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Greenville, South Carolina (History)
Greenville was originally called Pleasantburg before an 1831 name change. Greenville County was created in 1786 from Spartanburg District (now Spartanburg County), but was called Greenville District from 1800 until 1868. Greenville may have been named for American Revolutionary General Nathanael Greene, or perhaps for an early resident, Isaac Green. Greenville is the mother district to Pendleton (now Anderson County), Pickens (now Pickens County) and Oconee districts (now Oconee County).
In February 1869, Greenville’s Town Charter was amended by the S. C. General Assembly establishing Greenville, the town, as a City. In the late 19th century, textile mills were founded here, providing new employment to area whites, who had earlier been subsistence farmers.
In 1917, when Greenville was known as the “Textile Center of the World,” Old Textile Hall was designed by the J. E. Sirrine Company as the first exposition facility in the Southeast for textile products and machinery. Textile Hall also served as a civic auditorium. The building was listed on National Register of Historic Places in 1980. It was demolished in 1992.
During World War I, Greenville served as a training camp center for Army recruits. Donaldson Air Force Base was built here during World War II, which was very important to the economy of the City of Greenville. Donaldson served as a military base until the early 1960s, when it was returned to the City of Greenville. The former air base has been developed into a business park. Its military-style barracks have been adapted for use by businesses.
In 1876 Democrats had regained power in the state legislature, and Reconstruction officially ended the next year. They passed laws imposing racial segregation and Jim Crow. In 1895 they passed a new constitution that effectively disfranchised blacks and excluded them from politics. This status was maintained until after the passage of federal civil rights legislation in 1964 and 1965.
Until the early 1960s, blacks in the area were subject to segregationist restrictions; for example, they were limited to the back of city buses, were not permitted to stay in hotels or motels for whites, had to sit in the balcony of movie theaters, and were not permitted to use the public library. In 1963, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that local segregation ordinances violated the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
The William Bates House, Paris Mountain State Park Historic District, and Woodson Farmstead are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
—Sources are from Wikipedia (Copied Word for Word)
Greenville, South Carolina (Renewal)
Greenville has one of the last Frank Lloyd Wright homes ever built, constructed in 1954.
At one time the retail center of the region, Greenville’s downtown district began to languish in the 1960s as shopping centers lured the retailers and customers to the suburbs. In response, the city started a downtown renewal project.
City leaders initially focused on improving the streetscape along a portion of Main Street in the Central Business District. This included narrowing the street from four lanes to two lanes; installing angled parking spaces, trees, flowers and light fixtures; and creating parks and plazas throughout the central core of downtown. Initial planning began in the 1970s and under Mayor Max Heller, an Austrian immigrant who wanted to implement some of the urban features he had seen in Europe. The downtown streetscape renovation was designed by landscape architect Lawrence Halprin.
In the 1980s, Greenville turned to laying the foundation for their downtown vision and providing an example of business potential to encourage business relocation to downtown (examples include the Greenville Commons/Hyatt Regency hotel). The city worked with consultants to develop and implement a downtown master plan and facilitated public-private investment partnerships which resulted in the city’s first luxury convention hotel on Main Street.
Through the 1990s, Greenville continued to strengthen its public/private partnerships to create strong anchors throughout downtown. The city redeveloped a languishing industrial area adjacent to the West End Historic District into a thriving performing arts complex that incorporated historically significant buildings. It then stabilized the stagnant historic district with the transformation of an abandoned cotton warehouse into the West End Market, a mixed-use project of shops, restaurants, and offices, which in turn encouraged adaptive reuse of several other historic buildings throughout downtown. The city’s initiative to invest in its blighted urban center at a time when such revitalization was unpopular, not only successfully encouraged private investment, but also eventually garnered recognition from municipalities across the United States.
Although the majority of Greenville-area residents live outside the urban core, the last decade has brought a significant increase in downtown living and working as new luxury condos, apartments and lofts go up and more businesses are moving their offices to the now thriving downtown.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation awarded Greenville with the Great American Main Street Award in 2003 and 2009. Since then it has been featured in numerous publications, including Southern Living Magazine and the U.S. Airways Magazine (March 2010).
—Sources are from Wikipedia (Copied Word for Word)