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Charles Pearson

New Culinary Arts School for Downtown

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Good news for downtown Charleston. Johnson & Wales may have packed up for Charlotte, but the culinary arts in Charleston isn't quite dead. The Art Institute of Pittsburgh is coming to The City offering a brand new culinary arts school...which should prevent a labor shortage in Charleston area restaurants. Mayor Joe Riley comes through for the City once again...

New culinary arts school to replace Johnson & Wales

By Kathleen Dayton , Staff Writer

A new institution offering a culinary school will take the place of Johnson & Wales University, which graduated its last Charleston-based class this spring and has relocated to Charlotte, N.C...

http://www.charlestonbusiness.com/dailyjou...full-issue.html

http://www.artinstitutes.edu/pittsburgh/index2.asp

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Good news for downtown Charleston. Johnson & Wales may have packed up for Charlotte, but the culinary arts in Charleston isn't quite dead. The Art Institute of Pittsburgh is coming to The City offering a brand new culinary arts school...which should prevent a labor shortage in Charleston area restaurants. Mayor Joe Riley comes through for the City once again...

New culinary arts school to replace Johnson & Wales

By Kathleen Dayton , Staff Writer

A new institution offering a culinary school will take the place of Johnson & Wales University, which graduated its last Charleston-based class this spring and has relocated to Charlotte, N.C...

http://www.charlestonbusiness.com/dailyjou...full-issue.html

http://www.artinstitutes.edu/pittsburgh/index2.asp

This is great news! :thumbsup: Charleston has always had such great food! Most people think of New Orleans for great food, but I gotta say, I think Charleston cuisine is far better! :thumbsup:

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Great! I wonder why J&W left for Charlotte anyway. Charleston is known for its cuisine; Charlotte isn't.

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^ The simplest reason of all...money and prestige. This is one of Mayor Riley's mistakes which seems to be downplayed by the P & C, but it is one that the city could possibly be hurt by for a few years.

Charlotte wanted to spruce its offerings of cuisine. BOA, headquartered in Charlotte, offered an incentive package to the university to build a brand new campus near its office complex, along with the city offering a few tax breaks. Chas did not even put up a fight to retain the school (again, emphasizing what unabated preservation will do when the city wants to compete with other cities in keeping things DT), and it probably couldn't afford to. The school was housed in the old cigar factory, which no one wants to tear down even though it is an eyesore, and the city was slow in creating plans for the Magnolia project just 1/2 mile up East Bay Street. The school was provided a full, open door to relocate, and it took full advantage of it.

Getting another culinary school DT is a plus, I won't deny that. But letting J & W go like the city did shows that Mayor Riley does make mistakes...even big ones.

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Seems like an old cigar factory is a ripe opportunity for adaptive reuse. Did this not happen?

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The school was housed in the old cigar factory, which no one wants to tear down even though it is an eyesore

The cigar factory is an eyesore?? I think it's one of the coolest looking buildings downtown.

And Krazeeboi, yes, the building has been converted into office space. There is also a small art gallery and a blackbox theater on the ground floor.

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I think old buildings that have been adaptively reused are some of the coolest aspects of cities in which this has been done.

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Sorry guys, IMO, the cigar factory could have been razed for something better. Also, the old smokestacks standing tall as you enter the city is not exactly the best icon for a gateway into DT. Maybe keep the factory for adaptive reuse, which is being done, but the smokestacks look way too industrial and archaic.

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I may have to disagree with you on the smokestacks. Although I have yet to see something like this in person, Rock Hill's Textile Corridor redevelopment plan calls for leaving the smokestacks in place as something of an icon. Then again, the uses for the cigar factory in Charleston and the old textile facilities in Rock Hill will be different in nature.

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Well, maybe if the city's past reflects icons such as that, but the first things you see as you enter DT are the port terminal cranes and the smokestacks. These don't exactly portray the "Holy City" moniker though, which depends on church steeples and the like. Remember, keeping J & W in Chas did not happen, and I think J & W wanted better visibility and a better building. These eyesores did not exactly put the university in a glamorous light...had the whole facility been razed to make way for a new campus, I think the culinary school might have stayed.

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The J&W move wasn't just about Charleston. They also closed down their Norfolk school and consolidated both into a much larger school in CLT. It has close to 3000 students which is more than twice the size of the school they had in Charleston and that is during the 1st year of operations.

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Well, maybe if the city's past reflects icons such as that, but the first things you see as you enter DT are the port terminal cranes and the smokestacks. These don't exactly portray the "Holy City" moniker though, which depends on church steeples and the like. Remember, keeping J & W in Chas did not happen, and I think J & W wanted better visibility and a better building. These eyesores did not exactly put the university in a glamorous light...had the whole facility been razed to make way for a new campus, I think the culinary school might have stayed.

