Greensboro, North Carolina

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Greensboro, North Carolina
Greensboro skyline
Greensboro skyline
Flag of Greensboro, North Carolina
Official seal of Greensboro, North Carolina
Nickname(s): Tournament Town, Gate City,
The Boro
Location in Guilford County and the state of North Carolina.
Location in Guilford County and the state of North Carolina.
Coordinates: 36°4′48″N 79°49′10″W / 36.08000°N 79.81944°W / 36.08000; -79.81944Coordinates: 36°4′48″N 79°49′10″W / 36.08000°N 79.81944°W / 36.08000; -79.81944[1]
CountryUnited States
StateNorth Carolina
 • TypeCity Council
 • MayorNancy B. Vaughan (D)
 • City ManagerJim Westmoreland
 • City131.2 sq mi (283.0 km2)
 • Land126.7 sq mi (271.2 km2)
 • Water4.5 sq mi (11.8 km2)
Elevation[1]897 ft (272 m)
Population (2013)[2][3]
 • City279,639 (68th)
 • Density2,436/sq mi (940.5/km2)
 • Urban311,810 (US: 120th)
 • MSA723,801
 • CSA1,599,477
Time zoneEST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST)EDT (UTC-4)
Area code336
FIPS code37-28000[1]
GNIS feature ID1020557[1]
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"Greensboro" redirects here. For other uses, see Greensboro (disambiguation).
Greensboro, North Carolina
Greensboro skyline
Greensboro skyline
Flag of Greensboro, North Carolina
Official seal of Greensboro, North Carolina
Nickname(s): Tournament Town, Gate City,
The Boro
Location in Guilford County and the state of North Carolina.
Location in Guilford County and the state of North Carolina.
Coordinates: 36°4′48″N 79°49′10″W / 36.08000°N 79.81944°W / 36.08000; -79.81944Coordinates: 36°4′48″N 79°49′10″W / 36.08000°N 79.81944°W / 36.08000; -79.81944[1]
CountryUnited States
StateNorth Carolina
 • TypeCity Council
 • MayorNancy B. Vaughan (D)
 • City ManagerJim Westmoreland
 • City131.2 sq mi (283.0 km2)
 • Land126.7 sq mi (271.2 km2)
 • Water4.5 sq mi (11.8 km2)
Elevation[1]897 ft (272 m)
Population (2013)[2][3]
 • City279,639 (68th)
 • Density2,436/sq mi (940.5/km2)
 • Urban311,810 (US: 120th)
 • MSA723,801
 • CSA1,599,477
Time zoneEST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST)EDT (UTC-4)
Area code336
FIPS code37-28000[1]
GNIS feature ID1020557[1]

Greensboro (Listeni/ˈɡrnzbʌr/)[4] (formerly Greensborough) is a city in the U.S. state of North Carolina.[1] It is the third-largest city by population in North Carolina and the largest city in Guilford County and the surrounding Piedmont Triad metropolitan region. According to the 2012 U.S. Census Estimate, Greensboro's population is 277,080. It is located at the intersection of three major interstate highways (Interstate 85, Interstate 40 and Interstate 73) in the Piedmont region of central North Carolina.

In 2003, the previous Greensboro – Winston-SalemHigh Point metropolitan statistical area (MSA) was re-defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, resulting in the formation of the Greensboro-High Point MSA and the Winston-Salem MSA. The 2010 population for the Greensboro-High Point MSA was 723,801. The Greensboro – Winston-Salem – High Point combined statistical area (CSA), popularly referred to as the Piedmont Triad, had a population of 1,599,477.

In 1808, Greensborough (the spelling before 1895) was planned around a central courthouse square to succeed the nearby town of Guilford Court House as the county seat. This act moved the county courts closer to the geographical center of the county, a location more easily reached by the majority of the county's citizens.


Early history[edit]

At the time of European encounter, the inhabitants of the area that became Greensboro were a Siouan-speaking people called the Saura.[5]

Quaker immigrant settlers from Pennsylvania, by way of Maryland, arrived at Capefair (now Greensboro) in about 1750 and began organized religious services affiliated with the Cane Creek Friends Meeting in Snow Camp in 1751.[6] Three years later, 40 Quaker families were granted approval to establish New Garden Monthly Meeting.[6] (The action is recorded in the minutes of the Perquimans and Little River Quarterly Meeting on May 25, 1754: "To Friends at New Garden in Capefair," signed by Joseph Ratliff.)[7] The settlement grew rapidly during the next three years adding members from as far away as Nantucket Island in Massachusetts.[6] It soon became the most important Quaker community in the North Carolina and mother of several other Quaker meetings that were established in the state and west of the Appalachians.[6]

The city of Greensboro was named for Major General Nathanael Greene, commander of the American forces at the Battle of Guilford Court House on March 15, 1781.[8] Although the Americans lost the battle, Greene's forces inflicted heavy casualties on the British Army of General Charles Cornwallis. After the battle, Cornwallis withdrew his troops to a British base in Wilmington, North Carolina.[9][10]

Battle of Guilford Courthouse

Greensboro was established near the geographic center of Guilford County, on land that was "an unbroken forest with thick undergrowth of huckleberry bushes, that bore a finely flavored fruit."[11] Property for the future village was purchased for $98, and three north-south streets (Greene, Elm, Davie) were laid out intersecting with three east-west streets (Gaston, Market, Sycamore).[12] The courthouse stood at the center of the intersection of Elm and Market streets. By 1821, the town was home to 369 residents.

