When Jefferson-First Union Center was completed in 1971, the 32-story building was the tallest in Charlotte. Designed by local firm Pease Associates, Inc., it was part of a flurry of commercial construction in the downtown (uptown?) area. Only three years later, NCNB Plaza (Bank of America Plaza, recently renamed One South at the Plaza) would surpass it in height. Today the building is known as Two Wells Fargo Center (and home of the delicious Johnny Burrito, a favorite of my husband’s and much of the COVID-contained uptown work crowd).

A photographer with the Charlotte News took photos from the 30th floor of the newly completed landmark in October of that year. Staff writer Emery Wister described what he saw:

The view from the 30th floor is the next best thing to a helicopter ride over the city. You can see the new construction, the expressways being cut through, the streets being widened and repaved.

You can even see the dormitories and library and the Belk tower of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. And, it must be added, you can see the dull dingy tops of Charlotte’s old downtown buildings, scowling up like small boys with dirty faces.

You can, in a sense, see what you want to see in new, rebuilding Charlotte.