Greensboro, North Carolina

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Greensboro, North Carolina
City
Greensboro skyline
Greensboro skyline
Flag of Greensboro, North Carolina
Flag
Official seal of Greensboro, North Carolina
Seal
Nickname(s): Tournament Town, Gate City,
The Boro
Location in Guilford County and the state of North Carolina.
Location in Guilford County and the state of North Carolina.
Greensboro, North Carolina is located in USA
Greensboro, North Carolina
Greensboro, North Carolina
Location in the contiguous United States
Coordinates: 36°4′48″N 79°49′10″W / 36.08000°N 79.81944°W / 36.08000; -79.81944Coordinates: 36°4′48″N 79°49′10″W / 36.08000°N 79.81944°W / 36.08000; -79.81944[1]
Country United States
State North Carolina
County Guilford
Established 1808
Government
 • Type City Council
 • Mayor Nancy B. Vaughan (D)
 • City Manager Jim Westmoreland
Area
 • City 131.2 sq mi (283.0 km2)
 • Land 126.7 sq mi (271.2 km2)
 • Water 4.5 sq mi (11.8 km2)
Elevation[1] 897 ft (272 m)
Population (2013)[2][3]
 • City 279,639 (68th)
 • Density 2,436/sq mi (940.5/km2)
 • Urban 311,810 (US: 120th)
 • MSA 723,801
 • CSA 1,599,477
Time zone EST (UTC−5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC−4)
ZIP code 27402, 27405, 27406, 27455
Area code 336
FIPS code 37-28000[1]
GNIS feature ID 1020557[1]
Website www.greensboro-nc.gov

Greensboro (Listeni/ˈɡrnzbʌr/)[4] (formerly Greensborough) is a city in the U.S. state of North Carolina.[1] It is the third-largest city by population in North Carolina and the county seat and largest city in Guilford County and the surrounding Piedmont Triad metropolitan region. According to the 2012 U.S. Census Estimate, Greensboro's population is 277,080. Three major interstate highways (Interstate 85, Interstate 40 and Interstate 73) in the Piedmont region of central North Carolina were built to intersect at this city.

In 2003, the previous Greensboro – Winston-SalemHigh Point metropolitan statistical area (MSA) was re-defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget. This region was separated into the Greensboro-High Point MSA and the Winston-Salem MSA. The 2010 population for the Greensboro-High Point MSA was 723,801. The combined statistical area (CSA) of Greensboro–Winston-Salem–High Point, popularly referred to as the Piedmont Triad, had a population of 1,599,477.

In 1808, Greensborough (the spelling before 1895) was planned around a central courthouse square to succeed Guilford Court House as the county seat. This county courts were thus placed closer to the geographical center of the county, a location more easily reached at the time by the majority of the county's citizens, who depended on horse and foot for travel.

History[edit]

Early history[edit]

At the time of European encounter, the inhabitants of the area that became Greensboro were a Siouan-speaking people called the Saura.[5] Other indigenous cultures had occupied this area for thousands of years, typically settling along the waterways, as did the early settlers.

Quaker migrants from Pennsylvania, by way of Maryland, arrived at Capefair (now Greensboro) in about 1750. The new settlers began organized religious services affiliated with the Cane Creek Friends Meeting in Snow Camp in 1751.[6] Three years later, 40 Quaker families were granted approval to establish New Garden Monthly Meeting.[6] (The action is recorded in the minutes of the Perquimans and Little River Quarterly Meeting on May 25, 1754: "To Friends at New Garden in Capefair", signed by Joseph Ratliff.)[7] The settlement grew rapidly during the next three years, adding members from as far away as Nantucket Island in Massachusetts.[6] It soon became the most important Quaker community in the North Carolina and mother of several other Quaker meetings that were established in the state and west of the Appalachians.[6]

After the American Revolutionary War, the city of Greensboro was named for Major General Nathanael Greene, commander of the rebel American forces at the Battle of Guilford Court House on March 15, 1781.[8] Although the Americans lost the battle, Greene's forces inflicted heavy casualties on the British Army of General Charles Cornwallis. Following this battle, Cornwallis withdrew his troops to a British coastal base in Wilmington, North Carolina.[9][10]

Battle of Guilford Courthouse

Greensboro was established near the geographic center of Guilford County, on land that was "an unbroken forest with thick undergrowth of huckleberry bushes, that bore a finely flavored fruit."[11] Property for the future village was purchased from the Saura for $98. Three north-south streets (Greene, Elm, Davie) were laid out intersecting with three east-west streets (Gaston, Market, Sycamore).[12] The courthouse was built at the center of the intersection of Elm and Market streets. By 1821, the town was home to 369 residents.

Blandwood Mansion, by Alexander Jackson Davis

In the early 1840s, Greensboro was designated by the state government as one of the stops on a new railroad line, at the request of Governor John Motley Morehead, whose plantation, Blandwood, was in Greensboro. Stimulated by rail traffic and improved access to markets, the city grew substantially, soon becoming known as the "Gate City" due to its role as a transportation hub for the Piedmont.[13] The railroads transported goods to and from the cotton textile mills. Many of the manufacturers developed workers' housing in mill villages near their facilities.

Textile companies and related businesses continued into the 21st century, when most went bankrupt, reorganized, and/or merged with other companies as textile manufacturing jobs moved offshore. Greensboro is still a major center of the textile industry, with the main offices of International Textile Group (Cone, Burlington Industries), Galey & Lord, Unifi, and VF Corporation (Wrangler, Lee, The North Face, and Nautica). Rail traffic continues to be important for the city's economy, as Greensboro serves as a major regional freight hub. In addition, four Amtrak passenger trains stop in Greensboro daily on the main Norfolk Southern line between Washington and New Orleans by way of Atlanta.

