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Old 03-15-2013, 06:33 AM
 
555 posts, read 696,192 times
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In one of the rare decent pieces by The State newspaper, they get in a little lighthearted historical analysis of Columbia's position relative to Greenville and Charleston. Emphasis my own.

Quote:
By THE BUZZ



When next you find yourself at Assembly and Gervais, park your car, get out and walk around the State House grounds.
You live here because that building is there.


And it’s here because Charleston, South Carolina’s holy city that lives to sin, and Greenville, South Carolina’s Bible-thumping economic capital that loathes sin, cannot get along.


Charleston, the state’s colonial capital, was founded in 1670, when, according to South-of-Broad Charlestonians, Adam and Eve discovered the next best thing to Eden — the confluence of the Ashley and Cooper rivers, which join to form the Atlantic Ocean. With some of their English royal friends, they invested in real estate and opened a bar, conveniently near an Anglican church.


Greenville County was founded about 100 years later by penniless Scots-Irish who had walked down the eastern side of the Appalachians, evicted the Cherokee owners, opened a mill, put the children over age 6 to work, and built a Presbyterian church, which now, as predestined, is evangelical.


The two — Charleston and Greenville — were a marriage made in Hades and, promptly, starting fighting over control of the then-colony, including where its capital should be.


Enter Columbia, founded in 1786 as a compromise between Charlestonians, who couldn’t understand the need for anything beyond Summerville, and the Upstate, which felt Charleston was too far away, too stuck up and — in a threat to godliness — too wet.


In 1790, the Legislature held its first session in Columbia, resulting in an explosion of law firms, lobbyists, state workers and ... well, the things those folks need — restaurants, hotels and hospitals.
Today, Columbia — augmented by USC, opened to allow the Charleston dandies and Upstate hillbillies to comingle, and Fort Jackson, founded before World War I and saved from closure by the Korean War — continues its vital role as South Carolina’s not-Charleston, not-Greenville.


In fact, the city finally is succeeding in uniting the two longtime rivals. Today, Charlestonians and Greenvillians regularly lambast “state government in Columbia” as if it’s some little Washington on the Congaree. In fact, state government remains controlled by the politicians they elect, who say they’re all Republicans but can’t agree on what that means.
But that’s OK. Columbia’s role always has been to be the buffer between aloof superiority and disagreeableness. We remain a little DMZ of sanity.
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Old 03-15-2013, 07:22 AM
 
Location: Charleston, South Carolina
9,478 posts, read 13,172,877 times
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Columbia's leaders went to Greenville because Mayor Benjamin stated that his success as mayor by the next election should be measured by how far Main Street had come by then. The focus on this one street as a major barometer of how he is doing is why they went to see that one street in Greenville. At the same time he isn't so focused on that one street that he thinks the other parts of downtown should be ignored, thus his push to get the greenway completed and Five Points' late-night problems addressed, among many other things that occupy a mayor's mind and time. Maybe Charleston leaders could visit Columbia to see how the city keeps a ballet or three, and I'm sure Greenville leaders could find someting Columbia does well that's worth coming to check out if they look hard enough and put provinciality on the back burner for a minute.
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Old 03-15-2013, 07:43 AM
 
1,283 posts, read 2,156,379 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Columbiadata View Post
Columbia's leaders went to Greenville because Mayor Benjamin stated that his success as mayor by the next election should be measured by how far Main Street had come by then. The focus on this one street as a major barometer of how he is doing is why they went to see that one street in Greenville. At the same time he isn't so focused on that one street that he thinks the other parts of downtown should be ignored, thus his push to get the greenway completed and Five Points' late-night problems addressed, among many other things that occupy a mayor's mind and time. Maybe Charleston leaders could visit Columbia to see how the city keeps a ballet or three, and I'm sure Greenville leaders could find someting Columbia does well that's worth coming to check out if they look hard enough and put provinciality on the back burner for a minute.
If my memeory serves correctly, Benjamin and leaders of Columbia came to see the impacts of public-private partnerships in Greenville, not simply to "see Main Street." They visited several of Hughes' developments in Greenville in anticipation for Bull Street, and then Falls Park.

What I find most strange is that people imply that what Greenville has been able to do with Main Street can ONLY be applied to other Main Streets. When, in reality, Greenville's successes with that one particular street can be lessons for any street that aims to have a strong pedestrian life.

As we have acknowledged before, Greenville could be/is learning from both Charleston and Columbia lessons on retaining and attracting young college graduates.

EDIT: Columbia Business Report's article: http://www.columbiabusinessreport.co...elopment?rss=0
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Old 03-15-2013, 08:27 AM
 
Location: Charleston, South Carolina
9,478 posts, read 13,172,877 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gvillesc View Post
If my memeory serves correctly, Benjamin and leaders of Columbia came to see the impacts of public-private partnerships in Greenville, not simply to "see Main Street." They visited several of Hughes' developments in Greenville in anticipation for Bull Street, and then Falls Park.

