The Historic Districts of Greenville, SC
Greenville, SC is a city rich in culture and history that dates all the way back to the early 1800’s. The history and charm of this southern town are kept alive in the many historic districts that are located within the city. Some of these include Pettigru, Overbrook, East Park Avenue, Heritage, Hampton-Pinckney, and West End. Each has a unique architectural style as well as its own story to tell.
East Park Avenue is another historic district that was developed in the early 1900’s. It is primarily made up of residential housing and is adjacent to the downtown central business district of Greenville. It is also home to McPherson Park, the city’s oldest park. East Park Avenue features a variety of architectural styles including Tudor, Colonial, Craftsman/Bungalow, and Late Victorian just to name a few. It showcases many of the popular architectural trends from the first half of the twentieth century. Its rolling hills, mature trees, and beautiful green lawns create a park-like setting in this historic neighborhood.
The Pettigru Historic District is located just east of downtown Greenville and was constructed between 1910 and 1930. It is the largest historic district in Greenville. This serene tree-lined area features a number of architectural styles which demonstrate the growth of Greenville between 1890 and 1930. The land originally belonged to the James Boyce and Rowley families until the turn of the century. It was later divided into multiple lots and residential development began in 1907. Pettigru is noted for its wide variety of architectural style and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.
When the trolley line was expanded to the city’s outskirts in 1910, this area became known as Overbrook. A group of businessmen known as the Overbrook Land Company recognized the need for middle class housing that utilized the trolley and thus began the development of the Overbrook neighborhood. The architecture in this district is predominantly bungalow style homes, popular of that era. Overbrook was one of the first suburbs of Greenville and was desirable for its easy access to the trolley.
The Heritage Historic District is located northwest of downtown Greenville. It also has varying architecture, although bungalow style homes are the most common. The land was purchased in the early 1900’s by William Choice Cleveland and was originally used for agriculture and dairy farming before the development of residential housing. It is located nearby St. George Orthodox Cathedral, a historical landmark that attracted Greek immigrants.
The Hampton-Pinckney area was originally purchased in 1815 by Vardry McBee, who was looking to start a frontier village. He was a great philanthropist and donated much of the land to Greenville Male and Female Academies as well as for the city’s first four churches. It became the first trolley car neighborhood in Greenville. As one of Greenville’s oldest neighborhoods, it is representative of the fancy and lavish homes of the Victorian Era.
The West End District is located just across the Reedy River from downtown. Settlement in this area began in the 1830’s. Furman University was located in the West End and was established in 1852 where it remained until 1958. It was also the location of the first train on the Greenville and Columbia Railroad. Both of these factors led to the residential and commercial expansion of the area. The West End is now known as the arts and entertainment center of the city and features the West End Market and Falls Park on the Reedy.
The many historic districts in Greenville helped shape a city that has become known for its beauty, history, and rich culture. While each of these districts has its own unique style and features, they all played a major role in the development of this beautiful town. Together, they helped to create the Greenville that people have come to love!