Though the city developed slowly, early wealth generated in the 18th and 19th centuries from cotton trade and merchandising resulted in owners' constructing several notable buildings. The earliest, later named Blandwood Mansion and Gardens, was built by a planter in 1795. Additions to this residence in 1846, designed by Alexander Jackson Davis of New York City, made the house influential as America's earliest Tuscan-style villa. It has been designated as a National Historic Landmark.[14] Other significantplantation houses and estates were developed, including "Dunleith", designed by Samuel Sloan; Bellemeade, and the Bumpass-Troy House. Since the late 20th century, the latter has been adapted and operates as a private inn.

American Civil War and last days of the Confederacy[edit]

Many of the residents of the Piedmont and western areas of the state were Unionist, and Guilford County did not vote for secession. But, once North Carolina joined the Confederacy, some citizens joined the Confederate cause, forming such infantry units as the Guilford Grays to fight in the American Civil War. From 1861 to March 1865 the city was relatively untouched by the war, although residents had to deal with the regional shortages of clothing, medicines, and other items caused by the US naval blockade of the South.

In the final weeks of the war, Greensboro played a unique role in the last days of the Confederate government. In April 1865 General P.G.T. Beauregard was instructed by the commanding officer of the Army of Tennessee, General Joseph E. Johnston, to prepare for a defense of the city. During this time, Confederate President Jefferson Davis and the remaining members of the Confederate cabinet had evacuated the Confederate Capital in Richmond, Virginia, and moved south to Danville, Virginia.

When Union cavalry threatened Danville, Davis and his cabinet managed to escape by train and reassembled in Greensboro on April 11, 1865. While in the city, Davis and his cabinet decided to try to escape overseas in order to avoid capture by the victorious Union forces; they left Greensboro and separated. Greensboro is notable as the last place where the entire Confederate government met as a group: it is considered the "final" capital city of the Confederacy.[15]

At nearly the same time, Governor Zebulon B. Vance fled Raleigh, the capital of North Carolina, before the forces of Union General William Tecumseh Sherman swept the city.[16] For a brief period beginning April 16, 1865, he and other officials maintained the state capital in Greensboro.[17][18] Governor Vance proclaimed the North Carolina Surrender Declaration on April 28, 1865.[19] Later, Vance surrendered to Union officials in the parlor of Blandwood Mansion. Historian Blackwell Robinson wrote, "Greensboro witnessed not only the demise of the Confederacy but also that of the old civil government of the state."[15]

Once surrender negotiations were completed at Bennett Place (in present-day Durham, North Carolina), between General Johnston and General Sherman on April 26, 1865, Confederate soldiers in Greensboro stacked their arms and received their paroles, and headed for home.

Industrialization and growth[edit]

White Oak Mill in 1909

After the war, investors worked to restore the textile mills and related industry. In the 1890s, the city continued to attract attention from northern industrialists, including Moses and Caesar Cone of Baltimore, Maryland.[20] The Cone brothers established large-scale textile plants, changing Greensboro from a village to a city within a decade. By 1900, Greensboro was considered a center of the Southern textile industry, with large-scale factories producing denim, flannel, and overalls.[21] The resulting prosperity was expressed in the construction of notable twentieth-century civic architecture, including the Guilford County Courthouse, West Market Street United Methodist Church by S. W. Faulk, several buildings designed by Frank A. Weston, and the Julius I. Foust Building of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, designed by Orlo Epps.

During the twentieth century, Greensboro continued to increase in population and wealth. Grand commercial and civic buildings, many of which still stand today, were designed by local architects Charles Hartmann and Harry Barton. Other notable industries became established in the city, including Vicks Chemical Co. (famous for over-the-counter cold remedies such as VapoRub and NyQuil), Carolina Steel Corporation, and Pomona Terra Cotta Works.[22] During the first three decades, Greensboro grew so rapidly that there was an acute worker housing shortage. Builders set a construction goal of 80 to 100 affordable housing units per year to provide homes for workers.[23] Greensboro's real estate was considered "the wonder of the state" during the 1920s. Growth continued even through the Great Depression, as Greensboro attracted an estimated 200 new families per year to its population.[24] The city earned a reputation as a well-planned community, with a strong emphasis on education, parks, and a profitable employment base.

It has two major public research universities, North Carolina A&T State University, a historically black college established in the late 19th century, and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. During the height of the civil rights movement in the early 1960s, students from A&T were the major force in protests to achieve racial justice, desegregation of public facilities, and fair employment, beginning with the Greensboro Four, who sat in at the segregated lunch counter at Woolworth's in 1960 to gain service. The largest civil rights protests in North Carolina state history took place in Greensboro in May and June 1963. In the 21st century, the universities are leaders in new areas of research in high tech and science, on which the city hopes to build a new economy.

Wartime and postwar prosperity brought development, and designs commissioned from nationally and internationally known architects. For instance, Walter Gropius, a leader of the German Bauhaus movement in the United States, designed a factory building in the city in 1944.[25] Greensboro-based Ed Loewenstein designed projects throughout the region. Eduardo Catalano and George Matsumoto were hired for projects whose designs have challenged North Carolinians with modernist architectural concepts and forms.

Civil rights movement[edit]

Main article: Greensboro Four

In 1960, the Census Bureau reported Greensboro's population as 74.0% white and 25.8% black.[26] As in the rest of the state, most blacks were still disenfranchised under state laws, Jim Crow laws and customs were in effect, and public facilities, including schools, were racially segregated by law. This was after the US Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education (1954) that segregation in public schools was unconstitutional. Facilities reserved for blacks were generally underfunded by the state and city governments, which were dominated by conservative white Democrats.

In the postwar period, blacks pushed in North Carolina and across the South to regain the ability to exercise their constitutional rights as citizens. College students from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical College (A&T), a historically black college, made Greensboro a center of protests and change. On February 1, 1960, four black college students sat down at an "all-white" Woolworth's lunch counter, and refused to leave after they were denied service. They had already purchased items in other parts of the store and kept their receipts. After being denied lunch service, they brought out the receipts, asking why their money was good everywhere else in the store but not at the lunch counter.[27] Hundreds of supporters soon joined in this sit-in, which lasted several months. Such protests quickly spread across the South, ultimately leading to the desegregation of lunch counters and other facilities at Woolworth's and other chains.

