One Wells Fargo Center

One Wells Fargo Center 301 S College St

Charlotte Architecture Tour/One Wells Fargo Center
VAMONDE Charlotte
Written By VAMONDE Charlotte

One Wells Fargo Center

One Wells Fargo Center is a skyscraper in Charlotte, North Carolina. It is the headquarters for Wells Fargo's east coast division. At 588 ft tall and 42 stories, it is the fifth tallest building in Charlotte as of 2018. When it was opened on September 14, 1988, it was the tallest building in North Carolina. In 1992, One Wells Fargo Center was surpassed by the Bank of America Corporate Center, and again in 2002 by Hearst Tower, another Bank of America building. It is considered Charlotte's first postmodern high-rise.


In July 1985, Trammell Crow Co. and Norfolk Southern Corp. announced plans for the block between College and Brevard Streets and between 2nd and 3rd Streets. First Union Center would include an 850,000-square-foot 34-story granite and glass skyscraper called Two First Union Center, which was to be Art Deco and the city's first postmodernist office tower. The project would also include a hotel, two office buildings and a park. Unlike nearby buildings with flat roofs, the JPJ Architects design used a roof where "the top is rounded, a bold arch rising above the setback sections that enliven the principal facade ... this one looks like an old radio". The first office tower was to start construction in December 1985 and be complete in 1987. By mid-1986, Two First Union Center had been changed to a 42-story building, to be Charlotte's tallest, and by December, when NCNB and Charter Properties announced an even taller building, First Union's new headquarters was called One First Union Center. The $100 million One First Union Center became the city's tallest building on August 21, 1987.

As of May 13, 1988, a foundation was in place for the planned hotel, expected to be 19 stories and 250 rooms, but Trammell Crow had not yet submitted plans to the county's building standards department. Omni Hotels was said to be interested in the site. On October 18, 1990, the 22-story, 410-room Omni Charlotte held a ribbon cutting, though only eight floors of rooms were ready and fourteen stories had been completed. Omni president Bill Sheehan called it "probably our finest facility". In 1996, The Yarmouth Group bought the Omni for $33 million and changed it to a Westin. In 1998, Hilton Hotels bought the hotel for about twice that much. The hotel is now Hilton Charlotte Center City.

In December 2010, the building was renamed to One Wells Fargo Center. Although Wells Fargo is the largest tenant, with 686,834 square feet, or 70 percent of the space, and the namesake of the building, it is occupied by several large North Carolina businesses and national law firms. Wells Fargo Center also includes Two Wells Fargo Center, Three Wells Fargo Center, the Hilton hotel, and a 58 unit condominium complex.


Since 2013, a pair of nesting Peregrine Falcons have raised young at One Wells Fargo Center. The Carolina Raptor Center sets up a 'Falcon Cam' allowing those who wish to view the nesting falcons online.

Cover photo by Valeria licensed by CC BY-SA 2.0

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