Friday, September 19, 2008

Spartanburg to be 2nd SC City to Participate in National Park(ing) Day September 19

SPARTANBURG – The number of downtown parks in America will increase dramatically this September.

Friday, September 19, 2008 is National Park(ing) Day, and public parking spots nationwide will become temporary public parks. The project is sponsored by The Trust for Public Land (TPL), a national conservation nonprofit.

National Park(ing) Day is an annual event celebrating parks by creating temporary parks in public parking spaces. The goals, according to organizers, are to celebrate parks and promote the need for more parks in America’s cities.
Supporters in cities nationwide, including New York, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Minneapolis, Washington D.C, Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, have announced participation.

Spartanburg will join these cities, as the second municipality in South Carolina to participate in Park(ing) Day. In downtown Spartanburg, organizers will put together a uniquely landscaped Park(ing) park located adjacent to 127 East Main Street, near the corner of Church and Main Streets, from 11:30 – 1:30pm. The mini-park will provide downtown employees and visitors with a workday break. Seating, potted plants, and music will create a relaxing atmosphere for all. Story time will occur for anyone wishing to listen at 12:30pm.

“Only .0007% of Spartanburg County is open space and public lands. Access to open space is a vital component for our community’s quality of life,” said Cate Ryba, one of the event organizers and a city resident. “We want to help raise awareness of the issue, and add to the efforts of many organizations already working towards more open space and parkland in Spartanburg.”

Spartanburg area organizers hope that the event will grow, enticing neighboring cities to participate next year.

“I am excited about the momentum and energy in downtown Spartanburg,” said Laura Ringo, an organizer and resident of the downtown neighborhood Hampton Heights. “As part of the revitalization, I feel that it is important to remember that open space is a key factor for a thriving downtown. Park(ing) Day is a great way to remind our community and its leaders of this.”

Photos from other cities during last year’s event, as well as a full list of cities with maps and details is available online at

In 2007, National Park(ing) Day spawned more than 200 new parks in more than fifty cities nationwide and around the world. See coverage from CNN.

Park(ing) Day Spartanburg is organized by a group of city residents interested in a variety of endeavors to enhance the quality of life in our city; these interests include Arts, Education, Historic Preservation, Economic Development, Active Living, Local Farming, Early Childhood Development and Tourism.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


This Arts and Crafts home built in 1916 by former South Carolina Governor Ibra Charles Blackwood (1931 to 1935) is facing demolition. It is a 3 bedroom 2 bath bungalow with extensive damage inside and out stemming from years of neglect.
Pending demolition orders from the City of Spartanburg spurred the Preservation Trust of Spartanburg into action to purchase and restore the neglected home. The Trust took possession of the home on September 10, 2008.

The Blackwood bungalow is part of the Hampton Heights Historic District in downtown Spartanburg, where in the past 10 years the Trust has completed close to forty home restorations, attracting new home owners to the downtown district. The architecture significance of the home and Hampton Heights’ designation as a national and local district of historic significance along with the fact that it has a prominent former owner makes it worth saving.

October 13, 1931, Blackwood helped the Charleston City Council to pass the first Historic Preservation Ordinance in the nation. This fight for preserving our history and historic places was important to Governor Blackwood and it is very important to us.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Spartanburg Architectural Salvage OPEN TOMORROW!

Spartanburg Architectural Salvage is OPEN TOMORROW, Saturday, September 6th from 10am to 2pm. It has new stock including several new doors (two sets of french doors), a new mantel, iron work, pickets and rails....

We also have Spartanburg Architectural Salvage t-shirts on sale for $15.00.

Get there early to get the good deals!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

We have some homework to do...

Trust staff admits we need some schooling when it comes to mill villages. An architect friend suggested we read Building the Workingman's Paradise: The Design of American Company Towns by Margaret Crawford. The book arrived in the mail today, and we thought this first step at learning was worthy of its own blog post.
Part of the fabric of Spartanburg's past, the textile mill industry operated as virtual self sustaining communities as it developed housing, installed utilities, and ran its own general store and post office. Spartanburg, like many upstate towns, was at one time comprised of multiple working mills. We have lost many of the mills themselves to deconstruction, fire, and the like. We have lost some of the mill housing, too, virtually erasing chapters in our rich history.
As you can imagine, the Trust would like to save the history that Spartanburg has left. Areas like Pacolet, Glendale, and in the city, Beaumont Mill, are places worthy of investment. Each area has incredible attributes and community leadership who value "sense of place". We find more and more that people want to be connected to their community; they want to know the history of their home and community, and they want to find their role in its past, present and future.
As the Trust moves forward into its future, don't be surprised if our direction meanders through a mill community near you....after some schooling, of course.