East Bay street definitely has room for improvement up in that area, but I'm still surprised you think the Cigar Factory (smokestacks and all) is an eyesore. It's industrial, but it's obviously very old, and is made of solid brick, which is a rarity these days for any building its size. Also, let's not overpraise J & W just because it's gone. It was basically a trade school run by a for-profit company, without the tradition of building the sort of grand campus you might find at a four-year university. Charleston's branch was never even their flagship school; that's up in Rhode Island. Basically, I doubt J & W would have had the money or inclination to build a school that is as half as impressive as the old factory.

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^ I guess I was maybe too harsh on the cigar factory building by itself. It just needs some exterior and interior remodeling and refurbishment as well as significant improvements on its landscaping. But the smokestacks have got to go. I see no reason to keep them, especially if this part East Bay is to be radically changed into a thriving economic area of DT...basically a connector to significant Neck developments. The industrial look they give is really not appropriate for that area.

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The reason Charleston lost the school is because Charleston would not and could not get in a high stake bidding war with Bank Of America and Wachovia. Any other rationalization is pure conjecture. How is Charleston suppose to outbid the City of Charlotte, State of NC , Wachovia and B of A? Unless the school could be tied to the Civil War, a la The Hunley, I don't see the state of SC putting money behind a Charleston bid.

To be a native of a historic city, you don't have much appreciation for adaptive re-use, CN. I always say, the natives don't see their own riches. It takes someone else to point them out. I guess the old mills of Columbia and Greenville should have been razed for something 'new' and poorly built (by comparison), instead of being converted to condos and apartments.

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The reason Charleston lost the school is because Charleston would not and could not get in a high stake bidding war with Bank Of America and Wachovia. Any other rationalization is pure conjecture. How is Charleston suppose to outbid the City of Charlotte, State of NC , Wachovia and B of A? Unless the school could be tied to the Civil War, a la The Hunley, I don't see the state of SC putting money behind a Charleston bid...

I agree, that is exactly what happened, even though I didn't directly say that. It truly was a matter of being unable to outbid the entrepreneurs of banking in Charlotte. However, could Chas have provided land or another building (either old or new) to provide a spectacular campus for the city? Why couldn't have the city reconsidered the Concord Park plans to build a new school there, rather than a mixed-use development? The convenience to the historic district restaurants, College of Charleston, and DT hotels would have been tremendous. I just think the city missed out on an awesome opportunity.

...To be a native of a historic city, you don't have much appreciation for adaptive re-use, CN. I always say, the natives don't see their own riches. It takes someone else to point them out. I guess the old mills of Columbia and Greenville should have been razed for something 'new' and poorly built (by comparison), instead of being converted to condos and apartments...

:blush: I know, I can't help it... ;) I do think I was rather harsh on the cigar factory building itself, so I can live with it. But what purpose do the smokestacks serve besides an industrial eyesore? I think Cola and G'ville did good things in converting their old mills to apartments. However, as you have pointed out before, those cities simply do not have as many historic structures, so they need to keep as many preserved as possible. Chas just has alot more to work with, which should give the city more freedom to explore options of preservation or demolition. It just seems that the city hinders itself, instead.

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The smokestacks would give a different representation of Charleston that we're used to, yet still give an accurate historic picture of where the city has been historically as far as industry is concerned. I think some of the most attractive cities are those that have managed to preserve different representations of the stages of growth they have gone through historically. On one end of the spectrum you have Charleston, and on the other end you have Charlotte. Richmond falls somewhere in between (which is probably why I'm such a fan of the city). Now I don't agree with preserving everything simply because its old, but things like these should definitely be evaluated on a case by case basis either for preservation or demolition.

Now I know Rock Hill and Charleston are two entirely different cities, but here's what's in the pipeline for the Textile Corridor redevelopment in the near future (we hope). Here's a picture of what stands today:

smokestacks.jpg

Now here is a rendering of what we hope to see:

smokestacks2.jpg

Now I understand it's just a rendering and things are subject to change, but I think that at least in this case, the smokestacks will add to the general appeal of the area. Perhaps I would need to see a photo of this particular area in Charleston (since I can't visualize the area) to have a more grounded opinion on the matter.

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I totally agree with Charleston native on the smokestacks. They are ugly and serve no purpose. Saving an old factory/mill is a wonderful endeavor, but who says all of a structure has to be saved in order to fully honor the history behind it? A drastic way of truly preserving history would be to leave structures exactly as they were - no renovations, upgrades, or alterations allowed. Obviously that isn't pratical, but a purely historical perspective would suggest that the structure shouldn't be touched or altered in any way. Since we are all agreed that old structures need to be updated somehow, the extent to which they are changed is purely a matter of opinon and preference.

