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Main Street/CBD Developments


mainstreeter

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Here are some pics of Main St. Not sure who took them, but it wasn't me.

This is typically what you will find on Main St. The road itself is being rennovated, which is not reflected in most of these shots.

cityColumbiaSC_mainst.jpg

Looking South

cityColumbiaSC_mainst_otherway.jpg

Looking North

cityColumbiaSC_main_meridBaseBarrin.jpg

Base of Meridian and Barringer Bulidings

cityColumbiaSC_main_shops.jpg

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I took this pic from waccamatt's website and just wanted to post it here for comparison purposes. It seems to be from the 50's or 60's:

comnst.jpg

Interesting.

Question: Do you guys think the name "Main Street" should be changed? Do you guys think it's too "small townish" for Columbia?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Kraze, actually that post card was from the late 30's.

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I took this pic from waccamatt's website and just wanted to post it here for comparison purposes. It seems to be from the 50's or 60's:

comnst.jpg

Interesting.

Question: Do you guys think the name "Main Street" should be changed? Do you guys think it's too "small townish" for Columbia?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

That's exactly what it is. There are 60 billion "Main Streets" in America. It would be cool to be different and for the biggest city in SC that really is small townish

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I took this pic from waccamatt's website and just wanted to post it here for comparison purposes. It seems to be from the 50's or 60's:

comnst.jpg

Interesting.

Question: Do you guys think the name "Main Street" should be changed? Do you guys think it's too "small townish" for Columbia?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I doubt the postcard artist embellished anything, Main St. was the place to be in the 1930's.

I don't think the name should be changed from Main Street. First of all, if you referred to it as Richardson Street, no one would know where/what you were talking about. I remember when they renamed Sydney Park to Findley Park. The Mayfest that year had a significant drop-off in attendance despite good weather. The only obvious reason was the name of the park had only been changed a couple of months earlier. Everyone knew where "Sydney Park" was, but few people knew the name had changed to "Findley Park". Of course, over time people would learn, but why bring the interuption of business and add confusion?

Second, many cities much bigger than Columbia have a Main Street. Houston and Jacksonville are two that I know of.

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You raise a good point with the name changing problems. However, part of the renaming process was to shed the image that Sydney Park had- being over grown and a generally unwelcoming and unsafe place. The change to Finlay Park was a change in the area itself (removing the rail, trash, kudzu, etc) and making it a new and exciting place that people would want to go. It wasn't instant, but it was successful in the long run, wouldn't you say?

Now, take that concept to Main St. In Columbia, people have a certain perception of what Main St is, and the image is not great as we have already discussed. My argument is that if we change that name, we can change the image. Richardson is just one idea for the name. Why not Central St, or Capitol St, or State St? Any of these could play a part in changing the average to negative image that Main St has.

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I think the new name should either be reverted to Richardson for history's sake, or be named something that represents the entire state, like Capitol, State or Palmetto St.

Though it occurs to me that we already have a State St in Cayce/W Cola, so that one is out of the question.

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You raise a good point with the name changing problems. However, part of the renaming process was to shed the image that Sydney Park had- being over grown and a generally unwelcoming and unsafe place. The change to Finlay Park was a change in the area itself (removing the rail, trash, kudzu, etc) and making it a new and exciting place that people would want to go. It wasn't instant, but it was successful in the long run, wouldn't you say?

Now, take that concept to Main St. In Columbia, people have a certain perception of what Main St is, and the image is not great as we have already discussed. My argument is that if we change that name, we can change the image. Richardson is just one idea for the name. Why not Central St, or Capitol St, or State St? Any of these could play a part in changing the average to negative image that Main St has.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

The park's name was changed to honor Mayor Kirkman Findley, not because of a bad reputation. That area was not called Sydney Park in recent times until the park was completed. That same site had been a park previously(pre-Civil War, I think), and was called Sydney Park. Sometime after that, the city abandoned the park and rail and other uses took over the site. Fast forward about 100 years. The city opened the park we see today around 1988 or so. It was named Sydney Park because of the history behind the name. Sometime in the early-to-mid '90s it was renamed Findley Park. Findley had just died, and he was the originator of the Congaree Vista name and redevelopment initiative, part of which included the park.

I still see no reason to go to the expense (public and private) and loss of business for Main St. merchants (what few are left).

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The park's name was changed to honor Mayor Kirkman Findley, not because of a bad reputation.  That area was not called Sydney Park in recent times until the park was completed.  That same site had been a park previously(pre-Civil War, I think), and was called Sydney Park.  Sometime after that, the city abandoned the park and rail and other uses took over the site.  Fast forward about 100 years.  The city opened the park we see today around 1988 or so.  It was named Sydney Park because of the history behind the name.  Sometime in the early-to-mid '90s it was renamed Findley Park. Findley had just died, and he was the originator of the Congaree Vista name and redevelopment initiative, part of which included the park.   

I still see no reason to go to the expense (public and private) and loss of business for Main St. merchants (what few are left).

