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motonenterprises

Greenville, SC or Augusta, GA

Which one?  

46 members have voted

  1. 1. Which one?

    • Augusta, GA
      12
    • Greenville, SC
      34


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I have very limited experience with Augusta, but it seems to me that Greenville has a stronger downtown area. It could be that Greenville is just further along in that regard though.

Augusta is a medical center with facilites unmatched in many regards (eg the burn center). I find it interesting that its growth seems to be more southwest than north. Augusta seems more reliant on I-520 than I-20. The development along 520 is nothing like I-20.

I have been through Appling (seat of Columbia County) and I can't figure out why it is the county seat considering its population vs the county's. It is a one horse town that barely qualifies as a town IMO. Only one road passes through it.

Greenville is a completely different town. It has a stronger downtown, but similar to Augusta in that there aren't that many skyscrapers. Greenville is also in the Center of a larger regoin, so it has more facilites (like the BILO Center, Peace Center, etc) than Augusta.

I realize this isn't the topic at hand, but I have always thought of Augusta and Columbia as "sister cities." They both have a similar origin economically being a break bulk center with a canal. They are both rivier cities with smaller but similarly develped areas on the opposite shore. Each is/was a capital in its history. The list can go on and on.

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I agree with alot that Spartan said. Greenville is bigger than Augusta too, probably by about 100,000 people, (metro area) so it has more to offer. Now if you start taking into consideration the (old) Greenville metro that included Spartanburg and Anderson, the area is twice as big as Augusta, population wise. But as cities are concerned they are quite comparable. Augusta is a little less conservative than Greenville, which seems to be the "Buckle" in the Bible belt. Augusta is no haven for liberalism but it does seem a bit more progressive in that sense. Perhaps it is because of all the transplants here for MCG/Ft Gordon/SRS. Both are nice, medium sized Southern cities though, and both have LOTS of sprawl.

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Greenville.

I am of course very biased in this question, but I had to vote anyway. I do love Greenville. I will agree, however, that I'd rather get sick in Augusta than Greenville.

As to Appling, the thing is, in 1792, a fella named Appling donated a bunch of land to the county for the building of a courthouse. It's worth noting that the courthouse there, a smallish brick structure on the west side of the road, was originally built in 1812. It was a small wood-frame structure, and in 1856 the county built a new brick structure around the old wood frame one; the floor of the main courtroom is original, though paved over with new flooring. The doors of the 1812 courthouse are still used, as well.

The courthouse fell into disrepair. It never had central air conditioning installed but, what's more, it never even had central heating. The county fire marshal, acting on a request by the county commission, declared the courthouse unsafe for use in 1977 and county court was removed to Evans, at the western fringe of the developed part of the county. Commissioners also appropriated money to build a new county administration center (it's hideous) in Evans; however, legally, Georgia requires counties to hold court in the county seat, and as the county was in violation the circuit court judge required teh county to pay for upgrades to the Appling courthouse. This was eventually done.

Appling's incorporation was terminated by the state in the mid-90s. Along with a couple of other county seats, Appling, which had almost no population and no commerce, was accused of not offering a single basic service to their citizens, which was true enough, though not the fault of corruption or poor government, just the lack of a tax base. Then the state passed a law allowing any county who's seat was an unincorporated area and who's county board thought citizens would be well served by having court someplace else to hold superior court in another location. Columbia County thus built a courthouse annex in Evans near the county government center, and for the most part court is held there.

Appling had been chartered by the state as a 600 x 600 yard square with the courthouse at the center. This is not a very large area, and the city was never able to annex any property. It had essentially no tax base and never offered any city services.

Though Evans (also unincorporated) is the de facto county seat, Georgia laws make it exceedingly difficult for a county to move the county seat, so the county has never tried. Appling is still the official county seat, and court is held there on occasion during the year (I think it's held in the old courthouse twice a year, for a week during the spring and the fall; I suspect if any real big trial ever happened there they might hold in Appling because the old courtroom is really rather unique).

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I'm not too familiar with either, but I do like pedestrian friendly districts and waterfronts. So I'd take Greenville's Main Street and stick it along the Savannah River or take the river and stick it a block off Main Street.

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Wow, I never woudl have guessed that about Appling. Thanks for that information. Can the County not just vote Evans as the county seat? I am assuming Evans has more commerce and is more community-like qualities than Appling. May a better question is why havent they?

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Well, unfortunately, no, the county can't just have a vote. I can't remember anymore what the process is, but Georgia has a unique relationship with its counties, different from that of most other states. While there must be a vote of the population before the seat can be moved, there are other things. For example, I know citizens in both the current seat and in the proposed seat must both approve the change; in Columbia county, I'm not sure how much luck they'd have in finding actual voters in Appling, but I can guarantee you not a one of them would vote to move the seat. I think it's something like, each precinct must have a majority vote to move the seat, something odd.

You know, I used to actually know this. Now i feel like I'm talking out of my arse... Don't take the above as gospel, in other words.

