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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Greenville in Greenville County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Falls Place

 

—Reedy River Historic Park —

 
Falls Place Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, February 20, 2010
1. Falls Place Marker
Inscription.
Greenville was a major textile center by the beginning of the twentieth century, and local cotton growers and brokers needed storage places for the harvested cotton. West End banker H.L. Gassaway and Dr. Davis Furman purchased land immediately south of the bridge at Main Street in 1910. In 1913 they erected a fireproof cotton warehouse that was attached to a new heavily-reinforced concrete bridge at the same time. The building housed a soft drink company for many years, and was used as a U.S.O. headquarters, particularly by airmen at Donaldson Air Force Base, during and after World War II. Long referred to as the "Traxler Building," because it was owned by David Traxler, it was renovated in 1985 and is now known as Falls Place.
 
Location. 34° 50.713′ N, 82° 24.081′ W. Marker is in Greenville, South Carolina, in Greenville County. Click for map. Marker is located in Historic Falls Park. Upon entering the park, take the stairs down to the bridge level. Take the elevator down one floor and follow the path back toward Camperdown Bridge. Marker is in this post office area: Greenville SC 29601, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Vardry Dixon Ramseur, III (here, next to this marker); Tate Plaza (within shouting
Falls Place Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, February 20, 2010
2. Falls Place Marker
distance of this marker); Reedy River Falls (within shouting distance of this marker); Hunting Grounds to Mill Town (within shouting distance of this marker); Liberty Bridge (within shouting distance of this marker); McBee's Mills (within shouting distance of this marker); The Reedy River (within shouting distance of this marker); Thomas C. Gower Bridge (within shouting distance of this marker); Harriet Smith Wyche (within shouting distance of this marker); History of Falls Park (within shouting distance of this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Greenville.
 
More about this marker. This marker is one of a series of markers in the Historic Falls Park covering bits of Greenville's history.
 
Regarding Falls Place. Falls Place (also known as the Cotton Warehouse) is part of the Reedy River Industrial District and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Its address is 531 South Main Street.



Although the marker states
Falls Place on the Left<br>All the Buildings on the Right of<br>Main are No Longer Standing image. Click for full size.
Greenville County Library, circa 1920
3. Falls Place on the Left
All the Buildings on the Right of
Main are No Longer Standing
that W.H. Gassaway was one of the builders of the Cotton warehouse, other sources claim it was Walter Gassaway, the operator of the Central Textile Mill and resident of Gassaway Mansion, Greenville'e largest private resident.
 
Also see . . .  Reedy River Industrial Historic District. The Reedy River Industrial Complex is the only area in downtown Greenville which has maintained its historic and architectural character as a nineteenth and early twentieth century industrial and commercial district. (Submitted on February 27, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 
 
Additional comments.
1. Cotton Warehouse
The oddly shaped five-sided building bordering the upper falls west bank on one side and Main street on the other was built by Davis Furman and Walter Gassaway in 1913 as a cotton warehouse. Cotton was in constant demand to supply the daily workload of the three mills across the river, as well as dozens outside the city limits. This large building was in a convenient location to receive incoming loads from the railroad and Main Street. It was among the early fireproof cotton warehouses built in the city, which is why it is still standing today. So many of the earlier cotton warehouses had burned down because of their flammability, but this has stood the test of time and
Falls Place During the USO Period image. Click for full size.
Coxe Collection, Greenville County Historical Society, circa 1950
4. Falls Place During the USO Period
is nearly a century old. The bricks toward the top of the structure are more weathered than those on the lower floors and betray its age more clearly. Coca-Cola Bottling Co. occupied two floors in the northern half of the building, while Crescent Grocery provided West Enders with readily available food in its new location. Meador's Manufacturing Company later occupied the building.

After the Greenville Army Air Base reopened as Donaldson Air Force Base in 1948, the old warehouse was soon used as a USO headquarters, drawing hundreds of soldiers into the West End. The building, now known as Falls Place (once called the Traxler Building for owner David Traxler), underwent extensive renovation in 1985 and is one of the charming old buildings still gracing the streets of the West End. (Source: A Guide to Historic Greenville, South Carolina by John M. Nolan (2008), pg 26.)
    — Submitted February 27, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.

