offers the Route 5 (Amtrak Connector) which provides daily service to and from the Amtrak Station in High Point with multiple times during the day. [90]


Business Interstate 40 at the US 52 interchange in downtown Winston-Salem Exits 6 at Westbound I-40 Business in Winston-Salem, NC.jpg
Business Interstate 40 at the US 52 interchange in downtown Winston-Salem

US 52 (which runs concurrent with NC 8) is the predominant north–south freeway through Winston-Salem; it passes near the heart of downtown. US 421 is the main east–west freeway through downtown Winston-Salem; this was the original routing of I-40, and was the main east–west route through the city until 1993, when a bypass loop of I-40 was built. US 421 splits in the western part of the city onto its own freeway west (signed north) toward Wilkesboro, North Carolina and Boone, North Carolina. I-74 (which was once US 311) links Winston-Salem to High Point (southeast). Silas Creek Parkway is a partial loop with on the western side of the city. The road is both an expressway and boulevard. The boulevard section of the road gives access to places such as Hanes Mall, Forsyth Medical Center, and Forsyth Tech. NC 67 is routed on most of the road.

The Winston-Salem Northern Beltway is a proposed freeway that will loop around the city to the north, providing a route for the Future I-74 on the eastern section and the Future Auxiliary Route I-274 on the western section. The NCDOT plans for this project to begin after 2010.

As of November 2018, US 52 south of I-40 is signed Spur Route I-285.

Major thoroughfares in Winston-Salem include NC 67 (Reynolda Road), NC 150 (Peters Creek Parkway), US 158 (Stratford Road), University Parkway, Hanes Mall Boulevard, Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, North Point Boulevard, Country Club Road, Jonestown Road, Patterson Avenue, Fourth Street, Trade Street, Third Street, Liberty Street, and Main Street.

Winston-Salem Civil Air Patrol Composite Squadron patch NC-082 Seal2.jpg
Winston-Salem Civil Air Patrol Composite Squadron patch


Winston-Salem is served by Piedmont Triad International Airport. The airport also serves much of the surrounding Piedmont Triad area, including Greensboro and High Point; the Authority that manages the airport is governed by board members appointed by all three cities as well as both of their counties, Guilford and Forsyth.

A smaller airport, known as Smith Reynolds Airport, is located within the city limits, just northeast of downtown. [91] It is mainly used for general aviation and charter flights. Every year, Smith Reynolds Airport hosts an air show for the general public. The Smith Reynolds Airport is home to the Winston-Salem Civil Air Patrol Composite Squadron, also known as NC-082. The Civil Air Patrol is a non-profit volunteer organization.


Winston-Salem is one of the larger cities in the South that is not directly served by Amtrak. However, an Amtrak Thruway Motorcoach operates three times daily in each direction between Winston-Salem and the Amtrak station in nearby High Point, 16 miles east. Buses depart from the Winston-Salem Transportation Center, then stop on the Winston-Salem State University campus before traveling to High Point. From the High Point station, riders can board the Crescent, Carolinian or Piedmont lines. These lines run directly to local North Carolina destinations as well as cities across the Southeast, as far west as New Orleans and as far north as New York City.

Notable people

Sister cities

Winston-Salem's sister cities are: [92]

See also

Related Research Articles

R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company Tobacco company

The R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, is an American tobacco manufacturing company based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and headquartered at the RJR Plaza Building. Founded by R. J. Reynolds in 1875, it is the second-largest tobacco company in the U.S.. Nowadays the company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Reynolds American Inc., after merging with the U.S. operations of British American Tobacco in 2004.

Wake Forest University Private research university in Winston-Salem, NC, US

Wake Forest University is a private research university in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Founded in 1834, the university received its name from its original location in Wake Forest, north of Raleigh, North Carolina. The Reynolda Campus, the university's main campus, has been located north of downtown Winston-Salem since the university moved there in 1956. The Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center campus has two locations, the older one located near the Ardmore neighborhood in central Winston-Salem, and the newer campus at Wake Forest Innovation Quarter downtown. The university also occupies lab space at Biotech Plaza at Innovation Quarter, and at the Center for Nanotechnology and Molecular Materials. The university's Graduate School of Management maintains a presence on the main campus in Winston-Salem and in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The Piedmont Triad is a region in the north-central part of the U.S. state of North Carolina anchored by three cities: Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and High Point. This close group of cities lies in the Piedmont geographical region of the United States and forms the basis of the Greensboro–Winston-Salem–High Point Combined Statistical Area. As of 2012, the Piedmont Triad has an estimated population of 1,611,243 making it the 33rd largest combined statistical area in the United States.

William Neal Reynolds was a U.S. sportsman and businessman with R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, which was founded by his brother R. J. Reynolds.

Wachovia was the area settled by Moravians in what is now Forsyth County, North Carolina, US. Of the six eighteenth-century Moravian "villages of the Lord" established in Wachovia, today, the town of Bethania, North Carolina and city of Winston-Salem exist within the historic Wachovia tract. The Moravian Archives in Winston-Salem has a map of the original Wachovia tract, showing the approximate locations of the first six Moravian congregations and the approximate current boundaries of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County.