Anyway, recognizing this Georgia managed to pass a law that allowed counties to hold court outside the county seat if they thought that would be a good idea. It's essentially the same thing; court is held 50 weeks out of the year in Evans in the shiny new judicial center, and Evans is for all intents and purposes the county seat.

Evans is just a suburban mishmash. There's nothing "town-like" about it at all, though it does have some fast food restaurants and gas stations and is more convenient to most of the county.

I would have put the county seat in Harlem, which is a much cooler town, but what are you gonna do?

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I actually know very little about Augusta, other than my grandfather was in rehab there before he died. My mom who now lives in Simpsonville as I myself do, felt that Greenville had more to offer. We are both originally from Greenwood. I do know that Greenville is a lot bigger than its city population indicates. SC tough annexation laws are killing most cities in SC. Most of them are a great deal larger than what the city population indicates.

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Well, unfortunately, no, the county can't just have a vote.  I can't remember anymore what the process is, but Georgia has a unique relationship with its counties, different from that of most other states.  While there must be a vote of the population before the seat can be moved, there are other things.  For example, I know citizens in both the current seat and in the proposed seat must both approve the change; in Columbia county, I'm not sure how much luck they'd have in finding actual voters in Appling, but I can guarantee you not a one of them would vote to move the seat.  I think it's something like, each precinct must have a majority vote to move the seat, something odd. 

You know, I used to actually know this.  Now i feel like I'm talking out of my arse...  Don't take the above as gospel, in other words. 

Anyway, recognizing this Georgia managed to pass a law that allowed counties to hold court outside the county seat if they thought that would be a good idea.  It's essentially the same thing; court is held 50 weeks out of the year in Evans in the shiny new judicial center, and Evans is for all intents and purposes the county seat. 

Evans is just a suburban mishmash.  There's nothing "town-like" about it at all, though it does have some fast food restaurants and gas stations and is more convenient to most of the county. 

I would have put the county seat in Harlem, which is a much cooler town, but what are you gonna do?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Harlem is a cool town. They have the Laurel & Hardy claim to fame :) It would definately be a more acceptable county seat. That is a bizzare setup they have over in Columbia County though. County offices are there too I assume? I think Appling does have an education administration or something to that effect. It has education on it, I am sure of that.

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I'm also somewhat biased, so I vote for Augusta, not because I think Augusta is an awesome city, but Greenville just leaves a sour taste in my mouth... In fact, my list for the similar sized cities in the Georgia/Carolina area goes: Charleston, Columbia, Savannah, Augusta, Greenville, in that order.

Greenville obviously wins out on big-time entertainment venues by a long shot, ie, concerts, performing arts, theatre. These events rarely come to Augusta, but we're close enough to Greenville/Columbia/Atlanta/Charlotte to take the drive if we need to. Greenville also wins out in the amount of variety available within the sprawl... Its a bigger metro/CSA, so there's obviously a bigger selection of chain stores. What hurts Greenville the most in my (albeit limited) opinion, is the "Bob Jones Factor." The conservatism just seems inescapable. Its a vibe, that seems to haunt me whenever I visit. The "hip" factor of the town is just so much lower than it could be, as far as bars/nightlife are concerned.

Main St. Greenville is a fantastic road, no doubt. It's gorgeous, and contains a great variety of entertainment. I've been to Main St. Jazz (does that still happen?) a few times, and thought it a very classy event. But I really don't think that Main St. is any better than Broad St. Augusta. Broad St, IMO, has a much better selection of restaurants, bars, and art galleries, but is limited from the shopping perspective. It has very nice landscaping as well, but it isn't as beautiful as Main St. Also, Augusta does have some kickass festivals downtown from time to time. I've been to First Friday festivals there (monthly art/music/alcohol festival) that felt more like New Orleans than Augusta. And of course, theres the river and the lake (Clark's Hill/Lake Thurmond), but Greenville also has the mountains, so I can't hold that above them.

So it really just comes down to a vibe for me, and I don't get that cohesive energy from the Greenville area. As sad as Augusta's skyline is, I think its much nicer than Greenville's, although thats the least important factor in my comparison. I think of Greenville more as a region than a city, and maybe my perception could change with added familiarity, but I've spent quite a bit of time there, and have yet to feel a vibe that I liked.

I think Greenville lost its identity a lot with the prosperity of the whole Upstate, and its endless suburbs really have nothing to offer (other than the delicious mountains). The sprawl is fairly similar between the two cities, Greenville just has more. Columbia County is completely interchangable with most of the Greenville sprawl, no better, no worse. I do think, however, that Aiken stands out more than any similar-sized city in the Greenville area. I think it is a jewel of a town, and contributes significantly to the Augusta area experience (the city of Aiken is NOT an Augusta suburb, but the county is). It doesn't hurt the area to have such a prosperous 2nd city. But anyways, yeah, feel free to disagree with my assessment. Its really just based on vibe, and as much as I want to love Greenville, I just don't...

