Union County was formed by an 1842 act of the NC General Assembly.  They determined that the county seat would be located within two miles of the center of the County and would be named in honor of President James Monroe.  The town of Monroe was incorporated on December 24, 1844.  The December 1874 completion of the Carolina Central Railway between Wilmington and Charlotte brought important changes in the town's commercial standing.  Monroe became a market town where the railroad brought manufactured goods that could be exchanged for regional agricultural products.  Monroe's status as a hub in the railroad line meant that it became home to a large transient population known as Railway Men.  Traveling salesmen, or "Knights of the Grip," were also drawn to the city by its large wholesale commerce.  Finally, travelers stopping in on their north-south journeys enjoyed Monroe hospitality.  As early as 1911, the Heath-Houston Realty Company had plans for a large, 100 guest room, modern hotel at the corner of North Main and West Franklin Streets.  The name Hotel Joffre was given to the new building in honor of the French WWI General, Marshal Joffre.

Old Belks BuildingThe Depression in the early 1930's brought the development of the downtown nearly to a halt.  The establisment of Camp Sutton, a military base in Monroe during World War II, brought large numbers of soldiers and their families to the city, but very little new construction resulted in downtown.

Although a few significant buildings have been demolished, such as the Monroe Opera House and the Hotel Joffre, Monroe's Central Business District still reflects the period of Downtown Monroe's greatest prosperity as an agricultural and commercial center.  The City of Monroe still remains a hub of industrial and retail activity within the region and remains focused on culture and commerce within Union County.  Millions of dollars in renovations and facade improvements, annual festivities, and new interest in professional housing have made Downtown Monroe again the place for commerce and travelers alike.  Please enjoy your time in our historic district and thank you for visiting Historic Downtown Monroe.

for visitors

SHOP, DINE & EXPLORE Downtown Monroe! Check us out on Facebook  and Twitter and stay in the know of what's going on in Downtown Monroe!


Downtown Car Cruise Ins are April - October at 6pm.
Music On Main are April - October at 6:30pm.






for residents

Don't Forget about your Downtown!  Shop Locally to help fuel your local economy  to improve your neighborhoods and your local shopping venues.

Check us out regularly on our NEW facebook page at Downtown Monroe Events Page to see what great events we are bringing to Downtown Monroe!

"Meet Me Downtown... Where the people make the place!"

for business'

The North Carolina Capital Access Program (NC-CAP) will work with banks and other eligible financial institutions to create capital opportunities for entrepreneurs who might not otherwise qualify for financing.

Business Link North Carolina also provides an access point to services and other offerings provided by state-supported agencies.
Please take advantage of these opportunities if you are looking to start a business.
The City of Monroe also has incentives that we offer to qualifying business owners. 
Please research our site to see if you qualify.


for investors

Looking  for investment opportunity?  Downtown Monroe has an array of beautiful Historic Buildings for sale and/or lease.  Take a look at some of the properties that we have listed, and call for incentive questions TODAY! 



Downtown Advisory Board October 27th meeting has been cancelled. - 08.15.2013

Downtown Advisory Board  October 27th ...
Unique Boutique Consignments & More is Now open in Downtown Monroe - 08.31.2015

Unique Boutique Consignments have opened in Downtown Monroe at 130 S. Main Street. Please stop by and welcome them to Downtown ... Read More >>