Wandering through the Overstreet Mall uptown during the noon hour made me feel like I was in a parallel universe. There I was, strolling inside with streams of people, high above the sidewalks of more people surging outside.
If you’re not familiar with the Overstreet Mall, it’s a network of corridors and skywalks uptown that allows you to walk indoors all the way from the Duke Energy Center on Stonewall Street to the Hearst Tower on Fifth Street. (Let this be your guide.)
At first glance, the objectives of this network seem to be (a) to be able to walk indoors around uptown in inclement weather and (b) to give uptown workers access to a ton of convenient dining and shopping options on their breaks.
I didn’t notice many people shopping on their lunch hour, whether at Walgreen’s or Ivy & Leo. Everyone seemed focused on getting somewhere else, catching up on phone calls and eating (dining options range from Salsarita’s to Mimosa Grill).
Chick-fil-A was particularly bumping.
But no one seemed focused on the points to ponder along the way:
The Lip Lounge
I came up with this name just now. The Lip Lounge is in Founders Hall directly across the atrium from Booth Playhouse and contains three rose-red chairs shaped like lips. Its epic windows direct your gaze to the EpiCentre and to a small platform of wooden sculptures by Mark Lindquist titled “Totemic Triad: Drum Column I, Ascending Bowl, Ascended Bowl I.”
According to the placard, this celebrates “both the character of wood and the magic of the machine.”
The rainbow tunnel
I love the mystery of this tunnel, which connects Three Wells Fargo Center to Two Wells Fargo Center. There’s no placard or obvious Google search that explains its creation. One site shares that, in general, the rainbow symbolizes “the following of our heart’s desire and purpose. To get to the end of the rainbow is a symbol for the celebration of that fulfillment.”
These panels in the BB&T Center were created by artist Boris Tomic to offer a visual sampling of local, 20th century buildings, “each of which has a connection with Charlotte-based Little & Co., or a predecessor thereof,” according to the placard.
Feast your eyes on the depictions of a construction vehicle, First Methodist Church, the Independence Building, First Citizens Bank Plaza and more.
Parking garage mosaic
This mosaic of small tiles in the BB&T parking deck is just as mysterious as the rainbow tunnel — no markings indicate its maker. But as someone who hates creepy parking decks, I was drawn to this burst of brightness.
Sustainability info wall
I had an educational moment in Three Wells Fargo Center, where a wall by the escalator shares Wells Fargo’s status as a U.S. Green Building Council Member, as well as Wells Fargo’s goal to achieve LEED certification for 35 percent of its real estate portfolio.
Here, a screen projects footage of sights like a babbling brook, weather updates and messages like “Make every day Earth Day.” Plus energy-saving tips like turn off your computer at the end of the day and unplug your chargers when not in use.
That screen is mesmerizing.
It only took an hour to stop and stare at all of this. Have you taken the time?
Wander a little, ponder more.