Pineville, North Carolina

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Pineville is a town in (south Mecklenburg County, North Carolina) located in the Waxhaws district between Charlotte, North Carolina and Rock Hill, South Carolina. It is perhaps most famous as the birthplace of James K. Polk, the 11th U.S. president. His home is no longer standing, but an original cabin from that time period is kept there, symbolic of the one he was born in. This is now a state historic site. It has two reconstructed log cabins both from the local area being built c. 1790. They are furnished in period antiques similar to what the Polks would have used. There is a main house, a cookhouse, and log barn, tours available by costumed guides. Ladybird Johnson (at that time the First Lady of the U.S.A.) came to Pineville to dedicate the new state site!!!! In addition to the period log houses there is a museum with a short film on the life and times of James Knox Polk along with period clothes and other artifacts of the area and era. A monument was erected in 1904 on the site of the present-day reconstructed cabins. The state of North Carolina moved the monument from its original location in 1964. It was moved to its current location near the visitor center in 1968.

Pineville became known as a mule trading center during the time of the Charlotte 'gold rush'. At that time 'Pineville' was called 'Morrow's Turnout' Being located at the intersection of two major Indian trading routes. It had vast meadows in which the animals of trade and transportation could be 'turned-out' to pasture.

In 1852 the Charlotte&Columbia Railroad came through Pineville, this was the first step into the 'modern world'. The railroad wanted a more modern name so they came up with Pineville because of all the great stands of pinetrees in the area. Later in the 1890s Dover Yarn Mills established a cotton mill in Pineville which had been incorporated in 1873. This later became Cone Mills,Inc. Which operated in the town until the late 1970s. The one block area of old pineville was a very bustling commercial area, having many different shops typical of any small town. Today this area is home to many quaint shops and restaurants.



Pineville was changed forever when the initial segment of Interstate 485 opened to traffic—a one-mile (1.6 km) stretch connecting interchanges at NC Highway 51 and South Boulevard. Although it was designed to divert through traffic around Charlotte via a freeway loop, I-485 incidentally passed directly through Pineville.

In the years to follow, largely undeveloped land adjacent to Pineville's two I-485 interchanges exploded into what is presently the largest shopping district in North Carolina. With nearly 8,000,000 square feet (743,000 m2) of retail space, Pineville is home to the 1,100,000-square-foot (102,000 m2) Carolina Place Mall, at least two power centres and many strip malls, outparcels and free-standing retailers.

The situation in Pineville is a textbook example of urban sprawl. Because it was largely motivated by the introduction of a freeway to the area, the Pineville shopping district generally requires a motor vehicle for access. Despite 8,000,000 square feet (743,000 m2) of new retail space, the population of Pineville today, slightly less than 4,000, is barely greater than it was in 1990. This is partly a consequence of Pineville's geographic location. Sandwiched between Charlotte and the South Carolina state line, Pineville cannot expand its municipal boundaries. However, substantial undeveloped land was available prior to the introduction of I-485. Yet it was rapidly purchased by developers and approved for retail uses nearly without exception, quickly sealing Pineville's fate as a place that is known to many but home to few. This is an example of the criticism that sprawl causes excessive single-use zoning.

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