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GvilleSC

Conceptual Ideas for the Future

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Max Heller could probably be accurately labeled as the Visionary Father of Modern Greenville. He had a vision of a downtown that people would flock to and enjoy.

Knox White could possibly be labeled as the Father of the Modern West End. He had a vision for Falls Park, the River front, and a new baseball stadium.

These were people with visions for ways to make Greenville better. They didn't do it alone, but they endorsed the ideas, or created them themselves, and produced a better version of the Greenville we already had.

So, from your travels, or just your mind, what would you like to see Greenville do? It can be as broad or as detailed as you like. Of course, we don't want to simply replicate another city, but I think there is usually room with most concepts to take queues from other's success, space for improvement on the idea, and ways to make it your own.

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I'll start. I went to Seattle this past Spring. One thing that I really enjoyed was the Sculpture garden. It's somehow tied in with the Seattle Art Museum (SAM). The art was great, and ranged in size and styles. Additionally, there were a great number of people enjoying this attraction, which is free.

So, just as an initial thought, I wouldn't mind seeing Greenville's own version of this space, possible connecting one of two scenarios:

-Connecting the West End to Heritage Green, linearly along Academy Street to the River/Swamp Rabbit Trail/Reedy Square...

-Connecting Heritage Green to Main Street, linearly along College Street perhaps?

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Great thread idea, GvilleSC! I like your sculpture garden suggestion. :thumbsup:

Your discussion about linking Center City/Main Street or the West End to Heritage Green got me thinking. My idea is to permanently shut down the two blocks of Elford Street between Main Street and Academy Street. Turn it into a nice pedestrian walkway. You could put street-level retail there, public art, a farmer's market, space for concerts, whatever - to tie Main Street to Academy. At Academy, you put a nice pedestrian bridge crossing busy Academy Street underneath, which would come out at Heritage Green. Make the bridge attractive and nice. Spell out "Greenville" in attractive lettering across the bridge, or something neat and different like that.

My inspiration for this comes from a trip to Las Vegas last summer. They turned their downtown into a really neat pedestrian experience by transforming Fremont Street into a totally walkable area. This was important for their downtown, as it had become really seedy and far less popular than "The Strip." The Strip is obviously still the tourist draw, but I was surprised at how neat the Fremont Street Experience was.

I realize that it is never easy to close two blocks of a downtown street, but I think it would be doable if businesses and landowners realize the potential. Elford is not a heavily traveled road (in comparison to other downtown streets, anyway). In addition to tying Center City in with Heritage Green (something difficult to do otherwise), it would also likely give the upper section of Main Street a needed shot in the arm.

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There is already a proposal to build such a bridge over the Academy/College intersection (connecting the auto/tire place with the old library (soon to be the children's museum). It would have been similiar in appearance to the Liberty bridge. I don't think it will go anywhere anytime soon though.

I think that would be more feasible than closing a street off. Pedestrian malls are difficult to do successfully.

I too think having the permanant Farmer's Market DT would be great. it would need some signifcant acreage though. Perhaps it could be incorporated into Cleveland Park West.

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There is already a proposal to build such a bridge over the Academy/College intersection (connecting the auto/tire place with the old library (soon to be the children's museum). It would have been similiar in appearance to the Liberty bridge. I don't think it will go anywhere anytime soon though.

I think that would be more feasible than closing a street off. Pedestrian malls are difficult to do successfully.

I too think having the permanant Farmer's Market DT would be great. it would need some signifcant acreage though. Perhaps it could be incorporated into Cleveland Park West.

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A Farmers Market / Local Bazaar wiuld be a great addition to Downtown, as long as it distances itself from the Jockey Lot/Flea Market concept. Something comparable to the Slave Market in Charleston would be nice, minus the random Made in China vendors.

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A Farmers Market / Local Bazaar wiuld be a great addition to Downtown, as long as it distances itself from the Jockey Lot/Flea Market concept. Something comparable to the Slave Market in Charleston would be nice, minus the random Made in China vendors.

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A Farmers Market / Local Bazaar wiuld be a great addition to Downtown, as long as it distances itself from the Jockey Lot/Flea Market concept. Something comparable to the Slave Market in Charleston would be nice, minus the random Made in China vendors.

