CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Christopher Lawing is an eighth-generation Charlottean. He grew up listening to stories about his hometown from his dad and grandfather.
In 2010, when he was a junior at Myers Park High School, Lawing chose to photograph Charlotte’s iconic signs for a class project.
“Our city is filled with some pretty cool signs. These signs tell our history, they show us our culture, and they tie us to the present, and they stuck out to me,” Lawing states on his website cltsignsproject.com.
Lawing’s passion to preserve and document these pieces of Charlotte’s history spurred another project: the release of his book “Charlotte: The Signs of the Times” in 2017.
The 160-page book showcases the Queen City’s landmark signs ranging from restaurant favorites such as Anderson’s and the World Famous Open Kitchen to other familiar roadside signage such as JFG Coffee and Park-N-Shop.
Now, the Charlotte Museum of History has tapped Lawing to guest curate its latest exhibit, “Charlotte: Signs of Home,” which is currently on display.
The exhibit features signs from neighborhoods across the city, including Dilworth, Oakhurst, Plaza Midwood, Uptown, and the museum’s own stomping grounds East Charlotte.
Visitors can get a glimpse of the past with signs from much-loved and significant spots that are now closed such as Eastland Mall, Oakhurst Flowers and Fruits, The Penguin and Old Hickory House Restaurant.
The Charlotte Museum of History is open every Saturday from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Admission costs $10 for adults and $7 for seniors age 62 and older, children ages 6-17 and students with a school ID. Children ages 5 and younger are admitted free.
The museum requires all visitors older than age 5 to wear a face mask or covering when indoors. Visitors ages 2-5 are highly encouraged to wear a face covering when indoors.
For more information on the exhibit, click here.
For more information on the Charlotte Signs Project, go to cltsignsproject.com.
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