2. Reedy River Industrial Historic District
Located directly on the reedy River in the central business district of Greenville, South Carolina, the Reedy River Industrial Complex is representative of the City of Greenville's historical development into a leading manufacturing and textile center. The Reedy River Industrial
Falls Place -<br>Current View (Northeast Side) image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, February 28, 2010
5. Falls Place -
Current View (Northeast Side)
Complex contains six individual or commercial structures constructed between 1850 and 1914. Visually connected by the Reedy River, these structures were historically developed as portions of a related industrial complex which served the Greenville Coach-Markley carriage Factory and the Huguenot Mill. This Reedy River Industrial Complex is the only area in downtown Greenville which still maintains its 19th and early 20th century industrial and commercial character.

1. The Greenville Coach Factory Blacksmith Shop 46' by 99' (Markley Alley).Constructed circa 1850 as a blacksmith shop for the Greenville Coach Factory, this building is one of the oldest structures in downtown Greenville. It is a three and one-half story shed-roofed building constructed with handmade brick and hand hewn wooden framing members. The 9/9 windows have crude wooden lintels. No nails were used in its construction. An elevator or a "hoisting shaft" rises through the three floors of the building. Early rope-operated iron gears, axles and pulleys are still attached to the ceiling inside of the shaft. This building is currently used as a warehouse for a department store.

2. The Markley Carriage Factory Pain Shop 48' by 135' (Reedy River just west of the South Main Street Bridge). Built prior to 1915 as part of Markley Carriage Factory and hardware complex, the Paint Shop is a two-story
Falls Place and the Reedy River Falls at Night image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, December 23, 2008
6. Falls Place and the Reedy River Falls at Night
brick structure with large windows of the same size on each story. The near flat roof has a cupola at its center. This cupola may have been removed from an older building at the Greenville Coach Factory when it was torn down to make room for the Paint Shop. The building's interior was altered in 1922 to accommodate the Duke's Products Company, a mayonnaise factory later bought by the C.F. Sauer Company. The building has been vacant since 1958.

3. The Markley Hardware Store 53' by 130' (422 South Main Street). This two-story commercial structure with ground level basement at the rear was built between 1905 and 1914 as a retail hardware store for the Markley Carriage Factory. It replaced the smaller hardware store and office of the Greenville Coach Factory. Unusual exterior features include "pressed brick" in difference muted colors in a pattern on the facade and leaded glass panels at the spandrel above the first level. The interior has a decorative pressed tin ceiling and frieze. The building is presently vacant.

4. The Huguenot Mill (Broad Street at River Street Bridge). The Huguenot Mill is an L-shaped two-story brick cotton mill constructed in 1882. Its features include a water, ventilating and stair tower on the north corner, and the monitored roofs and general features of "Fireproof Construction" common to the New England mills of the same period.
Falls Place -<br>North Corner image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, February 28, 2010
7. Falls Place -
North Corner
The mill has been altered several times to accommodate the expanding industrial needs of the Huguenot Mill and later the Nuckasee Manufacturing Company. Several outbuildings of the Huguenot Mill were removed about 1913 and the windows were bricked up about 1960.

5. The Huguenot Mill Office (Broad Street at River Street Bridge). This small two-story brick office was built between 1890 and 1900 in a modified Italianate design. Exterior features of the office include round arched projecting hood moldings around the doors and windows, and ornate modillions with pendants at the cornice. There is a louvered dormer on the north slope of the pyramidal hipped tin roof. The interior features include tongue and groove paneling at the dado, an unusually wooden mantle featuring spiraled spindles and pendants and a cast iron sink with a shell design at its base on the second floor.

6. The Cotton Warehouse (South Main and West Camperdown Way). 110' by 86' by 40' by 162' (corner of South Main and Camperdown Way). The Cotton Warehouse was constructed between 1908 and 1913 as a warehouse for the Huguenot Mill. This unusual three-story, five sided building with a ground level basement at the rear is constructed of reinforced concrete and brick. The arched windows on the front facade have been filled with block, glass and brick. The building is presently occupied by
Falls Place -<br>Northwest (Main) Facade image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, February 28, 2010
8. Falls Place -
Northwest (Main) Facade
a garment manufacturer on the first floor. The upper floors are vacant.