Blandwood Mansion, by Alexander Jackson Davis

In the early 1840s, Greensboro was selected by the state government at the request of then Governor Morehead (whose estate, Blandwood, is in Greensboro) for inclusion on a new railroad line. The city grew substantially in size and soon became known as the "Gate City" due to its role as a transportation hub for the state.[13] The railroads transported goods to and from textile mills, which grew up with their own mill villages around the city. Many of these businesses remained in the city until the 21st century, when most of them went bankrupt, reorganized, and/or merged with other companies. Greensboro remains as a major textile headquarters with the main offices of International Textile Group (Cone, Burlington Industries), Galey & Lord, Unifi, and VF Corporation (Wrangler, Lee, The North Face, and Nautica). The importance of rail traffic continues for the city, as Greensboro serves as a major regional freight hub, and four Amtrak passenger trains stop in Greensboro daily on the main Norfolk Southern line between Washington and New Orleans by way of Atlanta.

Though the city developed slowly, early wealth generated from cotton trade and merchandising led to the construction of several notable buildings. The earliest, later named Blandwood Mansion and Gardens, was built in 1795. Additions to this residence in 1846 designed by Alexander Jackson Davis of New York City made the house an influential landmark in the nation as America's earliest Tuscan Villa.[14] Other significant estates followed, including "Dunleith" designed by Samuel Sloan, Bellemeade, and the Bumpass-Troy House (now operating as an inn).

American Civil War and final days of the Confederacy[edit]

Although Guilford County did not vote for secession, once North Carolina joined the Confederacy some citizens joined the Confederate cause, forming such infantry units as the Guilford Grays. From 1861 to March 1865 the city was relatively untouched by the American Civil War, with the exception of dealing with shortages of clothing, medicines, and other items caused by the US naval blockade of the South. However, in the final weeks of the war, Greensboro played a significant role. In April 1865 General P.G.T. Beauregard was instructed by the commanding officer of the Army of Tennessee, General Joseph E. Johnston, to prepare for a defense of the city. During this time, Confederate President Jefferson Davis and the remaining members of the Confederate cabinet had evacuated the Confederate Capital in Richmond, Virginia, and moved south to Danville, Virginia.

When Union cavalry threatened Danville, Davis and his cabinet managed to escape by train and reassembled in Greensboro on April 11, 1865. While in Greensboro, Davis and his cabinet decided to try to escape overseas to avoid capture by the victorious Union forces; they left Greensboro and separated. As such, Greensboro is notable as the last place the entire Confederate government met as a group: Greensboro is thus the "final" capital city of the Confederacy.[15]

At nearly the same time, Governor Zebulon B. Vance fled the capital of North Carolina in anticipation of the arrival of Union General William Tecumseh Sherman.[16] For a brief period beginning April 16, 1865, the capital of North Carolina was maintained in Greensboro.[17][18] Governor Vance proclaimed the North Carolina Surrender Declaration on April 28, 1865.[19] Later, Vance turned himself over to Union officials in the parlor of Blandwood Mansion. In the words of historian Blackwell Robinson, "Greensboro witnessed not only the demise of the Confederacy but also that of the old civil government of the state" of North Carolina.[15]

After the negotiations were completed at Bennett Place, now in present day Durham, North Carolina, between General Johnston and General Sherman on April 26, 1865, Confederate soldiers stacked their arms and received their paroles in Greensboro, and then headed for home.

Industrialization and growth[edit]

White Oaks Mill in 1909

In the 1890s, the city continued to attract attention from northern industrialists, including Moses and Caesar Cone of Baltimore.[20] The Cone brothers established large-scale textile plants, changing Greensboro from a village to a city within a decade. By 1900, Greensboro was considered a center of the Southern textile industry, with large scale factories producing denim, flannel, and overalls.[21] Prosperity brought to the city through textiles resulted in the construction of notable twentieth century civic architecture, including the Guilford County Courthouse, West Market Street United Methodist Church by S. W. Faulk, several buildings designed by Frank A. Weston, and the Julius I. Foust Building of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro designed by Orlo Epps.

During the twentieth century, Greensboro continued to expand in wealth and population. Rapid growth led to construction of grand commercial and civic buildings, many of which stand today, designed by hometown architects Charles Hartmann and Harry Barton. Other notable industries became established in the city, including Vicks Chemical Co. (famous for over-the-counter cold remedies such as VapoRub and NyQuil), Carolina Steel Corporation, and Pomona Terra Cotta Works.[22] During this period of growth, Greensboro experienced an acute housing shortage. Builders sought a construction goal of 80 to 100 affordable housing units per year to provide homes for workers.[23] Greensboro's real estate was considered "the wonder of the state" during the 1920s. Growth continued through the Great Depression, as Greensboro added an estimated 200 new families per year to its population.[24] The city earned a reputation as a well-planned community, with a strong emphasis on education, parks, and a profitable employment base.

