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Charlotte, North Carolina

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Charlotte in North Carolina.

 

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Charlotte is the largest city in the U.S. state of North Carolina and the seat of Mecklenburg County. In 2010, Charlotte's population according to the US Census Bureau was 731,424 , making it the 17th largest city in the United States based on population.

Culture

Performing arts organizations in Charlotte include the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra and Opera Carolina, both of which perform at the North Carolina Blumenthal Performing Arts Center.

Museums

Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
Billy Graham Library
Carolinas Aviation Museum
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Fire Education Center and Museum
Charlotte Nature Museum in Freedom Park
Charlotte Trolley Museum in Historic South End
Discovery Place
Discovery Place KIDS-Huntersville
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture

Historic Rosedale Plantation
Levine Museum of the New South
The Light Factory
McColl Center for Visual Art
Mint Museum of Art
Mint Museum of Craft + Design
NASCAR Hall of Fame
Second Ward Alumni House Museum

Libraries

The Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County serves the Charlotte area with a large collection (over 1.5 million) of books, CDs and DVDs at 15 locations in the city of Charlotte, with branches in the surrounding towns of Matthews, Mint Hill, Huntersville, Cornelius and Davidson. All locations provide free access to Internet-enabled computers and WiFi, and a library card from one location is accepted at all 20 locations.

Although the Library's roots go back to the Charlotte Literary and Library Association, founded on January 16, 1891, the state-chartered Carnegie Library which opened on the current North Tryon site of the Main Library was the first non-subscription library opened to members of the public in the city of Charlotte. The philanthropist Andrew Carnegie donated $25,000 dollars for a library building on the condition that the city of Charlotte donate a site, and $2500 per year for books and salaries, and that the state grant a charter for the library. All conditions were met, and the Charlotte Carnegie Library opened in a imposing classical building on July 2, 1903.

The 1903 state charter also required a library be opened for the disenfranchised African-American population of Charlotte. This was completed in 1905, with opening of the Brevard Street Library for Negroes, an independent library in Brooklyn, a historically black area of Charlotte, on the corner of Brevard and East Second Street (now Martin Luther King Blvd.) The Brevard Street Library was the first library for free blacks in the state of North Carolina, some sources say in the southeast. This library was closed in 1961 when the Brooklyn neighborhood in Second Ward was redeveloped, but its role as a cultural center for African-Americans in Charlotte is continued by the Beatties Ford branch, and the West branch of the current library system, as well as by Charlotte's African-American Cultural Center.

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