Woolworth's went out of business due to changes in 20th-century retail practices, but the original Woolworth's lunch counter and stools are still in their original location. The former Woolworth's building has been adapted as the International Civil Rights Center and Museum, which opened on February 1, 2010, the 50th anniversary of the sit-ins.[28] (A section of the counter is on display at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. to mark the courage of the civil rights protesters).[29]

Former Woolworth store, now the International Civil Rights Center and Museum

The white business community acceded to the desegregation of Woolworth's and made other minor concessions, but the civil rights movement had additional goals, holding protests in 1962 and 1963. In May and June 1963, the largest civil rights protest in North Carolina history took place in Greensboro. Protesters sought desegregation of public accommodations, and economic and social justice, such as hiring policies based on merit rather than race. They also worked for the overdue integration of public schools, as the US Supreme Court had ruled in 1954 that segregation of public schools was unconstitutional. Each night more than 2,000 protesters marched through Greensboro's segregated central business district. William Thomas and A. Knighton Stanley, coordinators of Greensboro's local CORE chapter, invited Jesse Jackson, then an activist student at A&T, to join the protests. Jackson quickly rose to prominence as a student leader, becoming the public spokesman of the non-violent protest movement. Seeking to overwhelm city jails, as was done in protests led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Birmingham, Alabama, the protesters invited arrest by violating segregation rules of local businesses; they were charged with trespassing and other non-violent actions. College and high school students constituted most of the protesters, and at one point approximately 1,400 blacks were jailed in the city of Greensboro. The scale of protests disrupted the business community and challenged the leadership of the mayor and Governor Terry Sanford.

Finally the city and business community responded with further desegregation of public facilities, reformed hiring policies in city government, and commitments to progress by both Greensboro's mayor and Governor Sanford. Sanford declared, "Anyone who hasn't received this message doesn't understand human nature." Significant changes in race relations still came at a painfully slow pace, and the verbal commitments from white leadership in 1963 were not implemented in substantial ways.[30]

Dudley High School/A&T protests[edit]

In May 1969, students of James B. Dudley High School were outraged when the administration refused to let a popular candidate run for student union class president, allegedly due to his membership in Youth for the Unity of Black Society. After their appeals to the school were rejected, the students asked activists at North Carolina A& T State University for support in a protest.[31][32][33] Protests escalated and after students at A&T had thrown rocks at police, they returned on May 21 armed with tear gas canisters, using this against the crowds. The uprising grew larger, and the governor ordered the National Guard to back up local police. After there were exchanges of gunfire, the governor ordered the National Guard into the A&T campus, in what was described at the time as "the most massive armed assault ever made against an American university".[34] The National Guard swept the college dormitories, taking hundreds of students into "protective custody." The demonstrations were suppressed. The disturbances were investigated by the North Carolina State Advisory Committee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights; its 1970 report concluded that the National Guard invasion was a reckless action as it was disproportionate to the danger posed by student protests. It criticized local community leaders for failing to respond adequately to the Dudley High School students when the issues first arose. They declared it "a sad commentary that the only group in the community who would take the Dudley students seriously were the students at A&T State University."[33]

Greensboro Massacre[edit]

Main article: Greensboro Massacre

While making progress, African Americans in Greensboro continued to suffer acts of prejudice. On November 3, 1979, members of the Communist Workers Party (CWP) held an anti-Ku Klux Klan rally in the black Morningside Heights neighborhood. It was covered by four local TV news stations. During the protest, two cars containing KKK supporters arrived. A CWP organizer fired a pistol (allegedly into the air) and protesters beat the Klan cars with sticks; the KKK responded with shooting and killing five demonstrators and wounding seven.[35] Television footage of the actions was shown nationwide and around the world, and the event became known as the Greensboro Massacre. In November 1980, six KKK defendants were each acquitted in a state criminal trial by an all-white jury after a week of deliberations. Families of those killed and injured in the attack filed a civil suit against the city and police department for failure to protect the black citizens. In 1985, a jury in this case found five police officers and two other individuals liable for $350,000 in damages; the monies were to be paid to the Greensboro Justice Fund, established to prosecute such cases to advance civil rights.

Geography[edit]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 109.2 square miles (283 km2), of which, 104.7 square miles (271 km2) of it is land and 4.5 square miles (12 km2) of it (4.16%) is water.

Greensboro is located among the rolling hills of North Carolina's Piedmont, situated midway between the state's Blue Ridge and Great Smoky mountains to the west and the Atlantic beaches and Outer Banks to the east. The view of the city from its highest building — the Lincoln Financial tower (commonly known as the Jefferson-Pilot Building after the local newspaper) — shows an expanse of shade trees in the city. Interstates 40 and 85 intersect at the city, and the planned I-73 is to pass through its borders.

Downtown area[edit]

Downtown Greensboro has attracted development investment in recent years with such new construction as Yadkin Bank Park, and residential and offices. The Southside neighborhood downtown exemplifies central-city reinvestment. The formerly economically depressed neighborhood has been redeveloped as an award-winning neotraditional-style neighborhood featuring walkability, compact blocks and local amenities and services.[36] Downtown Greensboro has an active nightlife with numerous nightclubs, bars and restaurants.

The redevelopment of the downtown was stimulated by the 2006 opening of the Elon University School of Law. The law school is credited with attracting student dollars to the downtown both day and night.[37]

Greensboro NC skyline.

Four Seasons/Coliseum Area[edit]

Sheraton Four Seasons - Joseph S. Koury Convention Center

The Four Seasons Town Centre is a three-story shopping mall with 1,141,000 square feet of shopping space that was developed by the Koury Corporation. Located at 410 Four Seasons Town Centre, it is adjacent to the Koury Convention Center and Sheraton Hotel. Boasting over 250,000 square feet (20,000 m2) of flexible meeting space, the Joseph S. Koury Convention Center is the largest convention center in the Southeast between Atlanta, Georgia and Washington, D.C.. The hotel has more than 1,000 rooms.[38][39][40]

The Greensboro Coliseum is located at 1921 W. Gate City Boulevard. This multi-purpose complex consists of the 22,000-seat Greensboro Coliseum, 2,400-seat War Memorial Auditorium, 300-seat Odeon Theatre, and the 167,000-square foot Special Events Center, which includes three exhibition halls, a 4,500-seat mini-arena and eight meeting rooms. The 30,000-square foot Pavilion is located adjacent. The Coliseum's website notes the complex hosts "a broad range of activities, including athletic events, cultural arts, concerts, theater, educational activities, fairs, exhibits, and public and private events of all kinds including conventions, convocations and trade and consumer shows." [41]

The War Memorial Auditorium has been demolished.

