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Old 05-05-2014, 05:42 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cedge1 View Post

Anyone else know what lurks beneath the present day Greenville Tech Campus.

Cedge
Isn't Greenville Tech built on top of an old dump?
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Old 05-05-2014, 05:57 PM
 
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Vol...
Give that man a ceegar!! It was indeed a dump. For the first few years, after Tech was built, old tires would magically grow from the ground on a regular basis. I've often wondered what sort of monitoring is in place, especially considering the relatively close proximity to a waterway.

Cedge

Last edited by Cedge1; 05-05-2014 at 06:38 PM..
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Old 05-07-2014, 09:34 AM
 
Location: South Carolina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Labonte18 View Post
I remember around 1995 or so, I was working on Pelham Rd.. Next to the Elk's Lodge (Which is still there).. That whole area was a big bunch of nothing.. It started to grow right around 95.. Right around then is when Regal opened the 16 screen theater (which closed within 5 years).. Restaurant row was nothing other than the Hungry Fisherman.. I think they had removed the paddle boats by that time..
Regal Pelham 10 opened around 1994 and closed around 2000. It was successful and convenient to moviegoers not wanting the hassle of going out to Cherrydale or Magnolia Park.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cedge1 View Post
Labonte...
I can't recall the fun park where a church now sits, but there was a water slide and miniature golf on Wade Hampton in Taylors, at Reid School Rd. just across from the liquor store. This was one of Jimmy Roger's early moves at getting out of the Night Club gig in the early 80's. There was also an official Putt-Putt franchised course, where the Mekong restaurant is located, and a full fledged par 3 course at the corner of Wade Hampton and Pleasantburg, where the public storage is now.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Labonte18 View Post
Oh, yeah.. I remember the putt-putt place.. I wound up having a couple of semesters at college where I had classes until 1pm or so, then a night class at 7pm.. So, on days I wasn't working, I had 6 hours to kill (I had moved to Clinton at the time as my grandfather was ill and my grandmother needed someone available at nights to help with him).. So "going home" wasn't really an option. I'd sit there any play video games for hours on end.

The son of the person who owned it worked there, and we were both huge Phillies baseball fans.. So, I vividly recall us sitting there watching the Phillies clinch the 1993 NL East pennant.

There was also a course in Spartanburg.. And I think one in Anderson.. All gone now. Most people don't realize that putt-putt is different from 'mini-golf'.. Putt-putt involves real skill. All holes on it are par 2 or 3 and all of them make a hole in one a legitimate possibility.. Not just random luck. Mini golf is like what you see at Frankies. There's probably only 40-50 actual Putt-Putt courses left in the US.

The fun park on Wade Hampton was far enough down to officially qualify as Taylors, not Greenville.. According to Google Maps, and based off my memory.. It was right around 4375 Wade Hampton. Wish I could remember the name of it.
Tropical Island was the fun park on Wade Hampton Boulevard in Taylors. After Frankie's Fun Park opened, Tropical Island closed. I think they could not compete with Frankie's and invest more into the site. It did well for those who wanted a fun park in that area of Greenville County.

Springwell Church has since opened.

Putt Putt Golf & Games had several area locations. Besides their Wade Hampton Boulevard location, now Savannah Suites, the second Greenville location was on Cannon Drive off Interstate 185 surrounded by West Faris Road, Grove Road (South Carolina 20) and Henrydale Avenue. The parking lot still exists behind McDonald's.

Cannon Volkswagen was also at the corner of Cannon Drive and West Faris Road.
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Old 05-07-2014, 10:45 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carolina Knight View Post
Regal Pelham 10 opened around 1994 and closed around 2000. It was successful and convenient to moviegoers not wanting the hassle of going out to Cherrydale or Magnolia Park.
At that time there were many, many theaters in the Greenville area.. Wade Hampton (Beside the putt-putt), Haywood Rd (Where Indexx, I believe, currently sits).. The Camelot at McAlister Square, which had just expanded to 8 screens from 2 (And from a single screen well before that).. the Dollar movies on Haywood, which is now the Redemption Church.. Or Revolution Church.. Something like that.

