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GvilleSC

Spartanburg Architecture

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The Chapman Cultural Center's latest update got me thinking. It looks great by the way. But when I saw it, I couldn't help but be reminded of other Spartanburg buildings. It's almost like there's a standard design that just keeps popping up everywhere. Does anyone see this as a problem? Does anyone care? :dontknow: There's positives about it and negatives and I'd like to know what you all think... Here's just a few buildings I could find on UP that all were fairly new and looked similar in design. Let's discuss.

The Chapman Cultural Center. Courtesy of Krazeeboi:

CCC.jpg

Carolina First building. Courtesy of Spartan:

385797100_67c420958f_o.jpg

Extended Stay America building. Courtesy of Spartan:

cityspartanburgsc19extendedstayamericahq.jpg

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Thats quite interesting. I hadn't thought about it before... but its pretty clear that all of these buildings plus many others, are taking architecturaly queues from the textile mills that used to dominate the landscape. Most notably Spartan Mills, which is no longer with us.

Here are some more:

Memorial Auditorium:

364223872_26e09968da.jpg

More current Extended Stay

extendedstay2.jpg

I see generally it as a good thing. If creates that a more unique "Spartanburg" style. But then I also like those buildings. On the other side of the coin is this other style of architecture that plagues Spartanburg, which for better or worse, does define the city as well:

DSCF0473.jpg

DSCF0481.jpg

libraryhq.jpg

cityspartanburgscdowntown.jpg

I can go on and on with these kinds of pictures, but hopefully you see my point (BEIGE!)

I think that overall, if a city has its own distinctive style of architecture that makes it a more special place. Even if that tyle is not the most appealing, it still adds a layer of familiarity and connectivity to a place that makes it more enjoyable to see evolve over time.

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I actually think it's cool that Spartanburg is kind of developing its own architectural style, in a way. I think there's enough architectural variety downtown that it doesn't make the cityscape monotonous.

Two other buildings that somewhat favor are the county library HQs and the chamber of commerce building.

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The style is definitely something I associate with the city when I think of it. Which is not bad. I do think it's a nice thing to kind of establish this sort of identity for yourself, though it must be monitored, I'd say, to ensure that the city doesn't get too comfortable with it. It is taken from Spartanburg's past, but as we move into the future and away from our textile past, it's important to not be afraid to leave it behind and embrace the future and the new economy-- not that Spartanburg is doing this. Just generalizing here. Because once you get this precedent everywhere, you won't be able to leave it out of adjacent building's designs without creating a stark contrast.

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Good points. I think that at this time its still a good/tasteful blend of current architectural styles with a taste of what was- using your examples from the first post. But then you have more modern buildings like QS/1 and Denny's Tower that are clearly contemporary and colloquial in nature, with only limited ties to the past. I, for one, am anxious to see what the next tower or other large building in town will look like. Many cities are seeing this trend of glass mixed with brick (like Greenville: Pinnacle, Peacock) which I think would fit in well with what is already here. Think QS/1 but more Wachovia-esque (more glass).

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I wonder what it's going to take for another tower to be built in downtown. I'd say that it's much easier to sway away from the conventional design in towers because of their scale... easier to bring in new elements or present them in a different way. :shades:

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True. As long as a future tower isnt some kind of boring box, I will be happy. It needs some sort of crown/roof feature. I don't want Spartanburg looking like Columbia (attractive, yet boxy).

As for a new tower, its hard to say. I think that it will take bringing in new corporate entities to the city- because I can't think of any companies except Lockwood-Greene or maybe Milliken that are already located in Spartanburg that could relocate their operations downtown and help increase the professional employment base. So far that has been the trend (QS/1, ESA, Advance America, Denny's were all relocations from other parts of the County I think). I certainly hope that I am wrong and that there are other companies that I'm skipping over.

Point being, Spartanburg needs to step out and do more to attract corporate entities to the city. Regional headquarters are going to be key to Spartanburg's corporate base. It will mean competition with Greenville to get them, but I think it can be done. Spartanburg's location at I-85 and I-26 is a major selling point. The objective isn't to get them all from Greenville, but to attract enough that it builds the corporate base here in Spartanburg as well as Greenville. Cooperation will be key.

It will also take maintaining what we have. For example, Wachovia had some sort of regional operations center downtown for a long time (that glass building behind the Chamber), but they have since left town- I think for Charlotte, since we are so close to their HQ there. But building an environment that makes businesses want to come to Spartanburg and stay will be critical to getting that new tower.

These new industrial operations are great and all, but they won't do much for downtown. They will help Boiling Springs, North Spartanburg, Inman, Duncan, and other emerging suburban areas of Spartanburg increase their numbers though. I think that it will just take one player to start the ball rolling. Spartanburg leaders just have to attract that one big name, and other companies will start to follow.

One step at a time. I think a new tower is increasingly likely because it was said in a recent article from the HJ or possibly the Journal, that there isn't enough class A office space in the area. Perhaps the space that is here is not large enough for new companies. I don't know. But given that, and the city's master planning efforts for downtown, I think its inevitable that a new tower will come.

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