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"What if..." (alternative real estate history thread)

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Thought it might be interesting to think of "what might have been" if Greenville's real estate had been built differently.

For example:

What if McAlister Square had been built downtown (in the core of downtown, perhaps among the parking lots to the east or west of Main Street)?

What if the convention center and Greenville Memorial Hospital had been built downtown instead of in suburbia?

Would downtown have remained vibrant in the 80s then, and even larger than it is today?

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What if Furman University had stayed at its old location near County Square? 

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10 minutes ago, gman said:

What if Furman University had stayed at its old location near County Square? 

That would probably have made that part of town a lot nicer than it was from the '60s through today, right?

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The Bell Tower Mall wasn't successful and  I doubt McAlister Square would have worked downtown either.  The whole point of a regional mall is that it is  out in the growing suburbs along major highways.  The acres of free parking would be harder to find downtown and if you did find a spot then the mall would end up separated from the rest of downtown by acres of parking lots.  Even if it worked it probably have sucked all the retail life from Main St.

 

If Furman had stayed in downtown Greenville it would have been better for Greenville.  Probably not better for Furman though.

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A couple of what ifs occur to me:

1) What if they had actually built the "downtown loop," which would have been a freeway connecting 385 and 185 (if memory serves). I think the idea was for the route to follow Academy St. How that would have connected to 185 I don't remember. I think overall it would have made impossible the kind of downtown we have now, if for no other reason than it would have churned up so much real estate (and old buildings). Whatever revitalization it might have brought to downtown would probably have been pretty different, though it's impossible to say how, of course. I'm glad they didn't build it.

2) What if they had not demolished the Woodside Building? (how many buildings can we ask that of?? City Hall; the Ottaray; the Carolina...). I can still remember it sticking up prominently above the tree line as you go down Skyview Drive next to Eastlan Baptist Church. The current Wachovia Building replaced it, but not on its site. It could have been left standing. When the Woodside was destroyed, it was basically the same age the Landmark is now. It would have fit perfectly with what's been happening downtown for the last 20+ years.

 

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5 hours ago, Exile said:

A couple of what ifs occur to me:

1) What if they had actually built the "downtown loop," which would have been a freeway connecting 385 and 185 (if memory serves). I think the idea was for the route to follow Academy St. How that would have connected to 185 I don't remember. I think overall it would have made impossible the kind of downtown we have now, if for no other reason than it would have churned up so much real estate (and old buildings). Whatever revitalization it might have brought to downtown would probably have been pretty different, though it's impossible to say how, of course. I'm glad they didn't build it.

2) What if they had not demolished the Woodside Building? (how many buildings can we ask that of?? City Hall; the Ottaray; the Carolina...). I can still remember it sticking up prominently above the tree line as you go down Skyview Drive next to Eastlan Baptist Church. The current Wachovia Building replaced it, but not on its site. It could have been left standing. When the Woodside was destroyed, it was basically the same age the Landmark is now. It would have fit perfectly with what's been happening downtown for the last 20+ years.

 

Woodside (SCN) building was probably doomed to go. It was not updated and deteriorating...a shame some developer did not come forward and develop it into something better (condos etc). It was a different time in the mid-70s. I knew people who disliked working there before it was demolished. 

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3 hours ago, cabelagent said:

Woodside (SCN) building was probably doomed to go. It was not updated and deteriorating...a shame some developer did not come forward and develop it into something better (condos etc). It was a different time in the mid-70s. I knew people who disliked working there before it was demolished. 

By 1974 standards, maybe so. But SCN occupied it all the way up to the point they moved into the new not-very-attractive box that still stands, so it couldn't have been that bad. At least, not as bad as the Poinsett was before it was resurrected. According to this description SCN bought the building in 1950. I don't know if they still owned it in '74, but a local owner would have been much more likely to preserve it. Just like what almost happened to the Wilkins house--out-of-towners (even if they're just down the road in Columbia) have no particular incentive to preserve stuff here.

I seem to remember an outcry when City Hall was torn down, so there was some preservationist impulse back in those days. I don't remember one way or the other about the Woodside Bldg.

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