There was terrible news in this morning’s Greenville News. The Map Shop is joining the ever-growing list of downtown business that have closed. The owner has decided to retire from retail, and will focus on creating customized maps for business.
Located on Coffee Street since 1982, The Map Shop was one of the first unique merchants to make a go of it back when downtown was only banks, lawfirms, and lunch joints. They helped anchor the area and make downtown what it is.
The Map Shop was one of my destinations when going downtown. I would often head in that direction specifically just for lunch on Main and a stop at the shop. I’ve purchased USGS topo maps, local tour guides, atlases, and classroom supplies from them over the years. I bought the maps and guides for my first overseas trip back in 1987, and once again when we headed to London this past summer. Just a few weeks ago I purchased a book of local photography and the Waterfalls of South Carolina from them.
Even in an age of Google Earth and online maps, there is nothing like the tactile sensation of paper. The Map Shop will be sorely missed. If I had the wherewithall and weren’t worried too much about income, I’d almost consider buying it just to keep it running.