Prosperity brought new levels of development involving nationally and internationally known architects. Walter Gropius designed a factory building in the city in 1944.[25] Greensboro-based Ed Loewenstein contributed designs for projects throughout the region. Eduardo Catalano and George Matsumoto brought designs to the city that challenged North Carolinians with modernist architectural concepts and forms.

Civil rights movement[edit]

In 1960, the Census Bureau reported Greensboro's population as 74.0% white and 25.8% black.[26] As Greensboro evolved into one of North Carolina's primary cities, changes began to occur in its traditional social structure. On February 1, 1960, four black college students from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical College sat down at an all-white Woolworth's lunch counter, and refused to leave after they were denied service. The four students purchased small items in other parts of the store, kept their receipts, then sat down at the lunch counter and asked to be served. After being denied service, they produced their receipts and asked why their money was good everywhere else at the store but not at the lunch counter.[27] Hundreds of others soon joined in this sit-in, which lasted several months. Such protests quickly spread across the South, ultimately leading to the desegregation of Woolworth's and other chains. The original lunch counter and stools where the four first sat are in their original location, now home to the International Civil Rights Center and Museum (though a section of the counter is on display at the Smithsonian).[28] The museum opened on February 1, 2010, the 50th anniversary of the sit-ins.[29]

Former Woolworth store

After the desegregation of Woolworth's and other minor concessions by Greensboro's white community, a brief period of patience and negotiation was followed by further protests in 1962 and 1963, culminating in the largest civil rights protest to take place in North Carolina history (May and June 1963). In addition to the desegregation of public accommodations, protesters sought economic and social justice, such as hiring policies based on merit and the integration of public schools. Marches of over 2,000 protesters per night took place in Greensboro's segregated central business district. William Thomas and A. Knighton Stanley, coordinators of Greensboro's local CORE chapter, invited Jesse Jackson, then a student at A&T to join the protests. Jackson quickly rose to prominence as a student leader and public representative of the protest movement. Invoking arrest by violating segregation rules of local businesses, trespassing, and other non-violent breaches of the law, soon became a primary tactic of the protesters, especially among college and high school students. Seeking to overflow city jails and overburden municipal resources, at one point approximately 1,400 blacks occupied Greensboro's jails, which drew serious attention from Greensboro's mayor and the governor of North Carolina, Terry Sanford.

In the end, the protests achieved gains toward racial equality in the form of further desegregation, reformed hiring policies in city government, and commitments to progress by Greensboro's mayor and Governor Sanford, who declared, "Anyone who hasn't received this message doesn't understand human nature." However, though these concessions helped build progressive momentum, significant change in race relations came about at a painfully slow pace, and verbal commitments from white leadership in 1963 proved to be more symbolic victories than substantial ones.[30]

In May 1969, A&T was involved in a second incident when the students of James B. Dudley High School appealed to them when a popular candidate for student union class president was refused, allegedly due to his position with Youth for the Unity of Black Society.[31][32][33] On May 21, after student protesters began throwing rocks and were confronted by police with tear gas canisters, an uprising led to gunfire exchanges between protesters, police and the National Guard. Escalating violence eventually led to the invasion of the A&T campus by what was described at the time as "the most massive armed assault ever made against an American university".[34] The uprising ended soon after the National Guard made a sweep of A&T college dormitories, taking hundreds of students into protective custody. A report released by the North Carolina State Advisory Committee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights found the National Guard invasion reckless and disproportionate to the actual danger, and criticized local community leaders for failing to help the Dudley High School students when the issues first emerged. They declared it "a sad commentary that the only group in the community who would take the Dudley students seriously were the students at A&T State University."[33]

In spite of this period of progress, old wounds had yet to heal and prejudices continued. On November 3, 1979, members of the Communist Workers Party (CWP) were holding an anti-Ku Klux Klan rally, when two cars containing KKK supporters drove into the Morningside Heights neighborhood where the rally was being held and opened fire on the protest. Four local TV news stations filmed the event as it happened. A pistol was fired by a CWP organizer (allegedly into the air) and the Klan cars were beaten with sticks before the shooting.[35] Five of the anti-Klan demonstrators were killed and seven were wounded. Television footage of the event was shown nationwide and around the world, and the event became known as the Greensboro Massacre. In November 1980 six of the accused KKK supporters were all acquitted by an all-white jury after a week of deliberations. In 1985, a civil suit found five police officers and two other individuals liable for $350,000 in damages to be paid to the Greensboro Justice Fund.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 109.2 square miles (283 km2), of which, 104.7 square miles (271 km2) of it is land and 4.5 square miles (12 km2) of it (4.16%) is water.