Old Salem United States historic place

Old Salem is a historic district of Winston-Salem, North Carolina that was originally settled by the Moravian community in 1766 . This small city features a living history museum that interprets the restored Moravian community. The non-profit organization began its work in 1950, although some private residents had restored buildings earlier. As the Old Salem Historic District, it was declared a National Historic Landmark (NHL) in 1966. and expanded in 2016. The district showcases the culture of the Moravian settlement in North Carolina during the 18th and 19th centuries, communal buildings, churches, houses, and shops.

R. J. Reynolds American businessman

Richard Joshua "R. J." Reynolds was an American businessman and founder of the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company.

North Carolina Highway 67

North Carolina Highway 67 (NC 67) is a 40.9-mile-long (65.8 km) primary state highway in the U.S. state of North Carolina. It serves mostly the northern area of Yadkin County, connecting the towns of Jonesville, Boonville and East Bend, along with the city of Winston-Salem in Forsyth County.

Bowman Gray Sr. was a former president and chairman of R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and a major benefactor of the medical school of Wake Forest College that would bear his name.

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center Hospital in North Carolina, United States

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center is an academic medical center located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina which is part of Charlotte-based Atrium Health. It is the largest employer in Forsyth County with more than 13,440 employees and a total of 198 buildings on 428 acres. The entity includes:

Innovation Quarter

Innovation Quarter in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, formerly Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, is an innovation district focused on research, business and education in biomedical science, information technology, digital media, clinical services and advanced materials. The Innovation Quarter, operated by Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, is home to academic groups, private companies and other organizations located on 330 acres in downtown Winston-Salem. Its tenants include departments from five academic institutions—Wake Forest School of Medicine, Wake Forest University, Forsyth Technical Community College, Winston-Salem State University, UNC School of the Arts— as well as private businesses and other organizations. One tenant is the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM), which is working to engineer more than 30 different replacement tissues and organs and to develop healing cell therapies. The science and research conducted at WFIRM is behind two start-up companies at Innovation Quarter. The ability of researchers and scientists to work alongside entrepreneurs furthers a goal of Innovation Quarter to develop new treatments and cures for disease and advances in technology.

Wake Forest School of Medicine is the medical school of Wake Forest University, located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, United States. It is affiliated with Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, the academic medical center whose clinical arm is Wake Forest Baptist Health. In 2021, U.S. News & World Report ranked Wake Forest School of Medicine 48th best for research in the nation and 80th best for primary care. The School of Medicine also ranks in the top third of U.S. medical schools in funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

100 North Main Street

100 North Main Street, also known as Wells Fargo Center, is a postmodern, 460-foot, 34-floor office skyscraper in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA. Originally named Wachovia Center, the building served as the corporate headquarters of Wachovia bank from 1995, the year of the tower's construction, to 2001, the year the corporation merged with First Union and moved its headquarters to Charlotte, North Carolina. It is the tallest building in the Piedmont Triad region and was the tallest in the Carolinas outside Charlotte until 2008, when RBC Plaza was completed in Raleigh.

Zachary Smith Reynolds American aviator

Zachary Smith Reynolds was an American amateur aviator and youngest son of American businessman and millionaire R. J. Reynolds. The son of one of the richest men in the United States at the time, Reynolds was to fully inherit twenty-million dollars when he turned twenty-eight, as established in his father's will.

James Alexander Gray Jr. was a president and chairman of R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He was the brother of fellow R.J. Reynolds president Bowman Gray Sr. He also served as a North Carolina state senator for two terms and as a philanthropist, donated to a variety of educational causes in North Carolina.

Graylyn United States historic place

Graylyn Estate, or Graylin, is a historic estate located in Winston-Salem, Forsyth County, North Carolina and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. The construction of the Norman Revival style mansion began in 1928. Associated with the house are a number of contributing outbuildings including a garage-guest house and "farm" complex. Today, Graylyn estate is used as a conference center and hotel.

The following is a timeline of the history of the city of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA.

Helen Greever Copenhaver "Copey" Hanes was an American promoter. She was the founder and supporter of several arts organizations across North Carolina. Hanes was a significant figure in the founding of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. She was inducted into the North Carolina Women's Hall of Fame, and received several awards for her work.

Mary Reynolds Babcock American philanthropist

Mary Reynolds Babcock was an American philanthropist. Mary Reynolds Babcock was the daughter of R.J Reynolds and Katharine Smith Reynolds and therefore inherited considerable wealth from her father's foundation of the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company. She was a founder for both Zachary Smith Reynolds Foundation and Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation. She and her husband Charles Babcock gifted Wake Forest University 350 acres, and the university moved to Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Silas Creek Parkway is a partial loop in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Despite the name suggesting that the whole route is a parkway, the road is like an expressway as it has multiple grade separated interchanges. However, like a boulevard, there is direct access to many adjacent properties and major locations, such as the Forsyth County Medical Center, Hanes Mall, Forsyth Tech, and Marketplace Mall. The section between the Stratford Road and the Salem Parkway interchanges is a freeway.


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