It’s only 25 miles away, but it might as well be in another state. Never mind that I work in the county that bears its name, but to me Spartanburg is a foreign land. That feeling was hammered home this week as I’ve been attending rehearsals with the Spartanburg Festival Chorus for a performance of Brahms Ein Deutches Requiem this weekend.
Take for example the Chapman Cultural Center. I didn’t even know this thing existed until just the past few weeks. It’s a beautiful three-building center with art galleries, a theater, and a science center. Located next to Barnet Park, it is to Spartanburg what Heritage Green is to Greenville.
The funny thing is, with Greenville’s arts endeavors I hear lots of news about planning, construction, etc. We anticipated with excitement the completion of the Peace Center and the new Upcountry History Museum, but the Chapman Cultural Center seems to have appeared out of thin air. I know that’s not the case, but that’s how news doesn’t seem to filter across the county line.
Thursday evening I left my office and drove to downtown Spartanburg and wandered around Main Street until my rehearsal time at First Baptist. Part of the street was closed off for a musical event later in the evening. Without traffic to hinder, I snapped a few shots of some of the buildings.
Spartanburg has made several attempts to revitalize it’s Main Street area. Even before Greenville began work on its Main Street overhaul, Spartanburg had closed off a block of Main to form a walking mall. That didn’t work, and with closed storefronts everywhere, there was no reason to walk there. It’s now reopened on a similar plan to Greenville’s Main.
The Spartanburg Renaissance and Extended Stay Hotels have helped to bring new life to the area. There are some interesting clubs and places to eat, but it hasn’t seen the enormous growth as Greenville’s downtown area. Regardless, I think there is huge potential here, and I think Spartanburg is making the right moves to get things going. I especially like that much of the unique architecture remains.
I’ll have to get back down this way more often. Perhaps it’s not so far from my office for an occasional lunch.
[tags]Spartanburg, architecture, photography[/tags]