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Spartanburg Guy

Bon Haven to be demolished?

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Historic preservation is never easy, and in Spartanburg, we have had more failures than successes.  The friends of Bon Haven, the Palmetto Trust, and the HARB did what they could - and some members of the HARB came under serious criticism for putting it on the pending list in February 2015.  There were lots of ideas for what could have happened to Bon Haven, but not much cooperation and without that, no money was forthcoming.  It was only a matter of time before it was demolished.  It is sad.  But, saving the Montgomery Building does have to count as a positive preservation outcome since the Bon Haven failure.  

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The thing that sucks even more is that most people won't even know it's gone because they never knew it was there.

I agree that the Montgomery Building was more important. It's too bad that we have to view historic preservation as a "triage" effort, though.

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^^ Cleveland should take the offer. He has already cashed out of the house all the interior details. It seems like he won't, though.. 

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1 hour ago, vicupstate said:

^^ Cleveland should take the offer. He has already cashed out of the house all the interior details. It seems like he won't, though.. 

Agreed.. if the property/house were cleaned up, it would be such a majestic entry to Spartanburg. 

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I guess the Cleveland heirs figure the property is worth more without the house on it - prominent intersection, right across from the hospital.  

Sad.  

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Has anyone looked at moving the house?  If the land is the real value, then Cleveland should be willng to give the house away to a mover.

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Dexter Cleveland has a grudge against the City of Spartanburg and he isn't going to do anything that is good for

Spartanburg. Its sad, but Dexter hasn't made a good real estate decision with any of the properties that he has

inherited, but will remove the last prominent family structure that he can to spite the City. That north side property

isn't likely to sell even with the house gone. The Hospital has more than enough land to develop all that it intends

to develop and all others wouldn't be stupid enough to open anything there. We all remember the drug store across

the street that had to close because of so much theft, the Burger King etc., etc....

 

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Bon Haven has finally come to an unfortunate and unnecessary end:

http://www.goupstate.com/news/20170925/demolition-of-historic-bon-haven-mansion-begins

John B. Cleveland, who built this house, along with contributing towards much of Spartanburg's development, would be disappointed to see how greedy and short-sighted his descendants have become. For some reason, the Clevelands were intent on leading people to believe the house was falling apart and not worth saving.  I saw the house only a few years ago, and you can see what good condition it was in. City council also had the opportunity to place this important piece of Spartanburg history on the city's list of protected structures, but failed to show some backbone and act on it.  To trash something so old and well built is sickening. 

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Very, very sad.  I also was informed that Dexter had taken Federal funds to help preserve this building in the last few years. I would love to know who

would need to know at the Federal level to investigate. What a disappointment he should be to the Cleveland family.

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What a shame. What's Cleveland's malfunction? 
(I plead ignorance, as I've only lived in Spartanburg a year)
I have learned that he owns several other notable homes (in similar shape as Bon Haven) around town and they are all just left to rot.

What's the story with this guy?

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Par for the course for Spartanburg.

Pine Street used to be lined with these old houses along with North Church Street and East Main. It's a shame we're losing another one.

Cleveland is more than one man, it's a family. They are one of maybe 10-15 historically wealthy and influential families in Spartanburg- what you would now call old money. Most of these families owned or were associated with large farming operations, mills, or railroads and the Clevelands were no exception. Bon Haven was part of a large tract of farmland that stretched along North Church St and what is now Asheville Highway up towards if not past where old I-85 is today. It gradually got whittled a way into urban development like Cleveland Park, strip malls, and other neighborhoods. In all likelihood, Church Street bends to the east at Bon Haven in part because of the Cleveland's land (keep in mind that Asheville Highway is a comparatively newer street than Church Street)

It's disappointing because Bon Haven was the last historic home on North Church, which as I stated before, used to be lined with them. (I'm not sure if Floyd's Mortuary is actually a historic home or not... it looks like one that was built in the 90s to mimic an hold home...). Anyway, the DuPre House was saved from the construction of the Marriott Hotel and moved over to what is now the VCOM campus, and while it's great that they saved the house, it's not quite the same as it was now that it's on Howard St.

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2 hours ago, Spartan said:

Par for the course for Spartanburg.

Pine Street used to be lined with these old houses along with North Church Street and East Main. It's a shame we're losing another one.