Airport area[edit]

In 1998, FedEx built a $300 million mid-Atlantic air-cargo and sorting hub at Piedmont Triad International Airport, following an intensive competition for the hub among other regions of the state, as well as locations in South Carolina. The project was challenged in court based on the quality of planned noise and pollution abatements from neighborhoods near the planned hub site. The hub opened in 2009. Originally projected by FedEx to employ 750 people in its first two years of operation and eventually 1,500, local FedEx employment has been nearly the same as before the facility was constructed.[42][43]

In March 2015 HondaJet, with a manufacturing facility in Greensboro, announced that it had received provisional type certification (PTC) from the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). This achievement indicates the FAA's approval of the HondaJet design based on certification testing, design reviews, and analyses completed to date.[44]

Climate[edit]

Greensboro, like much of the southeastern United States, has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cfa), with four distinct seasons. Winters are short and generally cool, with a January daily average of 38.9 °F (3.8 °C). On average, there are 75 nights per year that drop to or below freezing,[a] and 4.3 days that fail to rise above freezing.[45][b] Measurable snowfall occurs nearly every winter, and accumulates to a normal of 7.5 inches (19.1 cm), usually in January and February and occasionally December and March; the actual amount may vary considerably from winter to winter.[c] Cold air damming (CAD) can facilitate freezing rain, often making it a more pressing concern than snow. Summers are hot and humid, with a daily average in July of 78.5 °F (25.8 °C). There is an average 32 days per year with highs at or above 90 °F (32 °C), but, as in much of the Piedmont South, 100 °F (38 °C)+ readings are uncommon.[45] Autumn is similar to spring in temperature but has fewer days of rainfall and less total rainfall. Extremes in temperature have ranged from −8 °F (−22 °C) on January 21, 1985 up to 104 °F (40 °C), as recently as July 17, 1914.

Thunderstorms are common during the humid spring and summer months, some being severe. On April 2, 1936, at around 7:00 pm, a large, F-4 tornado cut a seven-mile (11 km) swath of destruction through southern Greensboro. 14 people were killed and 144 were injured from the tornado, which moved through part of downtown. The storm was part of an outbreak known as the 1936 Cordele-Greensboro tornado outbreak. Strong tornadoes have struck the Greensboro area since then, notably Stoneville on March 20, 1998; Clemmons and Winston-Salem on May 5, 1989; Clemmons and Greensboro on May 7, 2008; and High Point on March 28, 2010.

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 497
1880 2,105 323.5%
1890 3,317 57.6%
1900 10,035 202.5%
1910 15,895 58.4%
1920 19,861 25.0%
1930 53,569 169.7%
1940 59,319 10.7%
1950 74,389 25.4%
1960 119,574 60.7%
1970 144,076 20.5%
1980 155,642 8.0%
1990 183,894 18.2%
2000 223,891 21.8%
2010 269,666 20.4%
Est. 2015 285,342 [48] 5.8%
U.S. Decennial Census[49]
2013 Estimate[50]

As of the census[51] of 2010, there were 269,666 people; 124,074 households; and 53,958 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,138.3 people per square mile (825.6/km²). There were 99,305 housing units at an average density of 948.4 per square mile (366.2/km²). The racial composition of the city was 48.4% White, 40.6% Black or African American, 4.0% Asian American (1.6% Vietnamese, 0.7% Indian), 0.5% Native American, 0.1% Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, 2.08% some other race, and 2.6% two or more races.[52] Non-Hispanic Whites were 45.6% of the population in 2010,[53] compared to 70.9% in 1970.[54] People of Hispanic or Latino heritage, who may be of any race, were 7.5% of the population (4.6% Mexican, 0.7% Puerto Rican).

Of the estimated 92,394 households in the city in 2000, 27.5% included children under the age of 18, 39.8% were married couples living together, 14.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.6% were classified as non-family. Of the total households, 32.6% were composed of individuals, while 8.7% reported someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 persons, and the average family size was 2.94 persons.

The age distribution in 2000 was 22.3% under the age of 18, 14.1% from 18 to 24, 31.6% from 25 to 44, 20.2% from 45 to 64, and 11.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 89.2 males—for every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city in 2000 was $39,661, and the median income for a family was $50,192. Males had a median income of $34,681 versus $26,797 for females. The per capita income for the city was $22,986. About 8.6% of families and 19.3% of the population in 2000 were living below the poverty line, including 25.8% of those under age 18 and 10.6% of those age 65 or over.

Religion[edit]

In Greensboro, 48.33% of the population is religiously affiliated. The largest religion in Greensboro is Christianity, with the most affiliates being either Baptist (11.85%) or Methodist (10.25%). The remaining Christian populations are Presbyterian (3.97%), Roman Catholic (3.71%), Pentecostal (2.61%), Episcopalian (1.17%), Latter-Day Saints (1.02%), Lutheran (0.96%), and other Christian denominations (11.03%) including Greek Orthodox, Quaker, Moravian, Church of Christ, and non-denominational. After Christianity, the largest religion in Greensboro is Islam (0.82%), followed by Judaism (0.60%). Eastern religions make up the minority in Greensboro (0.34%).[55][unreliable source]

Economy[edit]

Downtown Greensboro
Dixie Building

The Greensboro economy and the surrounding Piedmont Triad area, traditionally has been centered around textiles, tobacco, and furniture. Greensboro's central proximity in the state has made it a popular place for families and businesses, as well as becoming more of a logistics hub with FedEx having regional operations based in the city.