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Something closer to the Seattle Public Market would be more along the lines of what you're talking about. It's a tourist draw for the City of Seattle, but a lot of the Market's vendors are meant for use by residents of Seattle, selling dry goods, flowers, meats, and artwork. Whereas Charleston's market is primarily only aimed at tourists.

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The Market in Charleston, (across from The Charleston Place hotel, fronting on Meeting St., where they sell the tourist trinkets) has never been the site of slave trading.

A different building elsewhere in Charleston held that dubious distinction. It is called the Old Slave Mart building. It is located at #6 Chalmers Row between Church and State streets.

"The Market' is not a flea market either. To call it that is to make it sound like the Anderson Jockey Lot. It is a tourist oriented Public market.

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The Market in Charleston, (across from The Charleston Place hotel, fronting on Meeting St., where they sell the tourist trinkets) has never been the site of slave trading.

A different building elsewhere in Charleston held that dubious distinction. It is called the Old Slave Mart building. It is located at #6 Chalmers Row between Church and State streets.

"The Market' is not a flea market either. To call it that is to make it sound like the Anderson Jockey Lot. It is a tourist oriented Public market.

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Many believe that slavery was virtually non-existant in the upstate, however, that is simply not the case.

The Williams-Earle Estate home on Grove Rd was once the center of a vast plantation that contained lands from downtown all the way up to Marietta. I am researching the Williams family and going through old family records at the State Archives in Columbia; I have found the number of slaves owned by the proprietors to be astounding. Holly Hill (or Ivy Lawn as some call it) had many more slaves than the average backcountry slaveholder; this estate had enough slaves to be considered a plantation of sorts.

The slave cabin on the back side of the property was deconstructed in March by a team of archeologists and historical preservationists and will be reconstructed at the living history farm of Roper Mountain Science Center.

I would love for the city to save this house from being moved to the front of the property; moving it would take it completely out of historical context. If the current development (patiohomes) goes through, all of the existing outbuildings would be destroyed and all of the history of this landmark would be lost.

It would be awesome if the city somehow created something along the lines of Walnut Grove here. A 1800's plantation home a few miles from Main Street could be a huge regional historical attraction IMO.

Thoughts?

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That indeed would be a great attraction to have. However, do you not think that the lack of open land around the property would affect the attraction itself? I'm not sure how much land is there, but it is in one of the City's most sought-after residential areas. Having a lot of the structures is one thing, but in comparison to visiting, say, Boone Hall Plantation in Mt Pleasant, it would hardly compare experience-wise, I'd think...

But, I must agree, that as Greenville tries to build its tourism industry, we must carefully consider all possible attractions to help make Greenville a legitimate destination... An in-tact piece of living history would be great. Thoughts?

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I don't like the idea of playing up plantations that possibly utilized slaves. No matter how grand the plantations are today, they still give me a creepy feeling. But given the number of people who visit the once slave-run plantations here in Charleston, I am obviously in the minority on this.

Regardless, I think we have far better things to be touting in the beautiful Upcountry.

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No one likes the idea of slavery now, but it is something that we can't simply forget about. This property is a piece of little known history in the upstate; we should do all we can to try and save it.

For those who are wondering, there is a large wooded area infront of the house that could be cleared in the case of a historical development on the property.

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Many believe that slavery was virtually non-existant in the upstate, however, that is simply not the case.

The Williams-Earle Estate home on Grove Rd was once the center of a vast plantation that contained lands from downtown all the way up to Marietta. I am researching the Williams family and going through old family records at the State Archives in Columbia; I have found the number of slaves owned by the proprietors to be astounding. Holly Hill (or Ivy Lawn as some call it) had many more slaves than the average backcountry slaveholder; this estate had enough slaves to be considered a plantation of sorts.

The slave cabin on the back side of the property was deconstructed in March by a team of archeologists and historical preservationists and will be reconstructed at the living history farm of Roper Mountain Science Center.

I would love for the city to save this house from being moved to the front of the property; moving it would take it completely out of historical context. If the current development (patiohomes) goes through, all of the existing outbuildings would be destroyed and all of the history of this landmark would be lost.