When Haywood and Cherrydale opened.. That was it. Everything closed down, including the Camelot. It reopened under new ownership sometime around 2005, I think.

Quote:
Tropical Island was the fun park on Wade Hampton Boulevard in Taylors.
That's the name of it.. Thank you.. That one has been killing me that I couldn't remember the name.
I had heard there were some problems with liability and that was part of the reason that Tropical Island closed down.

Quote:
Putt Putt Golf & Games had several area locations. Besides their Wade Hampton Boulevard location, now Savannah Suites, the second Greenville location was on Cannon Drive off Interstate 185 surrounded by West Faris Road, Grove Road (South Carolina 20) and Henrydale Avenue. The parking lot still exists behind McDonald's.
that one I didn't know about. That had to have gone away prior to when I moved back here in 1991.
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Old 05-07-2014, 12:56 PM
 
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Someone on this or another forumasked about the various "Malls" in Greenville's past. The Mall concept has been evolving since the late 60's. Greenville saw a number of design iterations that experienced varying levels of success.

I believe the earliest attempt at a mall, in Greenville, was the Wade Hampton Mall which is now part of the Bob Jones Campuses. The design was rather awkward but it housed a Winn Dixie on one end and a theater on the other with assorted sundry small retailers who were brave enough to give a new concept a try. A mall has to reach a certain level to create a critical mass of attractive but profitable rental rates, good customer traffic flow and convenience before it can survive. Wade Hampton had difficulty with all of these as competition from newer style malls were built.

Bell Tower Mall, which is now the County Offices Complex, on University ridge. It was built on or near the location of the old Furman University bell tower.... thus the name. I don't recall much about this mall since it was somewhat inconveniently located in relation to Mauldin. It was an early casualty due to the difficulty of recruiting tenants and attracting customers to a location that, today would be described as "blighted". Truth being told, it developed a reputation for being somewhat unsafe, after dark.

McAlister Square, located on Pleasntburg dr. and Antrim Drive, was pretty successful for a fair number of years and was well anchored with tenants like several well known department stores. The layout was well designed, convenient and demand for retail space was strong from the beginning. Occupancy rates were not a problem and it was a "destination" for those of us living in outlying areas. It flourished nicely, outlasting Belltower, until competition arrived on Woodruff Rd. Death came slowly but surely as tenants and customers alike, found new and nicer digs.

Greenville Mall was built before Woodruff rd ever thought about being popular. It was an easy access marvel that dwarfed previous malls by being nearly double their size. Solid Anchor stores with lots of small retail quickly attracted customers. The first vestiges of the food court idea was introduced and suddenly the mall was THE place to go for lunch as well as dinner. This new level of service was a death knell for McAlister Sq.

Haywood Mall came on the scene with a bang. By the time it was built, much of the early experimentation had distilled design considerations down to a smoothly functioning model. With several heavy hitting big name retailers on every point of the compass and lots of boutiques and hip eateries, it was more than enough competition for Greenville mall. Both coexisted for a number of years, but it was obvious from the get go that Haywood Mall would eventually win out.

I've seen comments about the place becoming dated and I suppose it is, these days. When it was built, it was the pinnacle of the art form and managed to maintain that stylish presence through a phase 2 renovation that added nearly half again as much space. It's pleasing to read that the owners are investing in updates to compete against the even newer concepts that have taken up domination in the I-85 / Woodruff Rd. Junction. Losing Haywood Mall would not be an option that I want to see happen. I ho[pe it is able to compete long term. It acts to anchor that area as a solidly cohesive retail zone, even as various stores come and go nearby.

Malls nearly killed the downtown shopping experience, as they attracted long time established retailers to locations far from Main st. In a manner of speaking they were part of the reason that downtown renovations were given such priority in a time when the economy wasn't exactly friendly for doing so.

