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Old 05-07-2014, 04:33 PM
2,189 posts, read 2,729,652 times
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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 wasn't quite dead when it opened its doors. It was 100 percent occupied and booming until the mid 80's. It had a popular 2 screen theater (Plitt Cinema), pet store , arcade and those sunken pits they had recessed in the mall floor with benches in front of Whites and the center court. My sister and I used to hide from our parents there. That mall was by far my favorite as a kid.

Haywood actually struggled the first few years attracting national small chain stores and had quite a few local stores. (example: Greenville Mall had the first Gap while Haywood had a local store called It's for Levis). Haywood didn't have the new wing back then so it was smaller but I remember Meyers-Arnold (local dept store which had a 2 level store at McAllister Square) occupied the whole area where the food court is now with a junior store. Their was also a Eckerds or Rite Aid on the lower level near JCP.

The early 80's was a different time for malls and retail. There were so many department stores (local and national) to anchor all these malls. Big Box stores specializing in different categories did not exist that much and you didn't have Walmart Supercenters on every corner.
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Old 05-07-2014, 04:59 PM
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Anybody remember the old Kash and Karry just north of downtown? Old store with wooden floors. My grandmother would drag me there in the summer in search of great deals. I seem to remember discount groceries but that was a long time ago.

We usually passed the Woolworths on the way and she would tell me how she worked her way through college at the lunch counter there.

I also remember leaning out of the car window trying to catch a glimpse of Reedy River Falls while crossing the Camperdown bridge that obscured most of it.

The Greenville News building looked "modern".

I thought it was cool at the time to pass the Duke Mayonnaise sign on Laurens Road on our way back to her house on farmland in the tiny town of Simpsonville. That farmland is now surrounded by subdivisions, with each one building houses on ever smaller lots.

The Bilo in Simpsonville that built a new store in the same shopping center and then moved, leaving the old space empty every few years was the main grocery store in Simpsonville.

I thought JB White was the height of upscale shopping and eating at the Burger King in the mall was a treat.

Greenville has changed a lot over the last few years. Lots more changes to come, I'm sure.
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Old 05-07-2014, 05:03 PM
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Cedge.. That is cool stuff. I'm loving your posts.. Alot of things that I didn't know.. I had heard rumblings about the Frontier Land, but I had always heard them associated with Ghost Town.. Probably just one of those things that as stories get passed they change a bit here and there.

As for Greenville Mall.. The location was right for it. I think it had a better location than Haywood.. The design of that mall was outdated pretty much when it was built.. It's not the only mall that's happened to.. Crosscreek (Now Greenwood) Mall was the same style.. That crappy 70's style. Crosscreek had an advantage, however.. No competition. so.. yes, 'dead when it opened' is an exaggeration.. Better circumstances, it perhaps could be the surviving mall in the area.. But the problems were there from construction and before.. And, as always.. That's just my opinion.
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Old 05-07-2014, 06:29 PM
Location: South Carolina
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Originally Posted by VolstuckinNC View Post
The Bilo in Simpsonville that built a new store in the same shopping center and then moved, leaving the old space empty every few years was the main grocery store in Simpsonville.

I thought JB White was the height of upscale shopping and eating at the Burger King in the mall was a treat.
Do you remember the old Winn Dixie on Fairview Road? It was demolished when the road was realigned.

I remember that Burger King very well with its rotating sign.
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Old 05-07-2014, 06:37 PM
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McAlister Sq. died a slow death and I'm sure rather painful one for the property owner. Greenville Mall, even as dated as it was, offered much that Greenville hadn't had before. Greenville mall served notice to its tenants that no leases were to be renewed. They could have survived with or without M. Ward, but plans to renovate the place fell apart during a tough economy. Rumors of sale after sale came and went. I doubted it, this last time around, until the new guys began moving dirt.

I can see how the Ghost town connection might become ensnared in the tale, but it all happened right there in Cleveland.

I can recall when Wren and Syracuse was the main grocery store in Mauldin. It was in the Golden Strip Shopping Center. Frank Outlaw bought them and renamed the company Bi-Lo. We shopped Kash and Karry too. Creaky floors, the soda bottle return conveyor and hundreds of cheap watermelons are all a part of those memories.
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Old 05-08-2014, 11:52 AM
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The Greenville has always accepted all sorts of people, be they heroic, eccentric or harmless. Some were a part of the local color, for many years.

I've mentioned taking bus rides to and from downtown, when I was a small child. One of the places we lived was the Overbrook Community, just off East North Street. The bus we took ran down E. North through McPherson park. In my mind's eye, I can still see a small wooden box, in the front yard of a house on E. North St., almost across from Overbrook Laundry. It was about 30 inches tall by 12 inches square, with an open top. It was anchored to the ground near a large oak tree that still stands and still serves to mentally draw me to the spot.

The reason that a small oddly constructed wooden box still haunts the halls of my memory, nearly 60 years later, is the small child who often inhabited it, over a limited span of years. Supported by that box, a small lad "stood" and waved at traffic, as we passed by. He always smiled and waved excitedly, as if the simple joy of being outdoors was the pinnacle of his existence. The box disappeared, sometime in the late 60's or early 70's, leaving a small but persistent feeling of loss within my soul. I never got to meet the boy, but many are the times that I've contemplated his fate, as I pass by. You see... it is his face, even today, that pops into my mind to define the scourge we knew as Polio.