With respect to the above rendering for the Rock Hill Textile Corridor, I love the changes but think the smokestacks need to go. The other tall structure beside the smokestacks (the term escapes me) is even more of an eyesore! If I had to choose, that would be the first to go.

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i don't know guys. i kinda like the old smokestacks. they give the skyline a little more character.

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Well, it's more understandable for the Rock Hill project to keep the smokestacks for a couple of reasons. One, Rock Hill's history is closely tied to the textile industry. Two, look at what's being proposed: a brewery! Breweries, steakhouses, and bars have more of an industrial theme to them as it is, so the smokestacks only accent the restaurant and bar area. As krazeeboi mentioned earlier, the natures of the two areas are completely different. The factory in Chas would be used for office space or additional space for TTC's (Trident Technical College) Palmer campus, which renders the smokestacks useless in terms of utility or decor.

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^You have a point, CN. I guess this just boils down to personal preference. Maybe the smokestacks in Charleston could be painted and have some type of logo on them?

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^ Hmmm...what would that be? If that was done, could it have the possibility of looking tacky? You'd have to really be careful with paint colors and types of logos. My biggest problem with the smokestacks is that they're inappropriate for the rest of the property's usage, and they serve no purpose other than decor. And, IMO, it's not very good-looking decor. But hey, that's just me! ;)

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^ Hmmm...what would that be? If that was done, could it have the possibility of looking tacky? You'd have to really be careful with paint colors and types of logos. My biggest problem with the smokestacks is that they're inappropriate for the rest of the property's usage, and they serve no purpose other than decor. And, IMO, it's not very good-looking decor. But hey, that's just me! ;)

i'm not crazy about that idea either chas native but that just me too :)

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Those smokestacks will never be demolished, CN, as they shouldn't. I agree with krazeeboi--they are impressive achievements in engineering, and exceedingly handsome and interesting, IMO.

Krazee, that rendering of Rock Hill's old mill is FANTASTIC! I sincerely hope it goes through--and what a boon to that city. I totally disagree with the post calling for the smokestack's demolition, and the water tower's as well. They add considerable and keen interest to the complex. Kids especially will get a kick out of them. Heck, they can be quite educational as Moms and Dads explain what they were for, and the engineering behind them. No, do not listen to the naysayers: they definitely MUST remain as a vital part of the whole. Kudos to Rock Hill! :thumbsup:

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^ The simplest reason of all...money and prestige. This is one of Mayor Riley's mistakes which seems to be downplayed by the P & C, but it is one that the city could possibly be hurt by for a few years.

Charlotte wanted to spruce its offerings of cuisine. BOA, headquartered in Charlotte, offered an incentive package to the university to build a brand new campus near its office complex, along with the city offering a few tax breaks. Chas did not even put up a fight to retain the school (again, emphasizing what unabated preservation will do when the city wants to compete with other cities in keeping things DT), and it probably couldn't afford to. The school was housed in the old cigar factory, which no one wants to tear down even though it is an eyesore, and the city was slow in creating plans for the Magnolia project just 1/2 mile up East Bay Street. The school was provided a full, open door to relocate, and it took full advantage of it.

Getting another culinary school DT is a plus, I won't deny that. But letting J & W go like the city did shows that Mayor Riley does make mistakes...even big ones.

It was a tremendous loss to Charleston when J & W made their announcement. I, for one, was dumbfounded. Why would a culinary school leave one of the capitals of the culinary arts in America for Charlotte, N.C.? :rofl:

I found out one of the reasons why last May: on a flight back from Providence, Rhode Island (where the school is headquartered) I chatted briefly with the gentleman in the seat next to me, a distinguished man in a business suit. He asked me where I was headed, and I replied "Charleston." He said, "Oh, I know Charleston well, a lovely city . . I am an executive with J & W, and we have, or had, a campus there." I asked him, "why are you leaving?" His reply: "Charleston is just too darn expensive."

So, take that for what it's worth . . but it is from the horse's mouth . . .

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^ Hmmm...what would that be? If that was done, could it have the possibility of looking tacky? You'd have to really be careful with paint colors and types of logos. My biggest problem with the smokestacks is that they're inappropriate for the rest of the property's usage, and they serve no purpose other than decor. And, IMO, it's not very good-looking decor. But hey, that's just me! ;)

Interestingly enough, while driving around downtown Greensboro yesterday, I wandered onto NC A&T's campus, which is just east of downtown. They actually have a smokestack that says "AGGIELAND" in the school's color in a vertical fashion. It was tastefully done, and served as a sign that you were entering the campus. So it appears as though something like this CAN be done, but it has to be tailored to the situation at hand.

Digital, I, too, hope all of this goes through for Rock Hill, as it will do WONDERS for the city.

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