This letter is a A Call to Action. If like me, you appreciate historical things, buildings, monuments, antiques, vintage clothes, that bare old brick wall newly discovered, classic cars or have appreciated the City of Greenwoods efforts in restoring many of the old buildings.
Should you have visited the Dr. Mays site, the Art Center, the Museum or are thinking of purchasing a coach chair to help preserve our unique Railroad Collection, then your voice needs to be heard, appealing to stop the demolition of two buildings within the Kitson St. Greenwood Mill clean up site. Many thousands of $ have been spent on the sites, buildings and collections named above.
Many of you have spent lots of your own $, restoring homes, buildings or vintage cars, so it is clear people appreciate the old made new. Unfortunately because of loud angry voices coming from the Greenwood Mill Village, drowning out reason and clouding vision, the City is heading on a path of destruction for some of the last pieces of our Textile History, a really cool Office building, which should be on the National register of Historic places and a warehouse which could easily be repurposed (Just look at what Greenville and Augusta have done!)
For a few thousand $, these buildings could, at the very least, be protected and preserved until we have a plan for the site, or we know more about what can and cannot, environmentally, be done once core sampling of the ground soil have been completed. This will also allow interested developers to know what can be done (= jobs and investment).
The good folks at the Greenwood Mill Village angrily call for their demolition so that their “view will be clear”, but the cleared site will only fully show, all the old historic buildings on the adjoining plat, or a rather ugly concrete building housing the Hospitals Laundry. Loudly they point out that “nobody has taken any notice for 4 years” which is true, for until recently they couldn’t.
Now the City has taken over the site, is cleaning it up and people can take an interest because of the Cities good stewardship reputation. Finally they argue “we have put up with this mess for years. We just want it all gone!” Which is the crux of their justified argument.
My argument and the reason for my Call to Action is that while it would be nice to give them that panacea, it is not in the best interests of All the People. These buildings could be fine offices, great restaurants, unique exhibition spaces or if linked an incredible working Textile Museum, show casing the incredible technical breakthroughs, the pioneering spirit, the hard work and dedication of its people, why Greenwood exists.
A Travelling Museum from Columbia should not be the only scrap of history to tell the story of Greenwoods Textile dominance, saving these buildings could be a step, to telling that great story.
Please phone or email or text or letter write or visit the City Offices, City Manager City and County representative, Mayor, State Representative and Senators. Tell them to stop the demolition and work to keep our Heritage intact. Please do this NOW or before January 28th the next scheduled City Council meeting. Thank You.
Kenn Wiltshire. Greenwood City Councilman Ward 4
Greenwood SC 29649