Greensboro is among the gently rolling hills of North Carolina's Piedmont and is situated midway between the state's Blue Ridge and Great Smoky mountains to the west and the Atlantic beaches and Outer Banks to the east. The view of the city from its highest building — the Lincoln Financial tower (commonly known as the Jefferson-Pilot Building) — reveals that the town is populated with large numbers of green trees, lending another dimension of significance to its name. The city is at the nexus of several major freeways, with interstates 40, 85, and the planned I-73 passing through its borders.


The cityscape of Greensboro NC.
Latham House in the Fisher Park neighborhood
Dame's Chicken and Waffles Restaurant in the Southside Neighborhood in downtown Greensboro

Greensboro's earliest neighborhood is College Hill, located between West Market Street and Spring Garden Street, in and around Greensboro College and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Southside is among the oldest neighborhoods in the city and has experienced major redevelopment.

The Aycock and Fisher Park neighborhoods were established in 1895 and 1901, respectively. The Aycock neighborhood features large Queen Anne residences of the turn-of-the-twentieth century, as well as Foursquare, Craftsman, and Colonial Revival styles.

The Manchester Village, established in the early 1920s, was home to prominent business leaders and government officials. It was considered to be the most affluent neighborhood, with large estates that were destroyed in the late 1980s for commercial development.

Irving Park, developed in 1911 around the golf course of the Greensboro Country Club, was modeled on nearby Pinehurst by designer John Nolan. The prestigious neighborhood includes large homes on ample lots, and remains popular today.

Glenwood is a neighborhood that occupies the southwestern part of the city. It is bordered by the Greensboro Coliseum, Lee St., and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Glenwood is a diverse neighborhood of 1970's ranch homes, smaller homes built in the 1950s, and subsidized housing. The neighborhood has suffered decline over the past few years, but there are signs of renewal as UNC-Greensboro students and faculty move to the area adjacent to Lee St.

The Warnersville neighborhood was a once thriving area in south Greensboro. When Urban Renewal was initiated in the mid-1900s, most of the business and homes were destroyed and replaced with new roads and development. However, this area has not recovered still. Remnants of the once booming Ashe St. can be seen behind the Greensboro Urban Ministry on Eugene St.

The urbanization of Greensboro during the early twentieth century was influenced greatly by the popularity of the automobile, which enabled citizens to live farther from the city center in more suburban surroundings. A series of "streetcar suburbs" were established, including Glenwood, Hamilton Lakes, Lake Daniel, Latham Park, Lindley Park, O. Henry Oaks, Rankin, Starmount, Sunset Hills and Westerwood. Many of these neighborhoods include some of the city's finest public parks. Recent neighborhood additions include sprawling large-scale planned unit developments such as Adams Farm, Lake Jeanette, The Cardinal, New Irving Park, and Reedy Fork Ranch.

Downtown area[edit]

Downtown Greensboro has experienced construction investment in recent years with developments such as NewBridge Bank Park, and residential developments and office construction. The Southside neighborhood downtown exemplifies central-city reinvestment as a formerly economically depressed neighborhood that has been redeveloped into an award-winning neotraditional-style neighborhood.[36] Downtown Greensboro has an active nightlife with numerous nightclubs, bars and restaurants. The entire redevelopment of the downtown was aided by the 2006 opening of the Elon University School of Law. The law school is credited with bringing student dollars to the downtown both day and at night.[37]

Greensboro NC skyline.

Additional downtown attractions include Elsewhere (a living museum and artist residency program in a three-story former thrift store), the Carolina Theater, Triad Stage (Pyrle Gibson Theater), Blandwood Mansion, Center City Park, NewBridge Bank Park, Greensboro Historical Museum, Greensboro Cultural Center, the J. Douglas Galyon Transportation Depot, and the Greensboro Children's Museum. A multi-million dollar greenway loop around downtown is currently under construction. It will have walking paths, biking paths, parks, recreational facilities, outdoor classrooms, and art show spaces. The project is being built in phases and could take 5 to 10 years to complete and will connect with the greenway system throughout the city.

In addition, plans are underway for a 3,000-seat performing arts center which will be call the Steven Tanger Center for The Performing Arts. A 12-story Wyndham luxury hotel is planned with two other hotels. A joint downtown university campus called Union Square is also in the works.

Four Seasons/Coliseum Area[edit]

Sheraton Four Seasons - Joseph S. Koury Convention Center

Located at 3121 High Point Road, the Four Seasons Town Centre is a multi building complex developed by the Koury Corporation. It includes multiple hotels, most prominently the Koury Convention tower and a shopping mall. Boasting over 250,000 square feet (20,000 m2) of flexible meeting space, the Joseph S. Koury Convention Center is the largest convention hotel between Atlanta, Georgia and Washington, D.C.. In 1990, the convention center opened next to the Holiday Inn Four Seasons (now Sheraton Four Seasons). In 1994 the 28 story triangular hotel tower was constructed atop the Koury Convention Center bringing the room total of the complex to well over 1,000. The Four Seasons Town Center mall sits just behind the convention center and is a popular shopping attraction for the entire Piedmont Triad.

