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Iconic Spartanburg


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I don't think this exact topic exists yet. ;)

Spartanburg is changing in many positive ways. People who've never really cared about the city are now interested in the developments taking place to transform it into a well-known, beautiful, and important location in the state.

Since there are still many who've never taken the opportunity to explore Spartanburg as it is today, the city needs to promote its uniqueness by advertising its current "icons," and developing a concept for another icon or two.

The questions are:

  1. What do you consider are Spartanburg's current icons that can be advertised to potential visitors?

  2. What do you think could be conceptualized and built as an icon for future attraction to the City? You can add as many as you like. What is the image you'd like people to see and recognize as purely Spartanburg?

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Interesting topic :)

Spartanburg has many historic icons-

The Magnolia St Train Station is #1 in my book. It was the gateway for almost everyone who came to Spartanburg for nearly a century. The rails were also the source of Spartanburg's nickname- the Hub City.

Morgan Square is indeed important to the image we will provide to visitors, and our #1 monument is definately the Daniel Morgan Statue. Maybe we should build another one for something?

In a historic sense we are primarily a textlie market town. That has transformed lately into manufacturing in general, though giants like Milliken are still holding out.

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Having been born, raised, and educated in Spartanburg several icons come to mind when someone mentions the city. They are:

The Montgomery Building. While not the city's tallest building, this grand lady has sat proudly on North Church Street for over 80 years. Hopefully, her best years are ahead.

General Morgan statue. The enigmatic old general has been overlooking the square since the 1880's. I've always asked myself, "What is he thinking up there"?

Wofford's "Old Main". As a Wofford alumnus (class of '81) I always get a thrill when I see those classic bell towers rising above the tree line from a distance.

The textile mills and mill villages that ring Spartanburg. Arcadia, Saxon, Valley Falls, Fairforest, Drayton, Glendale, Clifton, Arkwright, Spartan Mill, Beaumont, and so on. I hope that someday these buildings and communities will see renewal and gentrification.

Converse Heights. Tree shaded streets, grand homes, and beautiful churches. Converse Heights has survived and thrived for nearly a century as the home of Spartanburg's professional class.

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Wow, I'm surprised nobody has mentioned the Flagstar (Denny's) tower. If there is one image I associate most with Spartanburg, it is the lone beauty rising elegantly above the hustle and bustle below. The gentle curves and light shaded facade exude a stately grace that represents the heart and soul of the City it proudly presides over. It is an enviable structure for any downtown in the Nation, but it rightfully belongs in only one place - Spartanburg, SC. B)

Morgan Square will indeed emerge as an identifiable icon for the city over many decades to come. The Arts Center also has the potential to become one of the most imortant attractions for the city in the next few years. Because of its work over the many years to attract visitors from around the World, The Beacon should certainly be considered an icon in the city.

Future icon ideas could include an awesome arts and entertainment district the likes of which hasn't been seen in the Upstate as of yet. B)

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While it is not my favorite place, you can't hardly talk about Spartanburg without talking about the Beacon.

I still think that there is great potential at the new Arts center and Renaissance Park, depending on how the revised Master plan works out.

I hope the 'college town" keeps going. I don't know of many cities our size with such a wide variety of 4 year institutions.

The Denny's tower is an icon in downtown.

would still love to see the Beaumont mill have some sort of textile museum.

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I don't think of the Denny' Tower as an icon. It is certainly a landmark, and probably one that many people will remember, but in terms of its importance to the city's history, it is not that significant.

The city's obsession with beige is something that needs to be worked with.

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Today's Spartanburg Herald-Journal reports that the Steeple Restaurant will be closing this month after 56 years of serving their greasy fare of burgers and hot dogs. The Steeple's signature items are their "Dixie Burger" and bright orange onion rings. The Steeple has always sat in the shadow of the more well known Beacon but has it's own loyal following. While I wouldn't classify the Steeple as "Iconic" it has been around a long time and is somewhat of a local landmark.

The Steeple's late owner, Joe Malone, was an unselfish saint of man who never met a charity or fundraiser he didn't like. He always did things for the community and never sought publicity for it.

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  • 4 years later...

Although this topic has been collecting dust on a forgotten shelf for years now, I am extremely excited about the many great opportunities available to utilize Spartanburg's natural and historical genuine "icons" in an effort to improve its inward quality of life and outward appeal. Several intriguing ideas have been mentioned in an article published in the Herald Journal on Sunday.

...The recommendations so far involve community leaders focusing on five “pillars” of a tourism industry: culture, history, agri-tourism, recreation and manufacturing.