Notable companies headquartered in Greensboro include the Honda Aircraft Company, Lorillard Tobacco Company, Kayser-Roth, VF, Mack Trucks, Volvo Trucks of North America, Qorvo, the International Textile Group, NewBridge Bank, The Fresh Market, Cook Out, Ham's, Biscuitville, Tripps, and Columbia Forest Products. Greensboro is a "center of operations" for the insurance company Lincoln Financial Group.[56] Greensboro is also headquarters to the Atlantic Coast Conference.

City leaders have been working to attract new businesses in the nanotech, high-tech, aviation and transportation/logistics sectors. The University of North Carolina at Greensboro and North Carolina A&T State University opened a joint research park, Gateway University Research Park.

Largest employers[edit]

According to the City's 2010 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[57] the largest employers in the city are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 Guilford County Public Schools 10,394
2 Cone Health 7,218
3 City of Greensboro 3,108
4 United States Postal Service 2,800
5 Guilford County 2,700
6 University of North Carolina at Greensboro 2,499
7 High Point Regional Health System 2,320
8 Bank of America 2,000
9 American Express 2,000
10 TE Connectivity 2,000

Top industries[edit]

According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics[58]

Industry Jobs
Trade / Transportation / Utilities 73,800
Professional / Business 54,400
Manufacturing 54,200
Education and Health Service 48,400
Government 42,600
Leisure and Hospitality 36,700
Financial 18,200

Arts[edit]

Greensboro is home to an active and diverse arts community. Events and venues range from the nationally acclaimed annual Eastern Music Festival to Weatherspoon Art Museum to the cutting edge performances of the Triad Stage theater company.

  • Carolina Theatre of Greensboro[59] is a performing arts facility that has been a part of downtown Greensboro since 1927. Since the facility's renovation in the 1990s, the theater has served as the home of the Greensboro Ballet, the Community Theatre of Greensboro, the Livestock Players Musical Theatre, Greensboro Youth Symphony and a variety of other local performing arts groups.
  • [60] showcases a variety of musical and theatrical productions by The Livestock Players, Greensboro Children's Theatre, the Music Center, Greensboro Concert Band, Philharmonia of Greensboro, Choral Society of Greensboro, and the Greensboro Youth Chorus. Most of these groups participate in the city's annual OPUS Concert Series and the summer "Music for a Sunday Evening in the Park" series.
  • Community Theatre of Greensboro[61] has presented Broadway and off-Broadway plays and musicals for more than 45 years. The CTG's Studio Theatre is housed in the Greensboro Cultural Center.
  • Eastern Music Festival brings more than 100 summer performances, from symphonic works to chamber music to recitals by professional and talented students from around the world. The event also hosts the Fringe Festival, showcasing avant-garde and nontraditional music and performances.
  • Elsewhere Collaborative[62] is a living museum set inside a former thrift store on South Elm Street in downtown Greensboro. Elsewhere is an interactive, evolving environment of objects, creatives, and creations. The living museum hosts events, performances, projects, and productions that activate the 58-year collection and foster communications between creatives and participants.
  • Greensboro Ballet and School of Greensboro Ballet:[63] A traditional December production of The Nutcracker is just one of the many artistic and educational activities offered by the ballet company. The School of Greensboro Ballet is one of a relative few nonprofit ballet schools in the nation.
  • Greensboro Cultural Center[64] houses more than 25 visual and performing arts organizations, five art galleries, rehearsal halls, a sculpture garden, privately operated restaurant with outdoor cafe-style seating, and an outdoor amphitheater. Art galleries include the African American Atelier, the Green Hill Center for North Carolina Art, the Greensboro Artists' League Gallery and Gift Shop, the Guilford Native American Art Gallery and the Mattye Reed African Heritage Center Satellite Gallery.
  • Greensboro Opera Company[65] is a highly regarded regional opera company founded in October 1981 that has experienced much growth and expansion. Beginning with the production of Verdi's La traviata featuring June Anderson (then a rising young New York City Opera soprano), the company expanded from a single fall production of a major opera in the years 1981–89 to the addition of Sunday matinee performances in the 1990–99 season when, in response to successive sold out productions of Madame Butterfly and Carmen in 1997 and 1998, a second spring opera with two performances was added, beginning in 1999–2000. The company has successfully blended outside and local singers with a full orchestra, manned by members of the Greensboro Symphony, in the pit at their home at Greensboro's War Memorial Auditorium.
  • Greensboro Symphony Orchestra,[66] led by conductor Dmitri Sitkovetsky, has developed a strong reputation among national musical organizations, including continued exposure on National Public Radio's Performance Today. Sitkovetsky began his career as a violin soloist. He focused on the chamber orchestra repertoire when starting out with the European String Orchestra, a superb group of musicians pulled together by Sitkovetsky. The orchestra performs classical and pops concerts and holds educational programs for young listeners throughout the year.
  • Reed African American Heritage Museum,[67] at North Carolina A&T State University, hosts one of the most acclaimed collections of African culture in the nation. The museum houses more than 3,500 art and craft pieces from more than 30 African nations, New Guinea and Haiti.
  • Triad Stage[68] is a not-for-profit regional theatre company based in Greensboro's downtown historic district. All productions are created in Greensboro using a combination of local and national talent. The theater company recently was recognized as "One of the 50 Best Regional Theatres in America!" by New York's Drama League, "Best Live Theatre" in Go Triad/News & Record The Rhino Times, and was voted "2003 Professional Theater of the Year" by the North Carolina Theatre Conference.
  • Weatherspoon Art Museum
    Weatherspoon Art Museum[69] at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro houses one of the foremost collections of modern and contemporary art in the Southeast. Composed of six galleries, the museum is nationally recognized for its collection of 20th-century American art. The permanent collection also includes lithographs and bronzes by Henri Matisse, and art by celebrated masters such as Willem de Kooning, Henry Ossawa Tanner, John Graham, Pablo Picasso, Robert Rauschenberg, and Andy Warhol.
  • The Greater Triad Shag Club[70] is a non profit club dedicated to the music and dance associated with Carolina Shag. The Shag is dedicated as the "North Carolina Popular Dance".[71] The Greater Triad Shag Club meets monthly @ Thirsty's 2[72] in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Attractions[edit]