The Greensboro Coliseum is located 0.9 miles (1.4 km) down High Point Road. Many of the city's major events take place between the convention center and the coliseum. The Atlantic Coast Conference Hall of Champions, an $18.3 million aquatics center and amphitheater just recently opened on the site. The Greensboro Coliseum has hosted several major events in its history starting with the 1974 Men's NCAA Final Four Championship game. More recently the coliseum has hosted The U.S. Figure Skating Championships in 2011 and will host it again in 2015. The American Idol and X Factor televised auditions were also held at the Greensboro Coliseum.

Airport area[edit]

In 1998, FedEx chose to build and operate a $300 million mid-Atlantic air-cargo and sorting hub at Piedmont Triad International Airport, following an intensive competition for the hub among other regions of the state, as well as locations in South Carolina. After the hub announcement, the project faced court battles concerning potential noise and pollution abatements from neighborhoods near the planned hub site. Nonetheless, the hub opened in 2009. Originally projected by proponents of the project to employee 750 people in its first two years of operation and eventually 1,500. Those jobs did not materialize and employment by FedEx at this location remains at nearly the same levels as before opening of the new facility.[38][39]

The world headquarters for Honda Aircraft Company as well as its jet assembly plant is at Piedmont Triad International Airport.


Greensboro, like much of the southeastern United States, has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cfa), with four distinct seasons. Winters are short and generally cool, with a January daily average of 38.9 °F (3.8 °C). On average, there are 75 nights per year that drop to or below freezing,[a] and 4.3 days that fail to rise above freezing.[40][b] Measurable snowfall occurs nearly every winter, and accumulates to a normal of 7.5 inches (19.1 cm), usually in January and February and occasionally December and March; the actual amount may vary considerably from winter to winter.[c] Cold air damming (CAD) can facilitate freezing rain, often making it a more pressing concern than snow. Summers are hot and humid, with a daily average in July of 78.5 °F (25.8 °C). There is an average 32 days per year with highs at or above 90 °F (32 °C), but, as in much of the Piedmont South, 100 °F (38 °C)+ readings are uncommon.[40] Autumn is similar to spring in temperature but has fewer days of rainfall and less total rainfall. Extremes in temperature have ranged from −8 °F (−22 °C) on January 21, 1985 up to 104 °F (40 °C), as recently as July 17, 1914.

Thunderstorms are common during the humid spring and summer months, some being severe. On April 2, 1936, at around 7:00 pm, a large, F-4 tornado cut a seven-mile (11 km) swath of destruction through southern Greensboro. 14 people were killed and 144 were injured as the tornado moved through the city, including part of downtown. The storm was part of an outbreak known as the 1936 Cordele-Greensboro tornado outbreak. Strong tornadoes have struck the Greensboro area since then, notably Stoneville on March 20, 1998, Clemmons and Winston-Salem on May 5, 1989 and Clemmons and Greensboro on May 7, 2008, High Point, March 28, 2010.


Historical populations
Est. 2013279,6393.7%
U.S. Decennial Census[43]
2013 Estimate[44]

As of the census[45] of 2010, there were 269,666 people; 124,074 households; and 53,958 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,138.3 people per square mile (825.6/km²). There were 99,305 housing units at an average density of 948.4 per square mile (366.2/km²). The racial composition of the city was 48.4% White, 40.6% Black or African American, 4.0% Asian American (1.6% Vietnamese, 0.7% Indian), 0.5% Native American, 0.1% Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, 2.08% some other race, and 2.6% two or more races.[46] Non-Hispanic Whites were 45.6% of the population in 2010,[47] compared to 70.9% in 1970.[26] People of Hispanic or Latino heritage, who may be of any race, were 7.5% of the population (4.6% Mexican, 0.7% Puerto Rican).

Of the estimated 92,394 households in the city in 2000, 27.5% included children under the age of 18, 39.8% were married couples living together, 14.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.6% were classified as nonfamily. Of the total households, 32.6% were composed of individuals, while 8.7% reported someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 persons, and the average family size was 2.94 persons.

The age distribution in 2000 was 22.3% under the age of 18, 14.1% from 18 to 24, 31.6% from 25 to 44, 20.2% from 45 to 64, and 11.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 89.2 males—for every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city in 2000 was $39,661, and the median income for a family was $50,192. Males had a median income of $34,681 versus $26,797 for females. The per capita income for the city was $22,986. About 8.6% of families and 19.3% of the population in 2000 were living below the poverty line, including 25.8% of those under age 18 and 10.6% of those age 65 or over.


