Hear ye. Hear ye. The Queen has arrived.
CLT’s Queen Charlotte statue made her triumph return to the terminal on a flatbed truck covered in blankets around 6 a.m. on June 3.
The 3,000-pound, 15-foot-tall bronze sculpture was transported from Carolina Bronze in Seagrove, N.C. where she’s been since October 2020 for a makeover before taking centerstage inside the Terminal Lobby Expansion.
Upon her arrival, the Queen was inspected and prepped for hoisting 60 feet into the air. Lifting straps were attached to strategic points of the statue that could endure the move from the flatbed truck to her new home inside the Terminal Lobby Expansion. Two hours later and with a thumbs up, it was go time at 7:45 a.m.
The Queen was carefully raised with tower crane to a point above the Terminal Lobby Expansion centered over the oculus skylight.
Then came the delicate task of lowering the Queen through a 20-foot opening in the roof that will eventually become a skylight and shine rays of sun on the statue for decades to come.
Once lowered, the Queen was positioned in her final royal stance and secured to her custom designed pedestal.
Next, a structure will be built around the Queen to protect her from surrounding Terminal Lobby Expansion construction. She will make her crowning debut at the project’s completion in 2025.
CLT’s Queen Charlotte statue is a depiction of the British monarch for whom the City of Charlotte is named. Her story began when a private group known as the Queen’s Table donated $250,000 for a sculpture that would be designed to symbolize the city and to greet those who pass through Charlotte Douglas International Airport. Washington D.C. artist Raymond Kaskey was selected from a group of 16 artists. A rendering of Queen Charlotte was the group’s unanimous choice.
The Queen was sculpted to stand slightly bent as if she was blowing in the wind, which Kaskey saw fitting for an airport. The sculpture was dedicated to the Airport on September 18, 1990. She was first installed between CLT’s original Hourly Decks in 1990 and relocated in 2013 between the Daily Decks to make room for construction of the new Hourly Parking Deck.