Politics & Government

Charlotte's longest-serving mayor steps down, made major changes

A teal seat from the old coliseum. Red boxing gloves signed by George Foreman. Helmets from the Panthers and NASCAR. Photos with presidents and preachers and the pilot of the "Miracle on the Hudson." Even a new pair of shoes left forgotten for two years.

All were among the stuff packed into cardboard boxes or tossed into rollout trash bins Friday as Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory prepared to leave his 15th floor office in city hall.

"I'm a very sentimental guy," he said. "Cleaning out 14 years of memories is difficult."

When he turns over the gavel to Democrat Anthony Foxx on Monday, McCrory will leave office as Charlotte's longest-serving mayor. He presided over a period of unprecedented growth until upheavals in the economy and banking cracked the pillars of prosperity.

During his tenure, Charlotte built North Carolina's first light-rail system. It replaced four decaying public housing projects with attractive mixed-income developments. It saw Ballantyne grow from a planner's dream to a community almost the size of Concord. Read this story on Charlotte.com