Cleveland is more than one man, it's a family. They are one of maybe 10-15 historically wealthy and influential families in Spartanburg- what you would now call old money. Most of these families owned or were associated with large farming operations, mills, or railroads and the Clevelands were no exception. Bon Haven was part of a large tract of farmland that stretched along North Church St and what is now Asheville Highway up towards if not past where old I-85 is today. It gradually got whittled a way into urban development like Cleveland Park, strip malls, and other neighborhoods. In all likelihood, Church Street bends to the east at Bon Haven in part because of the Cleveland's land (keep in mind that Asheville Highway is a comparatively newer street than Church Street)

It's disappointing because Bon Haven was the last historic home on North Church, which as I stated before, used to be lined with them. (I'm not sure if Floyd's Mortuary is actually a historic home or not... it looks like one that was built in the 90s to mimic an hold home...). Anyway, the DuPre House was saved from the construction of the Marriott Hotel and moved over to what is now the VCOM campus, and while it's great that they saved the house, it's not quite the same as it was now that it's on Howard St.

Thank you for the lesson. I can only imagine what these streets looked like all lined with these grand homes. 
It's just such a shame. And Bon Haven was just truly unique. 

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I hope all who opine on the Bon Haven matter won't put all the blame on the Cleveland family.  They're no longer influential or as wealthy or as  involved in the community as they once were.  However, their philanthropy  was generous and well meaning.  

Many years ago South Church Street (between Church Street Lofts and Marion Avenue)  was lined with large homes.  When the street was widened (circa 1968) the homes were torn down.  However, by then they were decrepit and in poor condition.  In hindsight maybe they should have been left alone.    At one time they may have been "grand" but I remember them as eyesores.

I don't remember grand homes on North Church Street but that could have been before my time. 

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57 minutes ago, roads-scholar said:

I hope all who opine on the Bon Haven matter won't put all the blame on the Cleveland family.  They're no longer influential or as wealthy or as  involved in the community as they once were.  However, their philanthropy  was generous and well meaning.  

Many years ago South Church Street (between Church Street Lofts and Marion Avenue)  was lined with large homes.  When the street was widened (circa 1968) the homes were torn down.  However, by then they were decrepit and in poor condition.  In hindsight maybe they should have been left alone.    At one time they may have been "grand" but I remember them as eyesores.

I don't remember grand homes on North Church Street but that could have been before my time. 

Well, that's why I said 'historically.' Many of the oldest old money families aren't around and/or aren't influential anymore. It seems like 20 years ago, the Clevelands were still relevant, but apparently it's changed a lot since.

The evolution of American cities has always been an interest of mine. It used to be that the wealthiest people either owned large farms / plantations if they were farmers or they had large homes along the most prominent street (or streets) in town if they were businessmen. The idea with the towns was to impress visitors by making the most attractive parts of the community the most visible. This was also during a time when most people got around by horse or wagon. 

In Spartanburg, Church Street, Main Street, and Pine Street (today known as South Pine Street, since the extension north of Main came much later) were the primary roads to access the city, so most of the large homes were found on those streets (this is roughly 100 y ears ago). Over time, the preference for wealthy people to live on the primary streets changed,  the main roads evolved from residential streets to commercial corridors (especially after WW2) and homes were replaced with shopping centers and businesses. We're fortunate that at least some homes remain -  East Main and South Pine still have a few. Pretty much every large home on Church St has been demolished. There's still one on South Church accross from the Schuyler Building. There are actually a couple on North Church still there but they've been heavily modified or have been absorbed into Wofford's campus. The ones on East Main and South Pine are much easier to find. West Main seems to have had a few as well, but to a much lesser degree of grandiosity than the other streets.

Here are the streetview images of the ones on S Church and N Church. Then there's the DuPre house on Howard St that got moved from N Church to build the Marriott.

You can go back to the old insurance maps from 1912 to see the building footprints of the homes if you're really interested. Here's the link on USC's website.

 

 

 

 

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Here's an old photo of what S Church looked like when it was lined with grand homes:

59ce8a193f80a_SouthChurchStreethomes.jpg.5e5cebbccfe64038db8965554e24fc10.jpg

Most were demolished in the 70s as part of the huge Southside urban renewal project. (I recommend reading "South of Main" for a pretty comprehensive look at that era in Spartanburg)

Don't forget about the Evins-Bivings House (circa 1854) near Wofford on N Church.  Also the Walter Montgomery and Victor Montgomery houses on S Pine and E Main respectively are very impressive.

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But none compare to the grandeur and unique architecture (Second-Empire) of Bon Haven, which makes it such a huge loss.

Edited by westsider28

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Yeah I tried to get a picture of the Evins-Bivings house from streetview, but it's surrounded by thick landscaping. I had forgotten about the one behind 1st Pres. Didn't they move that one back there from up closer to the street?

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