  • The Bog Garden is accessed by an elevated boardwalk that comprises a half-mile of the 1.06 miles (1.71 km) of trails that wind through a garden of plants and wildlife that thrive in a wetland ecosystem. It is located off of Hobbs Rd.
  • Bicentennial Garden was developed in 1976 to commemorate the U.S. bicentennial. The garden contains 1.25 miles (2.01 km) of paved trails, along with outdoor sculptures and a pavilion. The park is across the street from The Bog Garden and is also on Hobbs Rd.
  • The International Civil Rights Center and Museum, opened in 2010, is in the former F. W. Woolworth building in which the Greensboro sit-ins occurred beginning February 1, 1960. The museum was founded by the Sit-in Movement, Inc. to commemorate the sit-ins and persons involved, as well as other events in the history of the American Civil Rights movement.
  • Greensboro Center City Park occupies half a city block adjacent to the Greensboro Cultural Center. Sponsored by Action Greensboro, the park features a fountain as well as works by several North Carolina artists.
  • Carolyn & Maurice LeBauer Park opened downtown in 2016 next to the library and the historical museum.
  • Greensboro Arboretum was completed as a partnership between Greensboro Beautiful and the City of Greensboro Parks & Recreation Department. It offers an extensive selection of flora for study and enjoyment. The 17-acre (69,000 m2) site features 12 permanent plant collections as well as special display gardens with a fountain, overlook, arbor, gazebo, bridges, and viewing benches.
  • Blandwood Mansion and Gardens is the historic home of former North Carolina Governor John Motley Morehead. Today the site serves as a museum of national architectural and historical significance. It is the earliest example of Tuscan Italianate architecture in the nation, designed by New York architect Alexander Jackson Davis.
  • World War Memorial Stadium was one of the oldest continuously used professional baseball facilities in the nation before it was replaced by the city's First Horizon Stadium in 2005. The memorial stadium was constructed in 1926 to honor the memory of lives lost during the first World War. It anchors the Aycock Historic District and remains in use by collegiate baseball teams, amateur leagues, and other special events throughout the year. The stadium was home to the Greensboro Bats professional minor-league club until the new First Horizon Park opened and the team became the Greensboro Grasshoppers.
  • Hagan Stone Park is a scenic 409 acres (1.66 km2) wildlife refuge and family campground owned and operated by the city of Greensboro, North Carolina located on Hagan Stone Park Road off U.S. Highway 421. It is open daily 8 am to sunset, weather permitting. The park has several lakes, camp shelters with charcoal grills, and playgrounds. The park is the home of the Greensboro Invitational Cross Country Meet hosted annually in September by the Greensboro Pacesetters for high school and college athletes.
  • Greensboro Coliseum Complex was conceived as, and continues to operate as, a multibuilding facility to serve the citizens of Greensboro and the surrounding region by hosting a broad range of activities including athletic and cultural events; concerts, theater and other entertainment; educational activities, fairs and exhibits; and other public and private events such as conventions, convocations and trade/consumer shows. The coliseum complex has hosted prestigious events such as the collegiate Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) basketball tournament, East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) and American Hockey League (AHL) professional hockey, the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship and Starrcade (1983). Additionally, the Carolina Hurricanes of the National Hockey League called the Greensboro Coliseum its temporary home while its permanent venue was being constructed in Raleigh. Since 1959, the coliseum has featured superstars ranging from Elvis to the contemporary R&B singer Usher. The facility is scheduled to again host ACC Basketball Tournaments (men's and women's) in 2010. It also hosted the 2011 and 2015 United States Figure Skating Championships. The complex has undergone several major renovations, most recently in 1994, enlarging the maximum arena capacity to its current 23,500 seats. The ACC Hall of Champions and Museum will open adjacent to the coliseum complex in March 2011, as the ACC was founded in Greensboro in 1953 and currently is headquartered at the Grandover Office Park in south Greensboro.
  • Yadkin Bank Park is home of the Greensboro Grasshoppers baseball club. Completed in 2005, it hosts additional outdoor events and concerts during the summer months.
  • Guilford Courthouse National Military Park commemorates the Battle of Guilford Court House, which occurred at the location on March 15, 1781. The battle opened the campaign that led to the America's victory in the Revolutionary War. The British lost a substantial number of troops in the battle, which factored in their surrender at Yorktown (Virginia) seven months later. The battle site remains largely undeveloped with large stone memorials erected early in the twentieth century to memorialize the nationally significant event.
  • The Greensboro Science Center is a family oriented, hands-on science museum and planetarium. The zoo reopened in summer 2007 after undergoing extensive renovations.
  • The Greensboro Children's Museum (GCM) offers hands-on and interactive exhibits, educational programming and special events all year long for children newborn through age ten.
  • The revitalized downtown Elm Street area is known for its collection of antique shops, art galleries, and restaurants and clubs. Many people attend the First Friday events held each month at the participating merchants.
  • Wet 'n Wild Emerald Pointe has 36 rides including Daredevil Drop, one of the nation's tallest water slides, and family rides such as Tropical Drop. The park features two heavily themed family sections: Splash Island and Happy Harbor. Emerald Pointe is the largest water park in the Carolinas. According to Amusement Business magazine, Emerald Pointe boasts the tenth highest annual attendance among American water parks at nearly 500,000 visitors.

Shopping[edit]

The Shops at Friendly Center

Greensboro is home to a large variety of retail shopping from well-known national chains to local boutiques and galleries. Four Seasons Town Centre, located on the city's southwest side off I-40, is a three-level regional mall. Friendly Center, off Friendly Avenue is an open-air shopping complex featuring the nation's largest Harris Teeter supermarket, and a multiplex cinema. The Shoppes at Friendly Center, adjacent to Friendly Center, is home to many upscale retailers and restaurants. Additional shopping centers are primarily on the West Wendover corridor near I-40 and on Battleground Avenue on the city's northwest side. Recently, "big-box" retailers have clustered at the site of the former Carolina Circle Mall on the city's northeast side and on the city's far south along the newly completed Painter Boulevard (I-85). Also on New Garden Rd. a large shopping area has popped up over the past few years.