In Greensboro, 48.33% of the population is religiously affiliated. The largest religion in Greensboro is Christianity, with the most affiliates being either Baptist (11.85%) or Methodist (10.25%). The remaining Christian populations are Presbyterian (3.97%), Roman Catholic (3.71%), Pentecostal (2.61%), Episcopalian (1.17%), Latter-Day Saints (1.02%), Lutheran (0.96%), and other Christian denominations (11.03%) including Greek Orthodox, Quaker, Moravian, Church of Christ, and non-denominational. After Christianity, the largest religion in Greensboro is Islam (0.82%), followed by Judaism (0.60%). Eastern religions make up the minority in Greensboro (0.34%).[48]


Downtown Greensboro
Dixie Building

The Greensboro economy and the surrounding Piedmont Triad area, traditionally has been centered around textiles, tobacco, and furniture. Greensboro's central proximity in the state has made it a popular place for families and businesses, as well as becoming more of a logistical hub with FedEx having regional operations based in the city.

Notable companies headquartered in Greensboro include the Honda Aircraft Company, Lorillard Tobacco Company, Kayser-Roth, VF, Mack Trucks, Volvo Trucks of North America, RF Micro Devices, the International Textile Group, NewBridge Bank, The Fresh Market, Cook Out, Ham's, Biscuitville, Tripps, and Columbia Forest Products. Greensboro is a "center of operations" for the insurance company Lincoln Financial Group.[49] Greensboro is also headquarters to the Atlantic Coast Conference. Although traditionally associated with the textile and tobacco industries, city leaders are working to attract new businesses in the nanotech, high-tech, aviation and transportation/logistics sectors. The University of North Carolina at Greensboro and North Carolina A&T State University opened a joint research park, Gateway University Research Park.

Largest employers[edit]

According to the City's 2010 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[50] the largest employers in the city are:

#Employer# of Employees
1Guilford County Public Schools10,394
2Cone Health7,218
3City of Greensboro3,108
4United States Postal Service2,800
5Guilford County2,700
6University of North Carolina at Greensboro2,499
7High Point Regional Health System2,320
8Bank of America2,000
9American Express2,000
10TE Connectivity2,000


Greensboro is home to an active and diverse arts community. Events and venues range from the nationally acclaimed annual Eastern Music Festival to Weatherspoon Art Museum to the cutting edge performances of the Triad Stage theater company.



The Shops at Friendly Center

Greensboro is home to a large variety of retail shopping from well-known national chains to local boutiques and galleries. Four Seasons Town Centre, located on the city's southwest side off I-40, is a three-level regional mall. Friendly Center, off Friendly Avenue is an open-air shopping complex featuring the nation's largest Harris Teeter supermarket, and a multiplex cinema. The Shoppes at Friendly Center, adjacent to Friendly Center, is home to many upscale retailers and restaurants. Additional shopping centers are primarily on the West Wendover corridor near I-40 and on Battleground Avenue on the city's northwest side. Recently, "big-box" retailers have clustered at the site of the former Carolina Circle Mall on the city's northeast side and on the city's far south along the newly completed Painter Boulevard (I-85). Also on New Garden Rd. a large shopping area has popped up over the past few years.


Greensboro is not currently home to any top-level professional sports teams. The National Hockey League's Carolina Hurricanes franchise moved to Raleigh from Hartford, Connecticut in 1997, but the team played its first two seasons at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex while its home arena, Raleigh's Entertainment & Sports Arena, was under construction.

The Greensboro Grasshoppers (formerly the Greensboro Bats and the Greensboro Hornets) are a minor league baseball team located in Greensboro. They are a Class A team in the South Atlantic League and have been a farm team of the Miami Marlins since 2003. They play at NewBridge Bank Park.

Greensboro's Carolina Dynamo play in the USL Premier Development League, USL Professional Division, which is currently the top level men's amateur soccer competition in the United States. It has 64 teams competing in four conferences, split into nine regional divisions. It's considered to be the fourth tier of competition, behind Major League Soccer. The team plays its home games at Macpherson Stadium in nearby Browns Summit, North Carolina, where they have played since 2003. The PDL seasons take place during the summer months, the player pool is drawn mainly from elite NCAA college soccer players seeking to continue playing high level soccer during their summer break, which they can do while still maintaining their college eligibility.

Greensboro is home to the headquarters of the Atlantic Coast Conference, despite having no school participating within the league. The Greensboro Coliseum Complex has hosted the Men's ACC Tournament 23 times since 1967 and the Women's ACC Tournament 12 times since 2000. Greensboro has also hosted the NCAA Men's Basketball Final Four on four occasions.

The PGA Tour holds a tournament annually in Greensboro. The Wyndham Championship is held at Sedgefield Country Club and is the last PGA Tour event before the Playoffs for the FedEx Cup. The tournament was founded in 1938 as the Greater Greensboro Open and one of the oldest events on the PGA Tour.

Greensboro nicknames itself as "Tournament Town" due to the many sports tournaments the city hosts. In addition to hosting the ACC Basketball Tournament and NCAA basketball games, the city has hosted the ACC Baseball Tournament, The 2011 U.S. Figure Skating Championships and a number of national competitions at the new Greensboro Aquatic Center. In 1974 Greensboro hosted the NCAA Men's Basketball Final Four championship game. It was the first time the Final Four was held in North Carolina. Charlotte would later host the Final Four in 1994.

