History of Trade & Tryon

The Charlotte campus is located in the heart of the city at the corner of Trade and Tryon. These four corners and the surrounding area, referred to as “uptown” have been the city’s center since the 19th century. During the gold rush, prospectors walked through the square on their way to the U.S. Mint to collect their fortune. Originally the elevated hilltop were two Native American trading paths met, the four corners that make up Trade and Tryon now boast four different figures essential to Charlotte. The figures of: Commerce, Industry and Transportation represent elements of Charlotte’s past, which have contributed to its growth as major international hub. All three figures are looking toward the fourth statue, The Future.


  • Industry is characterized by a woman millworker, pays homage to Charlotte’s early textile factories.
  • Transportation is representative of the workers who built the first railroads in Charlotte. Personified by a man holding a sludge hammer.
  • Commerce is embodied by a prospector panning for gold, signifying the discovery of gold near Charlotte in 1799 and the current banking industries presence in the city.
  • Future serves as the focal point for the piece and features a woman holding a child.


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