Six committees are to be created – one for each pillar and another to determine how each project will be funded (if that's not already been identified)...

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If we're going to be serious about tourism in Spartanburg, I've always thought we need another hotel downtown. I'd like to see something medium sized (to fill the gap between the Inn on Main and the Marriott) and slightly upscale or "boutique" (moreso than the Marriott). Ideally, it would be located near Morgan Square. I think a mixed-use building including a hotel component located near the Herald-Journal has been brainstormed about on the forums in the past. It's too bad the Cleveland Hotel was torn down years ago...

As far as the five pillars in the tourism plan, I don't see where manufacturing fits in that list (especially over business or education/colleges) as something tourism-related.

However, I am excited to see an organized and concerted effort to market Spartanburg. That is something that hasn't been done enough. Spartanburg has a lot to offer for visitors and residents, I just don't think the awareness has been there. So, this is certainly a step in the right direction.

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A small hotel in a mixed use building at the corner of Main and Spring St. next to the Herald Journal would be the best single project that could happen to improve downtown IMO. An open market or arcade type ground floor with a Sticky Fingers, Ice cream shop and maybe a coffee/bakery/deli and a couple of small mom and pop specialty shops and of course the hotel check in area; a second floor of offices or additional retail space with an interior corridor overlooking the market below (similar to the Grove arcade in Asheville); floors 3-6 for 50-80 mid market guest rooms; floors 7-8 for 8-10 condos or extended stay rooms and a 1/2 floor rooftop restaurant overlooking the square. The lot is big enough if you used underground parking or the City parking lot on the corner of Broad and Spring. This project would not be huge in terms of square footage, but in terms of impact on the foot traffic and making the square a destination, it would be extremely huge for Spartanburg and the tourism possibilities.

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I read that article, and I like the concept of: "Spartanburg: Revolutionary" as a marketing slogan.

Generally, the areas where they want to focus make sense. The manufacturing 'pillar' seemed weird to me at first, but when you consider the history of Spartanburg, we have always been a manufacturing hub. Think textiles in the 20th century and it has evolved from there. To ignore that would be a mistake.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I went to the Tourism Celebration on Thursday. Here are some pictures of the PowerPoint detailing the plan (sorry about some blurry ones):

post-24605-049228800 1276966025_thumb.jppost-24605-075671200 1276966026_thumb.jppost-24605-076365600 1276966027_thumb.jppost-24605-064736100 1276966028_thumb.jppost-24605-055363900 1276966029_thumb.jp

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A few observations/comments on the plan:

- I was baffled by their idea to change the CVB's name to Convention & Visitor's Corporation, essentially for the sake of being "different". I think that's unnecessary and only serves to cause confusion for visitors.

- The plan seemed to acknowledge and promote our Revolutionary War history while somewhat ignoring WWI and WWII. I'd like to see a recreation of the training facilities (barracks, etc.) at Croft as well as Wadsworth (acquiring some land would be necessary) to show how it was when soldiers trained there. For example, how cool would it be if we recreated some WWI trenches?

- I liked the focus on local farms/produce. That is something crucial to the identity of Spartanburg county.

- I also liked the idea of a "Made in Spartanburg" campaign for both farm produce and manufactured goods.

- I thought recreation focused a bit too much on river-based options (kayaking, etc.) and the under-construction baseball fields in Reidville. I'd like to see more of a focus on running paths/greenways and bike lanes (granted, I'm biased, being a runner & cyclist).

- I liked the idea of an Adidas retail/outlet store. It would be fantastic if they could locate downtown (perhaps the old Bishop furniture building, since they moved next door recently).

- I liked that they mentioned improving city gateways such as Church Street & Hwy 29 and corridors like Bus-85.

So anyway, this plan seems to be a good start for marketing our area to visitors. Hopefully we'll see some results over the next few years.

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post-24605-052299900 1276966030_thumb.jp

post-24605-039728300 1276966031_thumb.jp

post-24605-026698900 1276966032_thumb.jp

post-24605-010130500 1276966033_thumb.jp

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I think this is fantastic. Spartanburg is finally getting organized to take advantage of South Carolina's biggest industry by making the things unique about Spartanburg a selling point. As downtown continues to see revitalization, the rest of the city and county need to join the revival. To have these things on a plan in this format gets people thinking about the "stuff" that needs to happen to make Spartanburg a better place to live/work/play. Even though it's focused on "tourism," all of those things will ultimately benifit the community be letting people know what there is to do, and giving the community something to rally around in addition to the things we already have.

Thanks for posting those slides for those of us who weren't able to make the meeting!

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