Greensboro Roller Derby was founded in 2010 and has been a member of the WFTDA, Women's Flat Track Derby Association, since 2013. The league comprises three intra-league teams, named after prominent streets in the city, as well as inter-league all-star and b level teams, each featuring skaters from the three intra-league teams. The league is run by the skaters, who all have ties to the community, and is a not-for-profit organization. Roller derby bouts are held at the Greensboro Coliseum between March and November.

Greensboro GrasshoppersBaseballSouth Atlantic League – Northern DivisionNewBridge Bank Park
Gate City FCSoccerNational Premier Soccer League (NPSL)Jamieson Stadium
Carolina DynamoSoccerUSL Premier Development League (PDL)Macpherson Stadium
Triad Rugby ClubMen's Club RugbyUSA Rugby SouthOka T. Hester Park
Greensboro Roller DerbyRoller DerbyWomen's Flat Track Derby AssociationGreensboro Coliseum


Greensboro operates under a council-manager government. Greensboro consists of nine members; all seats, including the Mayor's, are open for election every two years. Five of the council seats are district representatives and three seats are citywide representatives elected at-large.

As of December 2013:

Nancy B. Vaughan is the mayor.

The City Council Members are:


Duke Memorial Hall at Guilford College

Higher education[edit]

The city of Greensboro has many major institutions of higher education. Universities and colleges are Bennett College, Elon University School of Law, Greensboro College, Guilford College, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and Carolina Graduate School of Divinity. Greensboro and the surrounding county is served by Guilford Technical Community College.

Secondary education[edit]

Public education[edit]

The public schools in Greensboro are operated by Guilford County Schools. Guilford County Schools is the third largest school system in the state with about 71,000 students being taught. Greensboro has one of the oldest public high schools in the state, Grimsley High School, established in 1899 as Greensboro High School, as well of as the The Early College at Guilford, the top public high school in North Carolina and one of the best in the nation.

Private education[edit]

Greensboro is home to many private day schools, including Greensboro Day School, Our Lady of Grace Catholic School, New Garden Friends School, Caldwell Academy, B'nai Shalom Day School, Canterbury School, Greensboro Montessori School, Noble Academy, Ballinger Preparatory Academy, Vandalia Christian School, Shining Light Christian Academy, Saint Pius X Catholic School, Napoleon B. Smith SDA Academy and Covenant Christian Day School. The area has two boarding schools: the American Hebrew Academy and the Oak Ridge Military Academy in a nearby suburb named Oak Ridge.



The Greensboro News & Record is the primary daily newspaper. The Business Journal, a member of the American City Business Journals chain of business weeklies, is based in Greensboro and covers business across the Piedmont Triad metropolitan region. The Carolina Peacemaker is a news weekly that covers the African-American community. Yes! Weekly is a free, weekly, alternative newspaper, and the Hamburger Square Post is a free monthly newspaper. The Rhinoceros Times, a conservative free, weekly newspaper, temporarily went out of business on April 30, 2013 but returned after a short time.[66]

Broadcast television[edit]

Greensboro is a part of the Greensboro/Winston-Salem/High Point television designated market area and includes the following commercial broadcast stations (listed by call letters, channel number, network and city of license):

Greensboro is home to the Triad bureau of News 14 Carolina bnt, 20.2 North Carolina's only black-owned television station[clarification needed]


Local media censorship[edit]

On January 29, 2013, the City of Greensboro attempted to get a restraining order against the weekly newspaper Yes! Weekly to stop publication of a story the city argued would improperly reveal police intelligence.[70] In reporting on Greensboro police surveillance of local activists and bloggers, the story revealed an email from a Greensboro Police Department sergeant identifying Greensboro City Council representative Marikay Abuzuaiter as a confidential informant, a characterization with which Abuzuatier took issue.[71] The presiding judge denied the city's request for a temporary restraining order and the story was published on schedule.[70][72]


Greensboro's Amtrak Station & Rail Depot

Greensboro is served by Piedmont Triad International Airport, which also serves the nearby cities of High Point and Winston-Salem as well as the surrounding Piedmont Triad metropolitan region. Piedmont Triad International is the third busiest airport in North Carolina averaging 280 takeoffs and landings each day. PTI was a hub for the now defunct Skybus Airlines.

Amtrak's daily Crescent, Carolinian and Piedmont trains connect Greensboro with the cities of New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, Richmond, Virginia, Raleigh, North Carolina, Charlotte, North Carolina, Atlanta, Birmingham, Alabama and New Orleans.

Amtrak trains, taxis, local and long-distance buses arrive and depart from the Amtrak station and rail depot at 236-C East Washington Street. Originally constructed in the early 1920s, the station and depot were renovated in 2004.

The Greensboro Transit Authority[73] offers public bus service throughout the city, including a service called Higher Education Area Transit, or HEAT, which links downtown attractions to area colleges and universities. Regional public transportation throughout the metropolitan area is coordinated by PART, Piedmont Area Regional Transportation.