In 1978, the area of the Reedy River Industrial Complex was the subject of a survey and planning grant, funded by the Department of interior and administered by the South Carolina Department of Archives and History. The Greenville Museum Commission, recipient of the grant, has conducted a survey of the area and developed a feasibility study for the creation of a regional textile museum complex to be located in the restored structures of the Reedy River Industrial Complex. This museum complex will be an educational and commercial facility designed to tell the history of the American Textile Industry and to display current textile operations and future innovations.

Significance
The Reedy River Industrial Complex is significant as the only area in downtown Greenville, South Carolina which has maintained its historic and architectural character as a 19th and early 20th Century industrial and commercial district. Featuring six industrial or commercial structures constructed between 1850 and 1914, the Reedy River Industrial Complex represents Greenville's transition from a 19th Century summer resort and agricultural village into a leading international textile center.

The Reedy River Industrial Complex is located directly on the Reedy River, the geographical and historical center
Falls Place -<br>Address Plaque and National Register Medallion image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, February 28, 2010
9. Falls Place -
Address Plaque and National Register Medallion
of the City of Greenville. The power generating capabilities of the Reedy River were indirectly responsible for the founding of Greenville at this site in the early 1800s. During Greenville's formative period, the mills that were the economic life of the city sat on the Reedy River in order to use its power. The original historic core of this area (containing the Reedy River Falls, the Furman University Botanical Gardens and the site of the earliest grist mill) was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on April 23, 1973 as the Reedy River Historic Park and Greenway. This important area reflects the early agricultural and manufacturing history of the city.

As a logical counterpart to this early district, the Reedy River Industrial Complex reflects Greenville's rapid industrial development during the 19th and early 20th centuries. This industrialization was later to give Greenville the slogan "Textile Center of the World."

The Reedy River Industrial Complex is a distinct geographic area which has historically been developed as an interrelated industrial complex. The first development within the district's boundaries began in 1835 when Ebenezer Gower and Thomas Cox established a wagon and carriage factory. Shortly thereafter, Thomas Claghorn Gower, Ebenezer's younger brother, joined the manufactury; in 1853 H.C. Markley also joined the firm and expanded
Falls Place -<br>Southwest Facade<br>Falls Park Overlook in Foreground image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, February 28, 2010
10. Falls Place -
Southwest Facade
Falls Park Overlook in Foreground
its operations. The firm was then called the Greenville Coach Factory. By 1856, the factory employed 100 men, sold $80,000 worth of vehicles a year and was considered to be the largest carriage factory in the South. Later called Markley's carriage Factory, the company was in continuous operation from 1835 to 1914 when the increased use of the automobile put the factory out of business. During the factory's existence a large industrial complex was constructed on the reedy River. Remaining from this complex are the Blacksmith Shop, Paint Shop, and Hardware Store.

In 1882, the Huguenot Mill was built on the reedy River directly northwest of the Greenville Coach Factory. Although built directly on a water power source, the Huguenot Mill was designed from the beginning as a coal-fueled steam-powered mill, one of the first in the Piedmont region of South Carolina. the mill was also the first mill in the state to produce plaid materials along with cottons and ginghams. In 1913, the Huguenot Mill was expanded and renamed Nuckasee mill. It was then the first in the state to manufacture finished products utilizing the cloth manufactured and bleached by other mills in the same city.

The success of the Huguenot Mill and others built at the turn of the century on the periphery of the city created the need for cotton and cotton waste storage and warehousing operations. The
Falls Place on the Reedy River - 2004<br>Located on the Elevator Adjacent to Falls Place image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, February 28, 2010
11. Falls Place on the Reedy River - 2004
Located on the Elevator Adjacent to Falls Place
"Birthplace of Greenville"

Mayor Knox White
Lillian B. Flemming, C. Diane Smock
Michelle R. Strain, Debra M. Sofield
Chandra E. Dillard, Garry W. Coulter

James M. Bourey, City Manager
Paul B. Ellis, III, Project Manager

Project Sponsor
The Carolina Foothills Garden Club
Member of the Garden Club of America

Tom M. Keith-Lead Designer, Andrea M. Mains-Landscape Architect
Richard Williams-Architect, Miguel Rosales-Bridge Architect
Barry J. