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Greenville

My how the times have changed!

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Thanks for the photo find Greenville! :thumbsup: Amazing what has happened in 10 or so years. From rundown, empty buidlings, to a vibrant bustling urban center. Great historic photo!

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Thus the amazement expressed by all visitors I run into everyday. We are totally justified in being proud of Greenville regardless of what others (people who are prejudiced and won't look at the city today) think and say. :D

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Great find Skyliner!! :thumbsup: Looks like I see rails on both the left and the right sides of the pic. Did they continue through town at grade? Tunnel?

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To be blunt, our skyline has not changed much - especially considering the number of years that have passed since that picture. Hopefully that is starting to change!

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While I understand your meaning, keep in mind that this was all there was to Greenville's early skyline. Since this pic was taken, there have been several new highrises built, and taller too, except for the demolished Woodside Building. But I feel your pain and strong desire to see something tall (and beautiful) added to the skyline once again. ;)

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Beautiful, much nicer place than today, nevermind the hype. Perhaps they will someday equal what once was.

Here is a photo of downtown in the 1930s or '40s. Interesting to see Broad Street back then. :shades:

GvilleAerial_old.jpg

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Well it certainly is difficult to see from this photo how "much nicer" it was than today. In fact, with the exception of the demolished Woodside Building, I'll take today's downtown Greenville over that one anyday of the year. :whistling:

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What's interesting in these pictures is how Greenville reflects national trends. There was an office space and general downtown boom in the 1920s across the US, while then downtowns generally stayed stagnant until the 1950s (due to the Great Depression and WWII), and then in the 1960s suburbanization took off and many downtowns were stagnant again until recently. So Greenville having a bunch of buildings from the 1920s that are still visible and distinctive against the rest of the skyline is in line with general developments. That Charlotte's skyline and, to a lesser extent, Atlanta's (with Midtown- NOT downtown Atlanta, which has had tough times), has each grown much more dramatically than Greenville's is more of a sign that those cities have been much more successful in attracting new office space than Greenville has, not that Greenville is a laggard to the rest of the US.

I am still surprised though how much of downtown remains very similar to how it looked in those postcards, particularly the view from the Furman campus. Downtown today is much nicer than it was in the 1970s, from my memories, but it still has an even smaller share of Greenville's economic base than it did then and before. These postcards are fascinating and illustrate to me how important it is to continue to focus on bringing growth downtown instead of to suburbia, unless we want downtown to become just a touristy "old town" with minimal economic importance (sorry, Greenville doesn't have the tourist draw of a Charleston, and Greenville's tourist business, while is has increased recently, is only a very small share of the area's economy).

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Tourist are big business! There's a post somewhere here about the tourist dollars (or tax from tourist dollars) being up over 700% since 1996 I believe....don't quote me on the date. However, that said, more corporations downtown would be great, but funny that just corporations downtown didn't work for Atlanta and now they are trying to bring in the tourist with the Georgia Aquarium, new World of Coke, Atlantic Station, etc. There is a lot to be said for "touristy old towns"....they bring in major dollars for metro's. Greenville has played that card much better than either Atlanta or Charlotte. :thumbsup:

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Were you around then? I was. Almost every building in town was a well-kept and economically viable entity. A very appealing diversity of stores and businesses were located downtown. Greenville had a fully functional trolley car and bus system that was convenient and safe to use. The city was for the most part impeccably clean, free of graffitti and other blight. Yes, there were shabby parts of town, but nothing like what exists in most big cities today. If you look at the picture, there are very few large parking lots. Many of the buildings you see are now torn down to make way for parking lots that are empty for most of the day, and there were some real gems demolished just for this reason. Today they would make great adaptive re-use buildings, but, sadly they are gone forever. Downtown Greenville went through decades of decline before becoming what you see today. At one time it was the economic and cultural center of the area, before malls and suburbs, a great small American city.

This is a joke, right? :huh:

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Were you around then? I was. Almost every building in town was a well-kept and economically viable entity. A very appealing diversity of stores and businesses were located downtown. Greenville had a fully functional trolley car and bus system that was convenient and safe to use. The city was for the most part impeccably clean, free of graffitti and other blight. Yes, there were shabby parts of town, but nothing like what exists in most big cities today. If you look at the picture, there are very few large parking lots. Many of the buildings you see are now torn down to make way for parking lots that are empty for most of the day, and there were some real gems demolished just for this reason. Today they would make great adaptive re-use buildings, but, sadly they are gone forever. Downtown Greenville went through decades of decline before becoming what you see today. At one time it was the economic and cultural center of the area, before malls and suburbs, a great small American city.

If you are being honest, then you have got to be the oldest member on this forum by a long shot.

By most people's standards, the Greenville of today is still "a great small American city." We aren't talking about the decline into the grave it once experienced, but rather the incredible resurrection it has made, and the phenomenal success it shares among an international crowd.

Mcashlv, since you think the old days were utopia in Greenville, and you think today's parking lots are for the cows (??), What did you say when you saw things like this?

oxen.jpg

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To bolster your assertions with photos from the horse & buggy days is a very poor analogy, and frankly embarrassing , as is the rest of your incomprehensible post.

If you are being honest, then you have got to be the oldest member on this forum by a long shot.

By most people's standards, the Greenville of today is still "a great small American city." We aren't talking about the decline into the grave it once experienced, but rather the incredible resurrection it has made, and the phenomenal success it shares among an international crowd.

Mcashlv, since you think the old days were utopia in Greenville, and you think today's parking lots are for the cows (??), What did you say when you saw things like this?

oxen.jpg

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mcashlv and I, I think, are on the same page. My first memories of downtown are from 35+ years ago, when downtown was not nearly as nice as it is now. Yet even then, downtown had a far greater share of Greenville's economic activity then than it does now. The only enclosed mall outside downtown was McAlister Square, while Main Street had multiple department stores, mall-type stores, local chains and more- a decent percentage of the city's retail activity was there, as was most of its office space. There were probably more parking lots downtown than there are today, but before the rise of cars in the 1920s, I'd assume that most people took public transportation downtown, thus explaining why downtown had very few parking lots back in the "olden days".

I think that we need to focus on getting more office and retail growth downtown, along with residential. If downtown Greenville is left as just a tourist destination, with minimal other economic activity there, I think that the area's quality of life will be negatively impacted. Tourism can definitely help Greenville's economy, but Greenville just doesn't have the same tourist activity that places like Charleston do, measured in tourism dollars spent.

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This subject has gotten funny! :rofl:

One of the best downtowns in America, active with people 24/7, award winning, pedestrian oriented, and other cities send delegates to study it. A Main street 95% occuppied with stores and restaurants, a new downtown ballpark, new downtown loft and condo living, an international famous cyclist (George Hincappie) who made downtown his home, major upscale hotel chains like Westin and Hyatt, tourist draw of Liberty Bridge and the waterfalls, new developments McBee Station and Riverplace and Wachovia Place and Poinsett Corners, arts and culture in numerous galleries, museums, and Peace Center and several major corporations like World Acceptance, Nuvox, South Financial, etc. Currently th hub of the Upstate and a major tourist draw for the state.

Hmmm, some of these post are hysterical and so out of touch! :rofl::rofl:

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Recently I was eating at Sticky Fingers downtown with my parents, who both grew up in Greenville in the 1940's and 50's.

My mother reminded me that my uncle used to work in a shoe store that was where Sticky Fingers is now after he finished high school in the mid 50's.

She attended Parker High School, and due to the convuluted Greenville School system of the day (with only 4 white high schools in the county), she had to catch a bus from Parker, then to downtown, then to her home in the Dunean community. She has great memories of the bus system then, the movie theatres downtown, and department stores. She has in her living room, a doll, that she first saw as a girl in a department store window shortly before Christmas of '48.

I've heard plenty of stories from older folks of going to one of the three or four movie theatres downtown, catching a Furman game or a Greenville vs. Parker Thanksgiving football classic in the era before state high school playoffs, or spending a Saturday doing all your shopping and socialising downtown.

I was born in the mid 70's. I have vague memories of going to the JC Penny, Belk, Myers Arnold, and other stores and lunch counters in the late 70's before the malls opened. I especially remember how big the sporting goods floor was at JC Penny's, probably about 78 or so. I also have vague memories of staring through the hole in the wooden fence as the new Hyatt Hotel was under construction.

From say, 1980, to sometime about '94 or so, I have no real memories of downtown, other than passing through some men's clothing store to buy an itchy suit for Easter or something. The thought of going near the water fall was avoided because the water smelled and you would probably get mugged. As late as five years ago, you didn't go anywhere near the west end for anything other than to visit a friend's church service at Pendleton St. or Second Pres. Later, in the mid and late 90's, Coffee Underground became the hang out for me and college friends home for breaks. It was one of the few things to do downtown, and it didn't cost a lot of money.

The biggest arrival for downtown for many of my parent's generation is Mast General Store, not only because trips to Asheville or Boone in the past included a visit to Mast, but the store brought back memories of the old department stores that were the reason for going downtown on the weekend.

Times have changed, it's certainly a prettier area, and it's always great to see such wide ranges of people, of all ages downtown.

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Out of touch? With what, the past? Certainly not the present. Are you old enough to remember the 1950's, if not, then you really don't know what you are talking about, do you? Actually, Greeenville is sort of playing catchup, but in a thoughtful and well-planned way.

This subject has gotten funny! :rofl:

One of the best downtowns in America, active with people 24/7, award winning, pedestrian oriented, and other cities send delegates to study it. A Main street 95% occuppied with stores and restaurants, a new downtown ballpark, new downtown loft and condo living, an international famous cyclist (George Hincappie) who made downtown his home, major upscale hotel chains like Westin and Hyatt, tourist draw of Liberty Bridge and the waterfalls, new developments McBee Station and Riverplace and Wachovia Place and Poinsett Corners, arts and culture in numerous galleries, museums, and Peace Center and several major corporations like World Acceptance, Nuvox, South Financial, etc. Currently th hub of the Upstate and a major tourist draw for the state.

Hmmm, some of these post are hysterical and so out of touch! :rofl::rofl:

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