The Greensboro Greenway is a bike trail that is being constructed to encircle downtown Greensboro. It will connect to other trails and lead out to the Bur Mill Park area and further.

Interstate highways[edit]

Interstate 40 and Interstate 85 share the same freeway facility for several miles in the Greensboro area. The consolidated highway, which is now the Interstate 40/Business 85 junction, is located just south of downtown and forms the western end of a stretch of freeway known throughout the region as "Death Valley", a congested and accident-prone stretch of roadway where six major federal and Interstate routes combine into a single freeway facility.

Construction is underway on the Greensboro Urban Loop, a freeway that, when complete, will encircle the city. Sections of this beltway may form the future alignment of Interstate 73. U.S. Highway 29 — which travels through the southern, eastern and northern sections of the city before heading northeast toward suburban Reidsville — is a major route in Greensboro and offers freeway access to its more urban and central areas.

Notable people[edit]

Born in Greensboro[edit]


Associated with Greensboro[edit]

Fictional characters[edit]


Sister cities[edit]

Greensboro maintains a "sister city" relationship with three cities in order to foster international friendship and cooperation.[79]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The normal window for freezing temperatures is November 2 thru April 4.
  2. ^ Occasionally this never occurs in an entire winter or even calendar year; the last such occurrence was the winter of 2011–12 and 2012, respectively
  3. ^ Seasonal snowfall accumulation has ranged from 32.5 in (82.6 cm) in the winter of 1926–27 to zero in the following winter (1927–28). A trace of snow was recorded as recently as the winter of 1991–92.
  4. ^ Official records for Greensboro have been kept since January 1903; Piedmont Triad Int'l was made the official climatology station in November 1928. For more information, see Threadex


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  2. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Population of Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2009 (CBSA-EST2006-01)" (CSV). 2006 Population Estimates. United States Census Bureau, Population Division. 2007-04-05. Retrieved 2007-04-08. [dead link]
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  13. ^ Fripp, Gayle Hicks. Greensboro, a Chosen Center. Sun Valley, California: American Historical Press, 2001. p. 66
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  17. ^ Arnett, Ethel Stephens. Greensboro, North Carolina; the County Seat of Guilford. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1955. p395
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  20. ^ Arnett, Ethel Stephens. Greensboro, North Carolina; the County Seat of Guilford. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1955. pp. 171–174.
  21. ^ Fripp, Gayle Hicks. Greensboro, a Chosen Center. Woodland Hills, California: Windsor Publications, 1982. p. 59
  22. ^ Robinson, Blackwell P., and Alexander R. Stoesen. The History of Guilford County, North Carolina, U.S.A. to 1980, A.D. Edited by Sydney M. Cone, Jr. 1981, p. 220
  23. ^ Robinson, Blackwell P., and Alexander R. Stoesen. The History of Guilford County, North Carolina, U.S.A. to 1980, A.D. Edited by Sydney M. Cone, Jr. 1981, p. 209
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  25. ^ "Gropius". Retrieved 2014-03-25. 
  26. ^ a b "Race and Hispanic Origin for Selected Cities and Other Places: Earliest Census to 1990". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved April 21, 2012. 
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  28. ^ "Courage at the Greensboro Lunch Counter | Arts & Culture | Smithsonian Magazine". Retrieved 2012-08-11. 
  29. ^ Nancy H. McLaughlin. "'Countless acts of heroism':". Retrieved 2012-08-11. 
  30. ^ William Chafe, Civilities and Civil Rights (New York: Oxford University Press, 1980), 119–152.
  31. ^ Waller, Signe (1 November 2002). Love and Revolution: A Political Memoir: People's History of the Greensboro Massacre, Its Setting and Aftermath. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 49. ISBN 978-0-7425-1365-5. 
  32. ^ Bluford Library. "Willie Grimes". North Carolina A&T University. Retrieved September 2, 2012. 
  33. ^ a b North Carolina Advisory Committee on Civil Rights (March 1970). Trouble in Greensboro: A Report of an Open Meeting Concerning Disturbances at Dudley High School and North Carolina A&T State University. 
  34. ^ Biondi, Martha (2 July 2012). The Black Revolution on Campus. University of California Press. p. 158. ISBN 978-0-520-95352-9. 
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  39. ^ "FedEx's air cargo hub in Piedmont comes under fire as traffic declines-Air Shipping News-JCtrans". 2012-11-01. Retrieved 2014-03-25. 
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  41. ^ "Station Name: NC PIEDMONT TRIAD INTL AP". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2014-04-27. 
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  46. ^ "American Factfinder". Retrieved 2011-08-27. 
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  58. ^ "Greensboro Symphony Orchestra". Retrieved 2014-03-25. 
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  60. ^ "Triad Stage". Retrieved 14 November 2014. 
  61. ^ "Weatherspoon Art Museum". Retrieved 2014-03-25. 
  62. ^ "Greater Triad Shag Club". Retrieved 2014-03-25. 
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External links[edit]