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I feel that some of you give BJ to much credit here. I have been here for a little more than a year now and the only time I hear of BJ is on the messageboards. Surely you don't think that 1 racist in a csa of 1 million changes the seen. That has never stopped me from loving the city or the state for that matter.

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Oh, I know that BJ doesn't represent the the entire city, but the college and its supporters do have influence in the city, though less so in the county I imagine. Most of my time spent in Greenville has been with FU buddies, and it seems like phrases like "Bob Jones factor" and "Bob Jonesification" and "the (insert expletive here) locals" are part of the area vernacular, at least among the FU students.

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I might have to disagree with that skyline point. Greenville has more buildings over 12 storys and their tallest is 24 storys. I think Augusta's is 18 storys. Unless you are talking about the way they are built.

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Here are a couple of Greenville skyline pics.GreenvilleSC_skyline.jpgGreenvilleSC_skyline_night.jpg

There is another one that is an aerial that I would like to post, but I must find it again. Please post some Augusta skyline pics.

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That aerial looks good! It shows that there is a lot more to Greenville than is normally shown in skyline shots. I think the difference in skyline perception is a geography one. On buildings alone, I would definately concede, but Augusta tends to provide more scenic vistas and open spaces to view the skyline. In most places, looking at the Greenville skyline involves seeing it peek out above the trees, as illustrated in the first 2 pics. Since Augusta has the river, and is built on a bluff, it has the advantage of just providing clearer views of the city. I never realized Greenville had such a good collection of buildings, simply because its difficult to find a place to view it all at once. Judging just from the aerial, I'd definately change my skyline vote; G-ville is definately more substantial than AUG. I just think as far as normal views/sightlines, dt Augusta's skyline just stands out more. Of course as G-ville continues to grow/densify, this will be no contest, but currently, I think the skylines are quite comparable.

I'll get around to digging up some pics in a bit...

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I agree. Greenville has a lot of trees in the way, thats why you can't really see the skyline well. I can see the tallest building from here in Simpsonville though. Its about 10 miles away. I must go to Augusta more and learn more about it. Can't wait to see the pics.

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OK, finally posting these... Its hard to find good shots of the whole Augusta skyline, so unfortunately, the only ones I have are some crummy ones from my thread. I found a few decent pics that showed parts of the skyline... I wish I had some more professional photos to compare with the G-ville pics, but these are the best I could find...

Extreme long-distance shot with bad zoom from Clearwater/N. Augusta, SC. The urban neighborhoods of Summerville and the Med. District are in the rear-right of the pic...

agsskyline20in.jpg

Shot from the Riverwalk showing the "dense" Broad St. area...

skyline6gs.jpg

Aerial of the Broad St. area showing decent density. The road curving from the middle is the Calhoun Expressway (see last photo)

augaerial2pi.jpg

A shot dt from the elevated Calhoun Expressway.

agsmcg018rz.jpg

I guess the two skylines are fairly comparable, its just a matter of familiarity and personal preference. Maybe if I can find/take some better photos, I could change some minds ;)

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Does Augusta have any plans of building more towers? I know that Greenville has plans as of now for 2 or 3. One is the Camperdown, a 12 story condo tower. A 13 story structure being built at the corners of main and Elford and a 14 story structure going up in an unknown area of downtown. Also waiting to see whats going to happen with the Gateway site.

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Unfortunately, theres not much on the tables right now. Most current development is in the form of refurbishing existing properties. The proposals are very sparse these days, and we won't keep up with G-ville for long...

A new tallest is proposed, and it will be built, but it could be years before it materializes. It will be a 20 story judicial center on the western edge of downtown (away from the river). The land is purchased and ready, and funding is secured, but it's moving sooooo slowly, and I haven't even seen a rendering yet... Also theres been several recent land purchases/swaps on the available riverfront property, but nothing's materialized yet... N. Augusta on the other hand, has a nice dense midrise waterfront district proposed right across the river.

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I feel that some of you give BJ to much credit here. I have been here for a little more than a year now and the only time I hear of BJ is on the messageboards. Surely you don't think that 1 racist in a csa of 1 million changes the seen. That has never stopped me from loving the city or the state for that matter.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Having lived in the Upstate for my entire life I can tell you that nobody here really cares that much about BJU outside of the occasional joke. In fact, I have heard it talked about more since I have been in Columbia than I have at home. Its a weird thing. It seems outsiders are more concerned about its precense than the locals.

OK, finally posting these...  Its hard to find good shots of the whole Augusta skyline, so unfortunately, the only ones I have are some crummy ones from my thread.  I found a few decent pics that showed parts of the skyline...  I wish I had some more professional photos to compare with the G-ville pics, but these are the best I could find...

I guess the two skylines are fairly comparable, its just a matter of familiarity and personal preference.  Maybe if I can find/take some better photos, I could change some minds  ;)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Those are fantastic shots! Thanks for posting them. I think Augusta might be somewhat underrated.

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Too hard to choose for me...they both seem so identical. The only difference I see between them is that Greeville may be a little more dense and Augusta has the Masters.

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