Head Turners

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They’re The Things that make you go “hmmmm” while driving around Charlotte. Giant works of art and massive bronze statues that we all know mean something … but haven’t a clue why they’re there or what they are. We did a little digging into the city’s most famous (and notorious) towering trophies.

Queen Charlotte

Where to Find it: Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

Artist raymond Kaskey meant this fifteen-foot bronze statue as a mythological portrayal and designed her to look like a weather vane. She’s been there since 1990 but is about to take a minivacay: when the airport expansion begins this summer, she’ll be temporarily relocated to an undetermined site.

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James Jack

James Jack, The Spirit of Mecklenburg County

Where to Find it: Along the newly redone Little Sugar Creek Greenway at Fourth and Kings streets.

The three-ton bronze beauty by local artist Chaz Fagan is depicted midgallop on his horse ride from Mecklenburg County to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia with some very important documents (some say the Mecklenburg declaration of independence). Jack’s situated along what will eventually be the trail of history, where more statues will be erected over the next twenty years.

Nancy Pierce (Used by permission from the May 20th Society)

Hugh McManaway

Hugh McManaway

Where to Find it: Queens/Queens-Providence/Providence.

This whimsical and popular statue has been decorated for wedding announcements and fraternity pranks, but few know his back story. McManaway was the developmentally challenged son of a wealthy Myers Park doctor. neighbors got to know (and love) him as the guy in the raincoat who would always direct traffic at this intersection. to honor him, Myers Park residents paid for this statue.

Hollie Nivens

Lynx Discs

The Lynx Discs

Where to Find it: Near the Scaleybark LYnX stop on South Boulevard.

The controversial works have been called everything from vanilla wafers to satellite dishes. Artist thomas Sayre (who also designed and constructed the infamous “onion rings” at randolph and Wendover roads) calls them Furrow, a nod to Charlotte’s agricultural roots. Commissioned in 2004 by CATS, the discs are so massive that Sayre worked on them for months in an empty lot near where they would eventually be installed.

Joann Sieburg-Baker

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