Sports[edit]

Greensboro is not currently home to any top-level professional sports teams. The National Hockey League's Carolina Hurricanes franchise moved to Raleigh from Hartford, Connecticut in 1997, but the team played its first two seasons at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex while its home arena, Raleigh's Entertainment & Sports Arena, was under construction. Additionally, during the late 1990s, the Minnesota Twins almost relocated to the city, even receiving league approval. But the deal collapsed after local voters refused to fund the proposed ballpark.[73]

The Greensboro Grasshoppers (formerly the Greensboro Bats and the Greensboro Hornets) are a minor league baseball team located in Greensboro. They are a Class A team in the South Atlantic League and have been a farm team of the Miami Marlins since 2003. They play at Yadkin Bank Park.

Greensboro's Carolina Dynamo play in the Premier Development League, which is currently the top level men's amateur soccer competition in the United States. It has 63 teams competing in four conferences, split into ten regional divisions. It's considered to be the fourth tier of competition, behind the United Soccer League. The team plays its home games at Macpherson Stadium in nearby Browns Summit, North Carolina, where they have played since 2003. The PDL seasons take place during the summer months, the player pool is drawn mainly from elite NCAA college soccer players seeking to continue playing high level soccer during their summer break, which they can do while still maintaining their college eligibility.

On October 27, 2015, the Charlotte Hornets officially announced that Greensboro will host an affiliate NBA D-League team, beating out other considered cities like Columbia, Asheville, Fayetteville, and Charleston. The Greensboro Swarm will begin playing in fall 2016 at the Greensboro Coliseum Pavilion.[74]

Greensboro is home to the headquarters of the Atlantic Coast Conference, despite having no school participating within the league. The Greensboro Coliseum Complex has hosted the Men's ACC Tournament 23 times since 1967 and the Women's ACC Tournament 12 times since 2000. Greensboro has also hosted the NCAA Men's Basketball Final Four on four occasions.

The PGA Tour holds a tournament annually in Greensboro. The Wyndham Championship is held at Sedgefield Country Club and is the last PGA Tour event before the Playoffs for the FedEx Cup. The tournament was founded in 1938 as the Greater Greensboro Open and one of the oldest events on the PGA Tour.

Greensboro nicknames itself as "Tournament Town" due to the many sports tournaments the city hosts. In addition to hosting the ACC Basketball Tournament and NCAA basketball games, the city has hosted the ACC Baseball Tournament, The 2011 U.S. Figure Skating Championships and a number of national competitions at the new Greensboro Aquatic Center. In 1974 Greensboro hosted the NCAA Men's Basketball Final Four championship game. It was the first time the Final Four was held in North Carolina. Charlotte would later host the Final Four in 1994.

Greensboro Roller Derby was founded in 2010 and has been a member of the WFTDA, Women's Flat Track Derby Association, since 2013. The league comprises three intra-league teams, named after prominent streets in the city, as well as inter-league all-star and b level teams, each featuring skaters from the three intra-league teams. The league is run by the skaters, who all have ties to the community, and is a not-for-profit organization. Roller derby bouts are held at the Greensboro Coliseum between March and November.

Clubs Sport League Stadium
Greensboro Grasshoppers Baseball South Atlantic League – Northern Division Yadkin Bank Park
Greensboro Swarm Basketball NBA Development League Greensboro Coliseum Pavilion
Gate City FC Soccer National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) Jamieson Stadium
Carolina Dynamo Soccer Premier Development League (PDL) Macpherson Stadium
Triad Rugby Club Men's Club Rugby USA Rugby South Oka T. Hester Park
Greensboro Roller Derby Roller Derby Women's Flat Track Derby Association Greensboro Coliseum

Government[edit]

Greensboro operates under a council-manager government. Greensboro consists of nine members; all seats, including the Mayor's, are open for election every two years. Five of the council seats are district representatives and three seats are citywide representatives elected at-large.

As of October 2015, Nancy B. Vaughan is the mayor.

City Council[edit]

[75]

  • Nancy B. Vaughan, Mayor
  • Marikay Abuzuaiter, At Large
  • Mike Barber, At Large
  • Sharon Hightower, District 1
  • Jamal T. Fox, District 2
  • Justin Outling, District 3
  • Nancy Hoffmann, District 4
  • Tony Wilkins, District 5.

Education[edit]

Higher education[edit]

The city of Greensboro has many major institutions of higher education. Universities and colleges are Bennett College, Elon University School of Law, Greensboro College, Guilford College, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and Carolina Graduate School of Divinity. Greensboro and the surrounding county is served by Guilford Technical Community College.

Secondary education[edit]

Public education[edit]

The public schools in Greensboro are operated by Guilford County Schools. Guilford County Schools is the third largest school system in the state with about 71,000 students being taught. Greensboro has one of the oldest public high schools in the state, Grimsley High School, established in 1899 as Greensboro High School, as well of as The Early College at Guilford, the top public high school in North Carolina and one of the best in the nation.

Private education[edit]

Greensboro is home to many private day schools, including Greensboro Day School, Our Lady of Grace Catholic School, New Garden Friends School, Caldwell Academy, B'nai Shalom Day School, Canterbury School, Greensboro Montessori School, Noble Academy, Vandalia Christian School, Shining Light Christian Academy, Saint Pius X Catholic School, Napoleon B. Smith SDA Academy and Covenant Christian Day School. The area has two boarding schools: the American Hebrew Academy and the Oak Ridge Military Academy in a nearby town named Oak Ridge.

