West End Historic Area and Westend Market in Greenville
Januar 3, 2008
The West End Historic Area and Westend Market is located at the South end of Main Street at Augusta Street in Greenville, just across the Reedy River from downtown. It has a long and interesting history. After earlier settlements in the 1830’s the Furman University was established in 1852 on fifty acres of land in the West End, where it expanded and remained until 1958. This development and the arrival of the Greenville & Columbia Railroad in the West End in 1853 led to both residential and commercial development of the area.
In the 1890’s this area was called Greenville’s second downtown.
This district was full of life and was a place where the people of the city could get their daily necessities. Cotton and fertilizer warehouses sprang up as well as other commercial activities that supported the farmers from throughout the region. In 1893 the Chicora College, a Presbyterian school for women, was established on „McBee’s Terrace“ overlooking the Reedy River. The textile mills began to re-locate outside the city and the commercial activity in the area shifted from cotton to soft drink manufacturing and bottling. Chicora College moved to Columbia in 1915 and its buildings burned down in 1919.
The introduction of the automobile led to the construction of auto agencies and repair shops. During this period new offices and commercial buildings were constructed and the West End was still a very vital commercial and residential area. Typical of many inner city areas the West End began a period of decline in the mid 20th century, residential areas deteriorated, few new buildings were constructed and Furman University moved to the countryside. The area had fallen into disuse, with many vacant buildings and a growing problem with crime. The existing historic architecture of the West End reflects its commercial character from the 1870s to the 1930s and the majority of historic buildings date from the 1880s to the 1920s. With the donation of three historic buildings to the City of Greenville, a plan was developed to revitalize the area into a shopping, arts, and entertainment district. In 1994 the City of Greenville meticulously renovated the Alliance Cotton Warehouse into The WestEnd Market, at
1 Augusta Street. Today the building contains favorite shops and restaurants, like Mellow Mushroom, Smoke on the Water and several eclectic stores. As a result of the West End Market project, this area is once again a bustling commercial district, a shopping and tourist destination. The West End area is now enjoying a resurgence in popularity with an increase of new businesses, entertainment facilities, restaurants, residences and since 2006 the newly opened West End Field Ballpark.