Greensboro, NC

Greensboro, the county seat of Guilford County and presently North Carolina’s third-largest city, was founded in 1808.

Greensboro’s downtown is a thriving economic center and has been vibrant since the late 19th century, with new construction almost a constant. In the 1990s, the downtown area reignited and thrived with new beginnings towards becoming the destination that it is today.

Downtown Greensboro is a prosperous and vibrant urban center today, memorable and meaningful for those who choose to live, work, and play here.

Health care in Greensboro has expanded through the years – its first hospitals were established to treat victims of the Civil War and housed in churches and warehouses. Today, nationally-recognized Moses Cone Health System gives patients access to the latest developments in medical care from their first moments of life through later years.

With more than 47,000 undergraduate and post graduate students studying here, Greensboro is an educational community where opportunities begin, grow and thrive. It is home to five four-year colleges and universities, a growing two-year community college, a law school and a collaborative joint campus operated by two of its largest universities. These institutions employ 6,000 faculty and staff educating individuals who will build and guide the knowledge-based economy of tomorrow.

Long ago, the city of Greensboro was known as a textile town, saturated with mills, factories and blue-collar workers. But today, the city is better known as “Tournament Town” for its wealth of athletic venues – courts, fields, stadiums and even pools. Greensboro has been host to the men’s and women’s ACC basketball tournaments, the PGA Wyndham Championship and the U.S. Figure Skating Championships. The Greensboro Coliseum Complex employs more people than the legendary Cone Mills, once known for being the world’s largest producer of denim. While advanced manufacturing operations still play an important role in Greensboro, more often it is the basketball courts and baseball fields that are the center of attention and the center of the economy.

However, 21st -century Greensboro has long since ceased to be a city whose economic base depended disproportionately upon manufacturing. Although Greensboro still has successful manufacturers such as VF CorporationRF Micro DevicesHonda Aircraft Company and Lorillard Tobacco, as well as large financial institutions such as United Guaranty and Lincoln Financial Group, in 2011 the chief employers are education, government, and health services.

The downtown area, which had suffered since the 1950s from the move of major stores to shopping centers, has undergone revitalization in recent years, and the city anticipates further redevelopment of downtown, with more and more residents embracing the “new-urbanism” concept and opting to live closer to downtown in “walkable” neighborhoods. In the not too distant future, greenways will completely encircle the city, fostering “walkability” and connectedness within and between neighborhoods.

John Motley Morehead’s mid-19th century vision of Greensboro as a transportation hub—the “Gate City” concept—still serves it well. A FedEx hub at Piedmont Triad International Airport was built with the intention of employing 1500 people. It opened in 2009 with far fewer employees than initially speculated due to the ecnomic slow down of the time. It is anticipated that the FedEx hub will grow to meet its original goal when the economy recovers. Should this occur, the hub will bring with it job opportunities, an improved tax base, and a higher quality of life for Greensboro residents.

Guilford County’s establishment pre-dates that of Greensboro by nearly four decades (the county was constituted from parts of Rowan and Orange counties in 1771), and its early settlers were chiefly Scotch-Irish, Quakers, and Germans. The county seat was first at Martinville, located in the northwest part of the county. However, by the beginning of the 19th century, many county residents found the courthouse’s location inconvenient and wanted it moved to a central spot.