Cedge
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Old 05-07-2014, 01:52 PM
 
Location: South Carolina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Labonte18 View Post
At that time there were many, many theaters in the Greenville area.. Wade Hampton (Beside the putt-putt), Haywood Rd (Where Indexx, I believe, currently sits).. The Camelot at McAlister Square, which had just expanded to 8 screens from 2 (And from a single screen well before that).. the Dollar movies on Haywood, which is now the Redemption Church.. Or Revolution Church.. Something like that.

When Haywood and Cherrydale opened.. That was it. Everything closed down, including the Camelot. It reopened under new ownership sometime around 2005, I think.
Bijou Cinemas (eight screens) and Haywood Cinema (ten screens) were last operated by United Artists Theaters. The chain was acquired by the Regal Entertainment Group in 2002 and both locations were closed.

Regal Entertainment Group would go on to acquire Consolidated Theaters (Cherrydale 16) in 2008 and The Great Escape (Simpsonville 14) in 2012.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Labonte18 View Post
That's the name of it.. Thank you.. That one has been killing me that I couldn't remember the name.
I had heard there were some problems with liability and that was part of the reason that Tropical Island closed down.
I do not know what liability issues Tropical Island may have had that could have led to its closure.

I will say Tropical Island reached a point where significant improvements and renovations were needed. Concerns were parking and one way in and out of the property. Occupancy has been a problem with more patrons present than the maximum capacity can hold. There was no additional room to grow and add more attractions. Expenses for improvement and renovation far exceeded the costs to remain in operation.

I do not know which year Tropical Island closed. I think it was between 2002 and 2004.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Labonte18 View Post
that one I didn't know about. That had to have gone away prior to when I moved back here in 1991.
Both Putt Putt and Volkswagen were open until some point in the 1980s. The Volkswagen dealership was sold by Cannon to someone and relocated to Laurens Road.
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Old 05-07-2014, 03:11 PM
 
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I would disagree with you on a few points... Greenville Mall was not the cause of death for McAlister Square.. McAlister really outlived Greenville Mall.

Greenville Mall was dead when it opened its doors, as it was built in the '70's style'.. Crappy colors.. Artificial indoor lighting.. Haywood opening months later, which was a newer style mall pretty much killed Greenville Mall.

They attempted to redo it in the mid 90's, turning it into an 'upscale' mall, along with all the outparcel building that they did.. The theater, CompUSA, I think there's a Ross over there?.. But that didn't go over too well either. Once Montgomery Ward shut down in 2001.. It was over. It was still there until 2004 (And Oshman's even longer) but.. Really.. It died in 2001.

McAlister Square probably did die (as a retail site) a LITTLE before that.. But certainly not as painful a death. It transitioned nicely from retail to education usage.
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Old 05-07-2014, 03:15 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carolina Knight View Post
I do not know what liability issues Tropical Island may have had that could have led to its closure.

I will say Tropical Island reached a point where significant improvements and renovations were needed. Concerns were parking and one way in and out of the property. Occupancy has been a problem with more patrons present than the maximum capacity can hold. There was no additional room to grow and add more attractions. Expenses for improvement and renovation far exceeded the costs to remain in operation.

I do not know which year Tropical Island closed. I think it was between 2002 and 2004.
I seem to recall that there was an accident there, and that there started to be problems with fights breaking out.. I know in 1991 that there was an incident where someone fell out of a ride.. That one is still on goupstate.com.. Greer teen falls from ride onto his head | GoUpstate.com

Lots of info there, I know.. But, it seemed to me that there was another one with the go-karts or batting cages that involved a pretty serious injury shortly before they closed. I could very well be mistaken or confusing them with some other park, however.
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Old 05-07-2014, 03:18 PM
 
Location: South Carolina
19,394 posts, read 17,110,488 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Labonte18 View Post
I would disagree with you on a few points... Greenville Mall was not the cause of death for McAlister Square.. McAlister really outlived Greenville Mall.

Greenville Mall was dead when it opened its doors, as it was built in the '70's style'.. Crappy colors.. Artificial indoor lighting.. Haywood opening months later, which was a newer style mall pretty much killed Greenville Mall.