From the same period, I can recall a fellow who always raised my curiosity. The man was white hair old, when I was a small tyke. He had lost a leg and spent his days sitting and begging on the sidewalk of Main st. He stands out in memory due to a strange very large leather "boot" that he wore on teh missing appendage. I don't know which of two tales I've heard was true. One story has him the victim of a wound acquired in the "War" and an inadequate veteran's pension. Given his age, I would assume this tale refers to WWI. The other version of the story tells of losing his the leg in a rail yard accident and being turned off the yards with little or no compensation. We didn't have much to spare in those days, but mom always saved a few coins aside for me to place in his cup. She taught me to practice direct charity, by example.

K-Mart on Church street is pretty much a major landmark. It's commonly used as a point of reference for describing a location on that side of town or to give directions. You would think using the hospital would make more sense, but K-Mart predates it and changes of habit come hard.

K-Mart had a hermit, for quite a number of years. You heard that right... I said Hermit. These days the term "homeless" would define the fellow's existence and do gooder social workers would be chasing him around trying to assist him. The Hermit was something of an anti hero, when we were younger, and we always tried to catch a glimpse of him when we visited the area. The land owner landscaped the location heavily back when K-Mart was first built. Those large oaks were saplings when they were planted. They also planted hedges that grew to be quite thick and fairly tall. The Hermit lived in one section of the hedge and kept all his belongings "hidden" within the shrubs. He inhabited that hedge for years before someone realized there might be liability issues and tried to remove him. This action met limited success until the Hedge was finally trimmed back, so it no longer offered privacy. I kind of miss seeing the guy.

There were other eccentrics over the years. Hubba Hubba was a west side fixture who was usually best avoided, while a fellow rumored to be a former BJU professor spent his days preening in self made creations along Wade Hampton... even the "Goat Man", from Taylors, who was the unofficial mayor and full time goodwill ambassador.

All of these folk have passed on and I mention them here, only to honor their lives. I'll leave the other biographies to be told by those who possibly knew a bit more about their lives.


Last edited by Cedge1; 05-08-2014 at 01:04 PM..
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Old 05-08-2014, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Carolina Knight View Post
Do you remember the old Winn Dixie on Fairview Road? It was demolished when the road was realigned.

I remember that Burger King very well with its rotating sign.
I don't remember the Winn Dixie specifically but I do seem to recall an old Hardee's at that intersection before it was realigned. I don't remember the interchange there except it was somehow "weird"

Do you remember the independent record shop that was at Greenville Mall? I can't remember the name of the place but it hung on long after a lot of other tenants had left.

I can clearly remember driving on a detour on Woodruff road around the big hole being dug out to build the I-385 / Woodruff Road interchange. When they finally opened that "new" stretch of I-385, my grandmother was irritated that a small part of it was inside the Mauldin city limits. She swore it was done just so the Mauldin cops could write tickets. The Mauldin police used to be famous for writing tickets for going 1 or 2 MPH over the speed limit. Not sure if they have relaxed a bit now or not.

Holly Tree was the weird snooty subdivision built on a golf course, which seemed odd to me as a kid. After living in a golf community for 7 years, it seems even stranger to me now that anyone would choose to live on a golf course.

We went to Howard's Drug Store in downtown Simpsonville to get my Great-Grandmother's prescriptions filled and that place seemed old even back then. Burdette's hardware was actually owned by people with the last name Burdette.

The Pantry store on the corner of Main Street and Highway 14 sticks out in my mind probably because of the red color scheme.
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Old 05-08-2014, 01:27 PM
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I do recall the record shop and the huge detour during the birth of I-385. Mualdin tried to police the new route, hoping for a sizable windfall from the tickets. At the time, city police were restricted from ticketing interstate traffic in SC. One of the local magistrates had a couple of Mauldin's finest arrested and hauled in to face him. The mayor got the memo and kept his boys off the big road, until the law was changed a few years later. Mauldin survived on traffic tickets as far back as I can remember. I've heard family tales of highly fabricated cases going back as far as the 40's.

We kids did manage to occasionally get some back on the Mauldin PD. We sometimes ran them around and around town, to distract them, if we wanted to do mischief in another part of town. They never quite caught on that a call from one side of the city limits probably meant they should check for activities taking place on the other side.

Police Chief Frank Smith lived a few houses down on our street. Every Halloween, his was by far the largest Jack o Lantern in the neighborhood, if not the whole of Mauldin. Halloween night meant a war of wits that began long before I was old enough to join the fun. Frank sat guard (he was far to old to "stand" guard) on his pumpkin, all night, to keep it from being blown up. Being an old fellow and having a job that urinating in the front yard might harm, we waited for him to go inside to answer natures call. One M-80 Plus One large pumpkin equals a need to repaint the house. we kids always won the war and one year I managed to be the first kid to the pumpkin. Bragging rights were mine... even if you could never talk about it.

Life on a golf course wasn't even within our imagination, in those days...LOL Grits and pork n' beans were far more important considerations... LOL
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Old 05-08-2014, 01:32 PM
Location: Piedmont, SC
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Does anyone have old pictures or maps to share of the Greenville area? I would LOVE to see what Fairview Rd used to look like.
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Old 05-08-2014, 01:43 PM
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I don't have any photos, but close your eyes and imagine a narrow two lane road with barbed wire on either side. Now add some cows...LOL. It really was pretty and serene when it was still active farm land. Forgive me for falling to temptations I couldn't control?....(grin)
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