It would be awesome if the city somehow created something along the lines of Walnut Grove here. A 1800's plantation home a few miles from Main Street could be a huge regional historical attraction IMO.

Thoughts?

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My research dates back to the Antebellum, James Williams and Thomas B Williams were the proprietors of the land at the time. James was the mayor of the town that was Greenville, I found his check book in the archives, inside were the amounts of money that were spent on 'paving' the streets of old Greenville!

Hundefreund, were you in the archeological servey of the land that took place late last year and earlier this year? We found many pieces of pottery and glazed pieces along with horseshoes, pieces of metal from the farm, a few native artifacts and alot more! We also believe we found the trash pit, but we were unable to continue digging because of the repossession of the property to new owners within the development. I'll try to post pictures later.

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Great thread idea, GvilleSC! I like your sculpture garden suggestion. :thumbsup:

Your discussion about linking Center City/Main Street or the West End to Heritage Green got me thinking. My idea is to permanently shut down the two blocks of Elford Street between Main Street and Academy Street. Turn it into a nice pedestrian walkway. You could put street-level retail there, public art, a farmer's market, space for concerts, whatever - to tie Main Street to Academy. At Academy, you put a nice pedestrian bridge crossing busy Academy Street underneath, which would come out at Heritage Green. Make the bridge attractive and nice. Spell out "Greenville" in attractive lettering across the bridge, or something neat and different like that.

I realize that it is never easy to close two blocks of a downtown street, but I think it would be doable if businesses and landowners realize the potential. Elford is not a heavily traveled road (in comparison to other downtown streets, anyway). In addition to tying Center City in with Heritage Green (something difficult to do otherwise), it would also likely give the upper section of Main Street a needed shot in the arm.

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Wthout sounding like one of those people (ok, I was one of those people) who protested the destruction of the Camperdown Bridge I do use Elford as a detour if Main Street is blocked off for an event. If I am coming from north of town where I live and headed to 385 or Church Street and Road like Elford means a lot.

While I love the Liberty Bridge I do wish their was a way to quickly navigate the southern side of downtown to get to Cleveland Street or the southern end of Church Street. Right now it's kind of difficult with with Falls Park, The Westend and the Govenors School in the way. Personally I wish the Greenville News would relocate somewhere else. It would be really great to have a nice road cut through from Broad to Cleveland in kind of a curvy way. Not asking for a bypass but I nice road that could also have another parkway along side the north side of falls park. I think a better location for the Greenville News would be along the back side of the Peace Center.

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Rather than closing Elford, I'd rather the city push to do a road diet on Beattie/College. The city needs to start expanding the "Main Street" feel on the perpendicular streets. Plus, this street acts as a barrier just like Academy.

I also think that the city needs to remove parking on Main Street. Doing so would allow for wider sidewalks, and as a result, a much larger pedestrian realm. Imagine every restaurant with tables on either side of the sidewalk area like a European city and you'll get the picture. That will likely get some major resistance from the businesses there, but let's not fool ourselves into thinking that what is happening on Main Street is somehow in a delicate equilibrium.

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Rather than closing Elford, I'd rather the city push to do a road diet on Beattie/College. The city needs to start expanding the "Main Street" feel on the perpendicular streets. Plus, this street acts as a barrier just like Academy.

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So, from your travels, or just your mind, what would you like to see Greenville do? It can be as broad or as detailed as you like. Of course, we don't want to simply replicate another city, but I think there is usually room with most concepts to take queues from other's success, space for improvement on the idea, and ways to make it your own.

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How about a monorail? I have only ridden the ones at Disney, but from what I've seen, they are fast and eco-friendly.

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Well sir, there's nothing on earth like a genuine, bona-fide, electrified, six-car monorail. And we can have Homer be the conductor!

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How about a monorail? I have only ridden the ones at Disney, but from what I've seen, they are fast and eco-friendly.

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Talk to the people in Seattle about that one. They are fast and eco-friendly, but extremely expensive to build and maintain. Sure, it'd be awesome to have a Monorail. Could you imagine one running the entire length of the Swamp Rabbit Trail (above the trail) or one running from downtown to GSP and then over into downtown Spartanburg? It'd be nice. Pipe dream at best, though.

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