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

This is mostly correct, but they mayor's name and the park's name was/is Finlay. <ahttps://www.urbanplanet.org/forums/uploads/emoticons/default_smile.png' alt=':)'> Here's the official version of the park's history.

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As I mentioned in an earlier post, this building is atrocious and could use a facelift; picture courtesy of waccamatt:

house%20of%20fabrics.jpg

Also, in some places on Main, it seems as though there is no uniformity in landscaping. I don't mind variety (not TOO much; it's a street, not a botanical garden), but there also needs to be a sense of balance. Case in point (also from waccamatt's page):

palmetto%20bldg.jpg

There seems to be about three types of trees here in close proximity; I think that's a no-no. And as I mentioned, some of the Palmetto trees look kinda sickly.

As it stands now, Main is just outright depressing.

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The park's name was changed to honor Mayor Kirkman Findley, not because of a bad reputation.  That area was not called Sydney Park in recent times until the park was completed.  That same site had been a park previously(pre-Civil War, I think), and was called Sydney Park.  Sometime after that, the city abandoned the park and rail and other uses took over the site.  Fast forward about 100 years.  The city opened the park we see today around 1988 or so.  It was named Sydney Park because of the history behind the name.  Sometime in the early-to-mid '90s it was renamed Findley Park. Findley had just died, and he was the originator of the Congaree Vista name and redevelopment initiative, part of which included the park.   

I still see no reason to go to the expense (public and private) and loss of business for Main St. merchants (what few are left).

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I am well aware of the Park's history. The area actually used to be called Seaboard Park back before Finlay/Sidney park was established. But it wasn't the park we have today... When they built the post office there, the USPS still used trains for long distance deliveries, and they had partially constructed a rail line into the underside of the Post Office (which is why the thing is bulit up so high to start with) so that mail cars could go right up to the building. However, the USPS switched to trucks before this was completed, leaving a partially constructed rail line through the park area. It really made for a trashy area. So when Sidney park was renamed for Mayor Finlay, it was to honor him, of course, but it also changed the association people had with the name of the park. Its only natural. That is my point about the name changes.

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As for other business that should be located on Main, I'm thinking things like a Fed Ex store, something like a classy souvenir shop, a rare/antique bookstore, etc. For restaurants, I'm thinking Brixx, a nice classy-type bar (something along the lines of Blue Restaurant & Bar in Charlotte or Halo Lounge in Atlanta), Showmars, or even SC's first P.F. Changs.

I'm really convinced that the revitalization of Main Street into a more urban, pedestrian-friendly destination will be absolutely KEY into taking Columbia to the next level. The Vista and Five Points are cool and all, but it doesn't carry the significance that Main Street does.

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However, part of the renaming process was to shed the image that Sydney Park had- being over grown and a generally unwelcoming and unsafe place.

Not to get into a tit-for-tat here, but the name Sydney Park was applied (or should I say re-applied) to the area once construction started on the park in the late '80s. As you correctly stated, Seaboard Park was the name used when it was overgrown and unsightly.

The park was opened for a couple of years under the name "Sydney Park". I lived just a few blocks from it, and it was very popular and heavily used. Telling someone that you went to Sydney Park over the weekend, did not raise questions of "is it safe down there?" or the like. The name change was only proposed after Findlay's death. I don't remember any mention during the news reports about changing the name for reputational reasons, -- it had the reputation of being the city's newest and nicest park.

As for Main Street, merely renaming it will initially give it an unknown reputation. And once the name does catch on, the current reputation will follow it, if the atmosphere doesn't change too. I would concentrate on that. I'm sure Main St. in Greenville had a negative connotation back in the late '70s, but it has a positive one now. I say change the SUBSTANCE of Main Street, not the name.

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Sorry I didn't read into the question. It doesn't really matter if the name is changed, but I still think the feel of Main St. with it being two lanes is definitely small townish, but I don't think there is a way they can change this as the buildings are too close too the street. Maybe they should do away with vehicle traffic on the street and change it to a pedestrian only street from Main and Gervais to Main and Blanding (which is the street where Club Rio is, I believe).

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Sorry I didn't read into the question. It doesn't really matter if the name is changed, but I still think the feel of Main St. with it being two lanes is definitely small townish, but I don't think there is a way they can change this as the buildings are too close too the street. Maybe they should do away with vehicle traffic on the street and change it to a pedestrian only street from Main and Gervais to Main and Blanding (which is the street where Club Rio is, I believe).

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

You know, that is a great idea. Denver did that with their corridor known as 16th Street. It used to be a regular street for cars, but they changed a 10-block stretch of it to be pedestrian-only. They created a beautiful urban shopping, dining, and entertainment district with many local and nationally-known restaurants such as Hard Rock and The Cheesecake Factory. Many business HQs are also located there to draw in workers. Now since this street is rather long, a small shuttle makes stops at each intersection of street (like a mini-mass transit system!) for people who don't want to walk that far. If Columbia followed that model, Main Street could be quite impressive!

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