A private group known as the Queen’s Table agreed to donate $250,000 for a sculpture that would be designed to symbolize the city and to greet those that pass through Charlotte Douglas International Airport. The artist for the project was selected from a group of 16 artists. A rendering of Queen Charlotte by Washington D.C. artist, Raymond Kaskey, was the group’s unanimous choice. The sculpture is a 15-foot-high bronze figure of Queen Charlotte that was designed with the use of a model, Megan Berryhill. The sculpture stands as the centerpiece in the Queen’s Courtyard between the parking decks. There have often been many assumptions made about why the sculpture is shaped the way it is. Some believe it is bent like a willow branch, appearing to be held aloft by the wind. Kaskey simply says that he made her “leaning backward in the wind because it seemed appropriate for an airport…and the column sets her as a stationary weather vane.” The emblem of the fountain and base is a compass rose, suggesting Charlotte is a crossroads. Queen Charlotte is positioned atop a column, which is also a water fountain, and stands in the middle a water filled base. The base includes markings indicating North, South, East and West. The crown in her hand is counter-balanced with the backward motion as a welcome sign to the pedestrian.” The sculpture was dedicated to the airport September 18, 1990.
Queen Charlotte’s Temporary Location
Due to construction of the Hourly Deck and Consolidated Rental Car Facility, Queen Charlotte was relocated in January 2013 to a new location between the Daily Decks, north of the terminal. She will reside here until the Terminal Lobby Expansion project is complete. Queen Charlotte’s courtyard contains hollis, nandinas, roses, star jasmines and perennials. Many of the plantings are original to her first courtyard location and were replanted. Historical markers were also relocated with the statue.
- Installed: 1990
- Location: Queen’s Courtyard
- Relocated: 2013
- Temporary Location: Between the Daily Decks in her courtyard
- Artist: Washington D.C. Artist Raymond Kaskey, selected by a 16-person committee through the Queen’s Table
- Funding: Gift from the Queen’s Table who donated $250,000 for the sculpture, City paid for the base and fountain. The Queen’s Table is a private philanthropic group, most of whose members choose to remain anonymous, and consists of people who pledge $1,000 per year to beautify the City.
- Description: The sculpture is a 15-foot-high bronze figure of Queen Charlotte. Kaskey said of the pose, “I used her as a mythological symbol. Leaning backward in the wind seemed appropriate for an airport and the column sets her as a stationary weather vane. The emblem of the fountain is a compass rose, suggesting Charlotte as a crossroads. The crown in her hand is counterbalanced with the backward motion as a welcome sign to the pedestrian.” The column stands in the middle of a fountain base with markings indicating North, South, East and West.