South End (Charlotte neighborhood)
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The South End has its beginning in the 1850s with Charlotte's first railroad line, connecting the Queen City to Columbia and Charleston, SC. As time passed a thriving manufacturing community sprang up along the tracks, centered on the booming textile industry. The industrial area declined during the 1970s and 1980s, only to be revived in the early 1990s as restaurants, shops, and design-related industries discovered the old mills and warehouses. The area is notable for the number of renovated factories and eclectic mix of retail, commercial and high end residential construction.
The Historic Charlotte Trolley Museum is located in the neighborhood and is run by Charlotte Trolley, Inc., a non-profit organization. Originally, Charlotte offered electric streetcar service from May 20, 1891 to March 14, 1938. Later in the century, Charlotte Trolley, Inc. began buying up the old trolley cars which had come to a state of disrepair.
Charlotte Trolley, Inc. began partnering with the Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) to integrate the vintage trolley service with the rest of Charlotte-Mecklenburg's extensive transit network. Light rail tracks were constructed in 1996 that ran from Atherton Mill in South End to 9th Street uptown. Service was halted in the early 2000s when a new track system began construction for the Charlotte LYNX light rail system. Service resumed on April 20, 2008 and the vintage trolley cars now run on the same tracks as the LYNX trams.
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