What I find most strange is that people imply that what Greenville has been able to do with Main Street can ONLY be applied to other Main Streets. When, in reality, Greenville's successes with that one particular street can be lessons for any street that aims to have a strong pedestrian life.

As we have acknowledged before, Greenville could be/is learning from both Charleston and Columbia lessons on retaining and attracting young college graduates.

EDIT: Columbia Business Report's article: Columbia Regional Business Report | Columbia, SC
I almost included the public-private partnership aspect of development in my last post. I was aware that was part of the reason for the Greenville trip. But as I stated, the fact remains that Benjamin publicly stated that his success on Main Street by the next election should be the single most important thing for voters' decision on whether he deserves to be re-elected. And I notice the attached article specifically mentions the CBD aspect of development. And, after all, Columbia leaders didn't go to Greenville to get ideas on how to develop the Vista, Five Points or Devine Street successfully.
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Old 03-15-2013, 08:28 AM
 
5,736 posts, read 8,807,973 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gvillesc View Post
For the sake of being in a more appropriate thread, I'm copying this from the other:



I'm not sure why Greenville gets singled out on this by so many. It's been noted several times that this apparent attitude exists throughout the state, and specific examples have been cited with both Greenville and Charleston in the other thread. However, we then see posts that rail solely against Greenville. Is there some perception difference between the two from Columbia residents? I think we've established that Greenville is NOT the exception. I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts as it relates to your own view of Columbia's position in the state.


I think we could see a more positive view of Columbia emerge with the current leadership in Columbia's City Hall. From an amateur perspective, I think there's NOW a mayor leading Columbia with a strong vision and a focus on results. As a result, I think the City CAN benefit immensely and has the potential to transform. The results remain to be seen, but the initiative certainly seems to be there, it's the follow through that I'm waiting for-- not the short term gains, but continued reaching of benchmarks and sustained results.

In my post I wasnt trying to single out Greenville or Charleston per say.. But since the spirit of the thread seemed to focus on the largest and "peer" cities.. They are it.. so my analysis began from there. I dont think there is a city in SC that has a more vocal constituency statewide than Columbia, Greenville and Charleston.. so you dont see folks from say Sumter, Myrtle Beach, or Rock Hill bashing Columbia, Greenville or Charleston as much. The only exception may be on the issue of State Government as we discussed before or potentially "urbanity". I recall folks in Sumter said that they preferred Sumter over Columbia because there was less traffic. I imagine that attitude is pervasive in many rural or smaller cities in the State in terms of how they view not only Columbia but Greenville and Charleston as well.

Someone touched on the issue of social economics "Columbia is poor and Greenville is rich"...I would take it a step further and say the demographics and culture of Columbia and Greenville are different. There is likely a segement of the population in both cities that despises or holds a hostile view of the demographics and culture of the other city. Whether its the culture of government, college town, political orientation, race, or even religion. Historically, the "base" population of Greenville and Columbia are quite different.. I say "base" because of course now both metros are inundated with transplants, but if you go back 30 or 40 years that was not the case especially in Columbia where more folks at the the local colleges and even at Ft. Jackson are now remaining in the area as opposed to bailing. However; the folks that are "born and breed" in these respective cities probably hold most of the stock on how each city is viewed and likely more vocal about it. Charleston of course is Charleston and is reknown worldwide.. I believe more subtley Columbia and Greenville compete more viciously because Charleston is really in a category unto itself.

To a certain extent I believe that most Columbians and particuliarly the politicos.. dont care what people in SC think of the City (again going back to my self aborbed or ambivalent characteristic.. that makes some despise us). Their focus is what people from out of State think of the City...which is where most of the City's efforts are focused. As others have mentioned. The City's reputation outside of the State is better than inside. I think Columbia spends alot of time attempting to battle negative press generated by the State.. The whole Confederate Flag debate is a case in point.. The Flag hurt Columbia the most because it was physically based there and flying high above the City. I believe the Mayor Coble and City Council were one of the first cities to pass a resolution asking the State to take it down. IN fact the Mayor was on national news talking about the flag coming down..(which pissed off alot of people across the State). Then you have the active gay community.. which may draw the ire of some places across the State (not necessarily Greenville or Charleston) but more rural/small town areas that may not be as open or accepting especially if any laws are being discussed on Civil Unions/Marriages..which again goes back to the thought of 'what the hell are they doing up/down/over there in Columbia'.

I think in terms of Columbia versus the rest of the State image.. I believe some folk think that what happens in the City could influence what happens in the General Assembly since it is based there.. which adds a certain degree of fear, contempt, and animosity....I guess thats all for now...

