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Abandoned Charlotte: The Varnadore Building on Independence

Charlotte is one of the fastest growing large cities in the nation, and the rapid population surge has brought noticeable changes to the city landscape. The resulting development boom has spawned a seemingly endless stream of new luxury apartments, hip breweries, upscale restaurants and trendy retail stores.

There is a pocket, however, just a few miles east of uptown that has remained largely untouched. This series of photo essays captures a few of these abandoned places.

The Varnadore Building, East Independence Highway

This seven-story building is one of the tallest abandoned spots on the east side.


Built in the early 1960s, this tower once housed real estate company offices. It was the first office tower outside of uptown and was originally home builder The Ervin Co.’s corporate headquarters.

The building was renamed in 1992 after Jim Varnadore, whose real-estate firm took up two stories of the building.

It sits adjacent to another empty storefront that — according to the faded signage along the side — once sold pool tables, hot tubs, and grandfather clocks.


Photos: Sara Kay Mooney