Media[edit]

Newspapers[edit]

The Greensboro News & Record, part of the newspaper group owned by Berkshire Hathaway Corporation, is the primary daily newspaper. The Triad Business Journal is part of the American City Business Journals chain of business weeklies owned by Advance Communications, is based in Greensboro and covers business across the Piedmont Triad metropolitan region. The Carolina Peacemaker is a news weekly that covers the African-American community. Yes! Weekly is a free, weekly, alternative newspaper, and the Hamburger Square Post is a free monthly newspaper. The Rhinoceros Times, a conservative free, weekly newspaper, temporarily went out of business on April 30, 2013 but returned after a short time.[76]

Broadcast television[edit]

Greensboro is a part of the Greensboro/Winston-Salem/High Point television designated market area and includes the following commercial broadcast stations (listed by call letters, channel number, network and city of license):

Greensboro is home to the Triad bureau of News 14 Carolina bnt, 20.2 North Carolina's only black-owned television station[clarification needed]

Documentaries[edit]

  • February One California Newsreel documentary on 1960 sit-in by the Greensboro Four.[77]
  • 88 Seconds in Greensboro[78] PBS Frontline transcript. Reported by James Reston, Jr. Directed by William Cran. Original Airdate: January 24, 1983. Retrieved April 2, 2005.
  • Greensboro Child,[79] documentary about the 1979 Greensboro Massacre and the shadow it cast on the survivors.
  • Elvis Presley's concert in Greensboro in April 1972 was professionally recorded and became part of the Golden Globe Award-winning musical-documentary motion picture Elvis On Tour featuring Elvis Presley in three different concerts, the one in Greensboro and three others; two in Virginia and one in Texas.
  • Greensboro: Closer to the Truth – Award-winning[vague] documentary about Greensboro.

Local media censorship[edit]

On January 29, 2013, the City of Greensboro attempted to get a restraining order against the weekly newspaper Yes! Weekly to stop publication of a story the city argued would improperly reveal police intelligence.[80] In reporting on Greensboro police surveillance of local activists and bloggers, the story revealed an email from a Greensboro Police Department sergeant identifying Greensboro City Council representative Marikay Abuzuaiter as a confidential informant, a characterization with which Abuzuatier took issue.[81] The presiding judge denied the city's request for a temporary restraining order and the story was published on schedule.[80][82]

Transportation[edit]

Greensboro's Amtrak Station & Rail Depot

Greensboro is served by Piedmont Triad International Airport, which also serves the nearby cities of High Point and Winston-Salem as well as the surrounding Piedmont Triad metropolitan region. Piedmont Triad International is the third busiest airport in North Carolina averaging 280 takeoffs and landings each day. PTI was a hub for the now defunct Skybus Airlines.

Amtrak's daily Crescent, Carolinian and Piedmont trains connect Greensboro with the cities of New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Richmond, Raleigh, Charlotte, Atlanta, Birmingham and New Orleans.

Amtrak trains, taxis, local and long-distance buses arrive and depart from the Amtrak station and rail depot at 236-C East Washington Street. Originally constructed in the early 1920s, the station and depot were renovated in 2004.

The Greensboro Transit Authority[83] offers public bus service throughout the city, including a service called Higher Education Area Transit, or HEAT, which links downtown attractions to area colleges and universities. Regional public transportation throughout the metropolitan area is coordinated by PART, Piedmont Area Regional Transportation.

The Greensboro Greenway is a bike trail that is being constructed to encircle downtown Greensboro. It will connect to other trails and lead out to the Bur Mill Park area and further.

Interstate highways[edit]

Interstate 40 and Interstate 85 share the same freeway facility for several miles in the Greensboro area. The consolidated highway, which is now the Interstate 40/Business 85 junction, is located just south of downtown and forms the western end of a stretch of freeway known throughout the region as "Death Valley", a congested and accident-prone stretch of roadway where six major federal and Interstate routes combine into a single freeway facility.

Construction is underway on the Greensboro Urban Loop, a freeway that, when complete, will encircle the city. Sections of this beltway may form the future alignment of Interstate 73. U.S. Highway 29 — which travels through the southern, eastern and northern sections of the city before heading northeast toward suburban Reidsville — is a major route in Greensboro and offers freeway access to its more urban and central areas.

Notable people[edit]

Fictional characters[edit]

  • Cross-Country (G.I. Joe), "real" name Sgt. Robert Blais; he is a H.A.V.O.K. driver of the G.I. Joe team in the Marvel/IDW comic series, as well as the Sunbow cartoon. "Born and raised" in Greensboro, North Carolina.
  • Ender Wiggin, a fictional character, also known as Andrew 'Ender' Wiggin, is the protagonist of the book Ender's Game.

Animals[edit]

  • Susie, the dog, is a part-pit bull rescued in 2009 from abuse as a puppy in Greensboro. She has been trained as a certified therapy dog, and is taken to schools, churches, and hospitals to promote kindness and respect. She is owned by Donna Smith Lawrence and her husband, Roy, now of High Point. Coverage of her story inspired passage of a 2010 state law making animal abuse a low-level felony. The dog's story is told in the 2013 film, Susie's Hope, by Uplifting Entertainment. In 2014 Susie was nominated for the Therapy Dog category of the American Humane Association Hero Dog awards.[84]

Sister cities[edit]

Greensboro maintains a "sister city" relationship with three cities in order to foster international friendship and cooperation.[85]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The normal window for freezing temperatures is November 2 thru April 4.
  2. ^ Occasionally this never occurs in an entire winter or even calendar year; the last such occurrence was the winter of 2011–12 and 2012, respectively
  3. ^ Seasonal snowfall accumulation has ranged from 32.5 in (82.6 cm) in the winter of 1926–27 to zero in the following winter (1927–28). A trace of snow was recorded as recently as the winter of 1991–92.
  4. ^ Mean monthly maxima and minima (i.e. the expected highest and lowest temperature readings at any point during the year or given month) calculated based on data at said location from 1981 to 2010.
  5. ^ Official records for Greensboro have been kept since January 1903; Piedmont Triad Int'l was made the official climatology station in November 1928. For more information, see Threadex

References[edit]

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External links[edit]