They attempted to redo it in the mid 90's, turning it into an 'upscale' mall, along with all the outparcel building that they did.. The theater, CompUSA, I think there's a Ross over there?.. But that didn't go over too well either. Once Montgomery Ward shut down in 2001.. It was over. It was still there until 2004 (And Oshman's even longer) but.. Really.. It died in 2001.

McAlister Square probably did die (as a retail site) a LITTLE before that.. But certainly not as painful a death. It transitioned nicely from retail to education usage.
Greenville Mall

Ross Dress for Less was never at the Shoppes at Plazagreen. I think you may be referring to Goody's.

Dillard's acquired J.B. White around 1998 and operated at Greenville Mall until 2000 when the location closed. Montgomery Ward lasted until early 2001 when the chain folded. Proffitt's closed in 2002 or 2003. Oshman's was acquired by Sports Authority in 2005 and closed last year to make way for Cabela's.

McAlister Square

I think most of the downfall was Haywood Mall. Dillard's relocated in 1995. Upton's closed in 2000. Belk opened its Simpsonville store and closed the McAlister Square store shortly afterward.
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Old 05-07-2014, 03:30 PM
 
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Dirty Laundry, anyone?

The Greenville area has had it's share of scandals. Everyone knows about the Carolina Investors debacle, which is by far the largest financial disaster to ever hit our area. There were others over the years, some of which were downright bizarre.

Back in the 1960's a group came to town with a plan to open a "wholesale buyers club". It was supposed to provide super discounted prices on all sorts of big ticket items, if you joined up. I'm told the membership menu was a multi tiered schedule and big dollar investors were promised additional advantages, including a cut of profits. Mr. Big, as it was called, opened as a show room on Cedar Lane and heavily promoted the concept with invitations to visit and enjoy their grand opening. Lots of people joined or invested.

Unfortunately, one morning, Mr. Big failed to open its doors. When the dust settled, it was discovered that, overnight, the top guys had disappeared into the wind, along with thousands of dollars in memberships, investment money and employee payroll. The building still stands, next to the old Bowling alley. A large number of people got nicked, but there were some who sunk significant money into the scheme. To my knowledge the con men were never found and no money was ever recovered.

Wometco Blue Circle was a cheap burger outfit that came to town with a plan to compete with McDonalds and Hardees, in the late 60s or early 70's. They solicited investors and even placed a couple of restaurants, one of which overlooked Capris Italian on Stone Avenue. The top dogs lived rather well, from all reports, but it lasted less than a year before the money dried up and the "chain" went away. Lots of unpaid bills and burned suppliers, but no recoverable assets, unless you wanted one of the two or three funky blue and white portable store fronts.

If you travel up Hwy 276 past where it meets up with hwy 11, you will drive through Cleveland. A Sunoco convenience store and a small vegetable market now inhabit what was once a wild west amusement park, known as Frontier Land. From a kids perspective, it was kind of cool in a cheesy sort of way, complete with a western town and stockade/ fort style log fencing. They were very somewhat like Ghost town, without the chair lift and mountain. The place hired locals to play various parts and to operate various side shows and venues. It was a much welcome employer in an area that even today has few.

Things were going well and the place drew decent crowds who came to see the dramatic gunfights and Cherokee "War" dances. It was not an era known for being PC. Unfortunately there was trouble brewing behind the scene. Apparently a love triangle developed between a young lass and a couple of the gun fighters. Somehow, one of the pistols wound up loaded with live rounds instead of blanks. The show went off as scheduled and it was pretty realistic when one member of the triangle fell from his perch, atop one of the buildings. The crew tried to keep the crowd from realizing the actor wasn't acting as he lay in the street, but the secret became known, as they emptied the park. Frontier Land just had it's last show.

Investigations, law suits, criminal charges, trials and sentencing made for lots of sensation and speculation, but for the owners, the end result was a bankruptcy and eventually little evidence the place ever existed. I was too young to remember what the results of the criminal trials were, but I do recall the adults discussing the incident for quite a while.

Cedge
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