Last edited by Woodlands; 03-15-2013 at 08:44 AM..
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Old 03-15-2013, 08:29 AM
 
Location: Greenville, SC
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What I have never liked is how some people only think Greenville has Main Street and nothing else. There is much more in this area then just downtown especially when it comes to outdoor recreation offerings.
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Old 03-15-2013, 08:54 AM
 
Location: Charleston, South Carolina
9,478 posts, read 13,172,877 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g-man430 View Post
What I have never liked is how some people only think Greenville has Main Street and nothing else. There is much more in this area then just downtown especially when it comes to outdoor recreation offerings.
Okay, you're the chosen one. Go around and make lots of photographs of pedestrian-heavy/friendly parts of downtown Greenville that are removed from the same corridor I see over and over in the Greenville threads. Be sure to include lots of tree-lined sidewalks with plenty of street-level retail and shoppers. (no strip shopping centers allowed) Don't allow Main Street, Falls Park, Riverplace, or any of the other attractions I've seen enough of to last a lifetime, into your camera's viewfinder. If you find there's a dearth of such areas, there's nothing wrong with that, but we'll know the comparisons between the cities are off base. Both cities/areas have lots of recreational offerings, so I'm not looking for photos of hiking trails, lakes, rivers and the like. I'm keeping an open mind, and it will be an interesting photo shoot to see if you're willing to take the time to do it. You're welcome to tell me where to go, too, and I don't mean where to go in Greenville or the area.
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Old 03-15-2013, 10:37 AM
 
877 posts, read 1,216,935 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Columbiadata View Post
Okay, you're the chosen one. Go around and make lots of photographs of pedestrian-heavy/friendly parts of downtown Greenville that are removed from the same corridor I see over and over in the Greenville threads. Be sure to include lots of tree-lined sidewalks with plenty of street-level retail and shoppers. (no strip shopping centers allowed) Don't allow Main Street, Falls Park, Riverplace, or any of the other attractions I've seen enough of to last a lifetime, into your camera's viewfinder. If you find there's a dearth of such areas, there's nothing wrong with that, but we'll know the comparisons between the cities are off base. Both cities/areas have lots of recreational offerings, so I'm not looking for photos of hiking trails, lakes, rivers and the like. I'm keeping an open mind, and it will be an interesting photo shoot to see if you're willing to take the time to do it. You're welcome to tell me where to go, too, and I don't mean where to go in Greenville or the area.
That's kind of what I think... it would be hard something else. Whenever someone visits Greenville, they only thing they really say you have to visit is Main Street. Almost everything that is good in the built environment is in the Main Street area.
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Old 03-15-2013, 11:39 AM
 
1,283 posts, read 2,156,379 times
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Originally Posted by scguy89 View Post
That's kind of what I think... it would be hard something else. Whenever someone visits Greenville, they only thing they really say you have to visit is Main Street. Almost everything that is good in the built environment is in the Main Street area.
What does "Main Street area" mean? Several blocks east and west, the park, the riverwalk/greenway, and West End?

It seems like that would be the same as saying "Gervais Street area" to cover the worthwhile area of the Vista, AND the good areas of Main Street since they intersect. Seems pretty similar in concept to me.
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Old 03-15-2013, 12:09 PM
 
Location: Charleston, South Carolina
9,478 posts, read 13,172,877 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gvillesc View Post
What does "Main Street area" mean? Several blocks east and west, the park, the riverwalk/greenway, and West End?

It seems like that would be the same as saying "Gervais Street area" to cover the worthwhile area of the Vista, AND the good areas of Main Street since they intersect. Seems pretty similar in concept to me.
Yet the success of the Vista is always overlooked in the comparison of Greenville's downtown to Columbia's. It's always Columbia's Main Street vs. Greenville's Main Street. Not to mention Harden Street, Saluda Avenue, Devine Street and Greene Street in Five Points (all Five Points collectively), or Devine Street in Shandon.

And then there's the four blocks that the beautiful capitol grounds take up and the part of Main Street that's south of it. Not to mention the beautiful USC campus. And then there's Taylor Street and the Township Auditorium that's always got something going on, and the Koger Center on Assembly.

Yes, downtown Columbia is scattered, but that is being addressed. The $20+ million observatory under construction at the State Museum, and Canal Front at the river, which is very near completion, will boost Gervais Street further as well.

And Sunday afternoon in Finlay Park there were a lot more homed people than homeless enjoying the stairways, waterfall, lake and lawn. And the people who appeared homeless weren't bothering anyone. And every parking lot at every access point to the greenway on the river was jam-packed full and overflowing with people walking their dogs and running and biking along the rivers.

A San Francisco urban planner with the Urban Land Institute, by the way, said Columbia should look at the river not as being on the edge of the city but as being in the middle of the region. Columbia's rivers and the parks that flank them just happen to not run below Main Street. The comparisons between the two cities' downtowns are tired and need to be laid to rest.

Last edited by Charlestondata; 03-15-2013 at 12:36 PM..
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