Queen Charlotte returns to Charlotte Douglas Int’l AIrport

Charlotte Douglas Int’l Airport welcomes back Queen Charlotte

Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) is hard at work on Destination CLT, the airport’s $4 billion capital investment program.

And the Terminal Lobby Expansion (TLE) is a $608 million piece of that project.

The west side of the TLE opened in July, 2022. And now the east side of that section is set to open at the end of October.

This section delivers about 90,000 square feet of new space, access to the east subterranean walkway, and TSA’s Checkpoint 1, with eight screening lanes. .

Travelers through this new east side lobby area will also find large windows, terrazo flooring, bright blue tile frames for the entrances and exits, and new sculptures and murals.

Pasengers will also see an old friend.

While construction has been underway, the airport’s statue of Queen Charlotte was moved out the way and then taken offsite for a restoration and a repatina.

Now she’s back.

Last week, airport officials unveiled the refreshed 3,000-pound, 15-foot-tall bronze sculpture of Queen Charlotte, back on top of a 30-foot tall base.

The Queen Charlotte statue is now in the center of the Queen’s Court, the name for the Terminal Lobby Expansion space. Queen’s Court is also home to Queen Charlotte’s Kitchen. This is CLT’s first pre-security sit-down dining option, offering breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as wine, beer and cocktails.

How did the Queen Charlotte get to CLT?

In the late 1980’s a local group put up $250,000 to commission an airport sculpture to symbolize the city and greet CLT passengers.

Washington, D.C., artist Raymond Kaskey won the commission and his statue of Queen Charlotte was dedicated on Sept. 18, 1990.

For many years the statue stood on a fountain in an outdoor plaza between CLT’s hourly parkng decks. She’s been been moved around and taken off site for several years to accomodate airport construction.

Here’s a video of Raymond Kaskey talking about the getting the initial commission for the project and creating the sculpture.

(All photos courtesy CLT)

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