Bank of America Building
100 N. Tryon St., Charlotte
HOURS: Corporate Center Office Tower Mon.–Fri. 7 a.m.–7 p.m.,
Sat. 8 a.m.–2 p.m.
The Bank of America Building is the most recognized building in the Charlotte skyline and, at 871 feet, the tallest building between Philadelphia and Atlanta and the 24th tallest building in the United States.
Charlotte architects Odell Associates designed the original plans, which called for a 50-story circular tower with a 350-room hotel and a performing-arts center. The final design was conceived by architect Cesar Pelli and includes a 60-story building with a 30-foot granite base, walls of beige granite and silver glass with curved sides, and a series of cutouts along the tower to create a dramatic facade.
Aside from being the tallest building in Charlotte, it’s often recognized for the crown of spires that sits atop the tower. The crown was built with 384 specially designed rods that vary in length from 12 to 64 feet and weigh between 800 and 4,500 pounds each. It’s lit with 350 light fixtures, and on nights when the NFL’s Carolina Panthers win a home game in Bank of America Stadium the lights in the crown are Panther blue.
Construction of the Corporate Center, which includes an office tower, Founders Hall, the North Carolina Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, and a parking garage, required the demolition of an entire city block and resulted in the destruction of the Belk department store building, which was erected in 1908.
The lobby features a dramatic work of art by renowned fresco artist Ben Long. The piece was painted on-site, took more than a year to complete, and is one of the largest secular frescoes in the world. Marble was imported from Spain, Italy, France, and Turkey to use on the floors, walls, and columns in the lobby.
The size and lavishness of the building has earned it the nickname “Taj McColl,” after previous chairman and CEO of Bank of America (formerly North Carolina National Bank), Hugh McColl, who was responsible for the construction of the tower.
© Jodi Helmer from Moon Charlotte, 1st Edition