Charlotte's Music Factory transforms abandoned mill into lively entertainment district
Posted May 18, 2012
Charlotte now has a lively entertainment district within shouting distance of Uptown, thanks to the NC Music Factory, which has repurposed a decaying textile mill into a sophisticated mix of concert theatres, restaurants, offices and places to hang out. Neil Takemoto writes on his Cooltown Studios blog:
“A transformed 1900s textile mill, Charlotte’s NC Music Factory may not be located in the heart of the city, but once you’re there, many of the locals find it has the heart of a city. Why? Because one can spend the entire day there without getting bored.
“Opened in 2006, but not maturing until more recently, the 300,000-square-foot (28,000 sq m) complex accommodates audiences of 1500 indoors and 5000 outdoors, amid a creative variety of lounges, restaurants, pubs, coffee shops, with 50,000 s.f. of fully-leased offices and 31 music rehearsal spaces.”
The project is part of a larger concept called Uptown Village, which will also include new housing.
Adapting old buildings for more contemporary uses is a great way to save environmental resources, and enriching a city with culture close to the center is a terrific way to strengthen the urban core, which pays enormous dividends compared to the suburban sprawl for which Charlotte has long been notorious. This project, which does both, was begun by a father and son team back in 1999 – and, best of all, they took care to involve the complex’s Fourth Ward neighbors from the beginning. The video has the story:
- More on Charlotte's urban renaissance, stimulated by transit (January 9, 2009)
- The greening of Charlotte – Charlotte? (October 9, 2008)
- Remaking a suburb for the creative class (October 21, 2010)
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