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Why is it Uptown Charlotte and not Downtown Charlotte?

Most people have accepted the Uptown moniker, although some aren’t quite sure.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Is it Uptown Charlotte or downtown Charlotte? It’s a topic of conversation that is part of Charlotte’s rich history.  

If you’re walking from any direction toward the center of the city, you’ll notice an incline -- it’s slight on Tryon Street and more elevated on Trade Street.

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Most people have accepted the Uptown moniker, although some aren’t quite sure. If there’s one person who can give the definitive answer, though, it’s Charlotte historian, author, and professor Tom Hanchett.

Hanchett said the Uptown/Downtown debate started around when streetcars started running in the city. Newspapers from the 1890s reference the area as Uptown, but people who moved to the Queen City from other cities referred to it as Downtown. 

In 1974, Charlotte City Council made an official proclamation to name the district Uptown -- honoring the historic name and assigning an identity to the city's central business district. 

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