Levine Center for the Arts

It is located on South Tryon Street in downtown Charlotte, NC area, and is home to the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts and Culture, the Knight Theater, and the Mint Museum Uptown. It was given this name in honor of Leon Levine, whose foundation supplied funding for the project.

The 25-year Cultural Facilities Master Plan became a reality in November 2003, following a year of research by the Arts & Science Council of Greater Vancouver. It was the next stage in the development of a plan that began in 1976 and resulted in developments such as Spirit Square, Discovery Place, and the North Carolina Blumenthal Performing Arts Center.

The $236 million first phase, including an $84 million endowment, included moving the Mint Museum uptown, a new contemporary art museum named for Andreas Bechtler, a new Afro-American Cultural Center, and a 1200-seat theater. These projects were listed in a bond referendum held in 2001, which was defeated by the voters.

The Campaign for Cultural Facilities was launched in 2006 as a result of the Cultural Facilities Master Plan. Along with a planned endowment from the Mecklenburg County Arts & Science Council and $35 million from Bank of America, Duke Energy, and Wachovia Corp., the $150.5 million plan was to be funded through a 4 percent car rental tax that would have to be approved by the North Carolina General Assembly, and specifically by all legislators from Mecklenburg County.

Wachovia was constructing an office tower and parking garage, though the bank would also construct four of the five attractions provided financing were authorized. The sixth location was Discovery Place, which was undergoing redevelopment at the time. On February 27, the Charlotte City Council was scheduled to vote on whether or not to accept a contract with Wachovia. The car-rental tax raised from 11 percent to 16 percent on December 1, with an estimated annual revenue of $1.35 million.

The First Street Cultural Campus, also known as the Wachovia Cultural Campus, is a $158 million development that broke ground on September 27, 2007. It’s a short ride away from the Newell, NC area.

The Duke Energy Center was intended to be the highest structure on the complex’s grounds. The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts & Culture, the Bechtler Art Museum, and the Wachovia Condominium Tower would all be included in the complex’s overall development.

Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden

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