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plinko Aug 14, 2009 7:33 PM

CHARLOTTE | Bank of America | 871 FT / 265 M | 60 FLOORS | 1992
Built as the headquarters tower for Nations Bank as a symbol of Charlotte's rise in the national banking industry, the tower topped the skyline by nearly 300'.

Cesar Pelli here took a number of facade and massing cues from other towers he designed in that era and topped it with an epic almost gothic cap of shards and spikes. The result is a tower the soars upward and culminates with a very iconic crowning of the queen city of the South.

The tower is probably the best of Pelli's work of the era (along with Society Center) and catapulted Charlotte's skyline from rather blah and stumpy to decidedly more interesting.

BrandonJXN Aug 14, 2009 7:34 PM

For some reason, this reminds me of a Phillip Johnson building. But I still love it.

ltsmotorsport Aug 14, 2009 7:45 PM

One of my absolute favorites anywhere. It's really just perfect.

LMich Aug 15, 2009 2:18 AM

I agree, one of my favorite PoMo's of all time. The proportions are perfect, the crown brilliant, and the materials fitting. I guess it doesn't hurt that I'm also a big fan of the Comerica Tower in Detroit, which this reminds me of, superficially.

initiald Aug 15, 2009 4:44 AM

subterranean Aug 19, 2009 1:42 PM

Personally, I think it's the best looking scraper built in the U.S. in the past 20 years. Where others have sought new paradigms in their designs or let their egos lead, this takes many ques from the past without compromising modern sensibility. It's poignant and refined yet approachable.

Amanita Aug 19, 2009 11:09 PM

That is one gorgeous skyscraper! One of Pelli's best, and I say this as a big fan of his.

breathesgelatin Aug 20, 2009 3:26 AM

I remember when they were building this. I love it, love it, love it. One of the all time greats in my opinion!

KB0679 Oct 24, 2009 6:30 AM

I mean it's just classic. The closest thing to a perfect contemporary tower.

Lexy Oct 24, 2009 6:02 PM

This goes down easily as one of my all time favorite southern US skyscrapers and one of my favorites period! You have to see this monster in person to really appreciate it and its place in the skyline. Charlotte should be darn proud to have this gorgeous work of art in their city. I know if I could figure out a way to dig it up and get it to Nashville, I would do it right now. I love it!! Combine this tower with its neighbor tower, Hearst Tower, and you have a match made in heaven. It's almost like the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building together. The one tower works off the other and both make it perfect in a sense. Both of these towers are really remarkable skyscrapers! I just wish BofA Tower was more personable with the public, outside of the performing arts center. Instead, it is shut tight and visitors are looked upon with skepticism it seems. Hearst is able to capture the public with its shopping plaza out in front slightly better. But even it (the tower itself) is rather cold to visitors.

If I may, I would like to add a couple of pictures I got of it back this past spring!!

These pictures are rather large, so please forgive me for that. I think architecture photography is best viewed in semi-high resolution. Details pop out much easier that way.

Looking up!

Skyline position defined very well in this perspective. Downtown Charlotte is really nice!

The base of the tower. This isn't seen as often in pictures, but this is where it meets the human element first hand. The base of this tower is very imposing on the "Main Entrance" side, opposite of the theatre entrance.

And how can you not post a pic of it lit up at night?? Stunning work with the crown of the tower!'

"InitialD" is the man when it comes to all stuff Charlotte! I really enjoyed meeting him while I was there!!!

Guiltyspark Dec 25, 2011 6:20 AM

Charlotte's skyline went from one I knew nothing about to my 2nd favorite in the country (After Chicago of course). Every new building is better than the last. It almost reminds me of a modern Rapture from the video game BioShock.

RobertWalpole Dec 25, 2011 7:37 AM

Unfortunately, Charlotte's skyline will remain unchanged for a long time. The banks were the drivers of the skyline, and their centers of gravity are now located outside of Charlotte. Moreover, Charlotte's suburban markets in Ballantyne and elsewhere are where most of its companies want to be.

WilliamTheArtist Dec 25, 2011 1:31 PM

Gotta love that Art Deco influence. Well done Charlotte.

I keep pointing out to developers around here that we in Tulsa should pay some homage to our strong Art Deco heritage. It's one of the few positives that Tulsa is known for. Imo it would be a great way to build up and further enhance a unique identity/sense of place for the city, and even build up some tourism potential that we sadly do not take advantage of. If any other city had what we had they would be all over it, rather than ignoring it at best, or destroying it. But I often hear back the refrain that we shouldn't be living in the past but doing contemporary stuff. This Bank of America tower is a good example of how you can do both.

lakegz Dec 26, 2011 2:40 PM

The crown is very sharp but during the day looks a little cold and sharp with all those pins sticking out. At night though.....pure sex!

hauntedheadnc Dec 26, 2011 6:33 PM

The Bank of America Corporate Center is a perfect example of how to weave a city's history and identity into its architecture. Here we have a city and county named for a queen -- and here in that city we have an iconic building sporting a crown, with as many floors in the tower as there were in that queen's reign.

Just about perfect.

Patrick Dec 26, 2011 10:09 PM

One of my favorites, in my opinion, a perfect skyscraper. There is absolutely nothing I would change about this tower, it anchors the skyline perfectly and deserves to be Charlotte's tallest for years to come.

haligonia Dec 27, 2011 10:16 PM

It's absolutely stunning. One of my favourites in the South,.

initiald Oct 24, 2012 12:00 PM

Bank of America Corporate Center celebrates its 20th birthday today. The Cesar Pelli design is holding up great after a couple of decades - the building still impresses.

Bank of America Corporate Center still towers above Charlotte
By Jeremy Markovich

Read more here:


“I wanted to build a skyscraper as opposed to a tall building,” said McColl. “There are lots of tall buildings in the United States. A lot of them were built very tall with a flat top. They had no lasting street appeal or skyline appeal.”

NCNB hired architect Cesar Pelli to design the tower.

“He gave us a building that looks like more stone than glass,” said McColl. “So when you’re looking at our building from afar, it looks like a huge powerful granite building. But when you’re in it, you’ve got great perspective and great views.

“My thinking was,” he said, “we’re going to build something that’s going to dominate the skyline forever.”
It was a defining moment for Charlotte. The city went from competing with Winston-Salem and Greensboro, and Columbia (SC) to competing with cities such as Atlanta. Soon after Bank of America stadium was built and Charlotte received the Carolina Panthers in 1995. The tower sparked a late 20th century building boom and another 10 or so 300+ foot towers have been built since.

Video Link

A couple of recent photos I've taken:

ThatOneGuy Oct 24, 2012 8:12 PM

This is postmodernism done right. Most postmodernist buildings are tasteless, use bad proportions, have a bad mix of facade designs, and use unfitting, seemingly random features. There are quite a few ugly postmodernist buildings in this city, but this building is just gorgeous. Along with Pelli's other building, the Wells Fargo Center, this is a masterpiece. More proper postmodernist skyscrapers should be built (and this is coming from a big modernism fan!)

MolsonExport Oct 25, 2012 12:26 AM

The great building that put Charlotte on the skyscraper map.

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