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Winston-Salem is a city in the state of North Carolina, with a 2012 estimated population of 234,349. Winston-Salem is the county seat and largest city of Forsyth County and the fifth largest city in the state.
Winston-Salem is the second largest municipality in the Piedmont Triad region and is home to the tallest office building in the region, 100 North Main Street, formerly the Wachovia Building and now known locally as the Wells Fargo Center.
Winston-Salem is called the “Twin City” for its dual heritage and “City of the Arts and Innovation” for its dedication to fine arts and theater and technological research. “Camel City” is a reference to the city’s historic involvement in the tobacco industry related to locally based R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company’s popular Camel cigarettes.
The Old Salem district (1766) and related Historic Bethabara (1753) and Bethania (1759) sites are the city’s oldest historical attractions. Also of historical interest is Reynolda Village (which includes Reynolda Gardens and the Reynolda House Museum of American Art).
The Reynolds family, namesake of the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, played a large role in the history and public life of Winston-Salem. By the 1940s, 60% of Winston-Salem workers worked either for Reynolds or in the Hanes textile factories. The Reynolds company imported so much French cigarette paper and Turkish tobacco for Camel cigarettes that Winston-Salem was designated by the United States federal government as an official port of entry for the United States, despite the city being 200 miles inland. Winston-Salem was the eighth-largest port of entry in the United States by 1916.
In 1929, the Reynolds Building was completed and at 314 ft (96m), it was the tallest building in the United States south of Baltimore, Maryland. The building is well known for being the predecessor and prototype for the much larger Empire State Building. it is the location of the corporate headquarters of BB&T (Branch Banking and Trust Company), HanesBrands, Inc., Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Inc., Lowes Foods Stores, ISP Sports, Reynolds American (parent of R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company), Reynolda Manufacturing Solutions, Southern Community Bank, K&W Cafeterias and TW Garner Food Company (makers of Texas Pete. PepsiCo has its Customer Service Center located in Winston-Salem.
Although traditionally associated with the textile and tobacco industries, Winston-Salem is transforming itself to be a leader in the nanotech, high-tech and bio-tech fields.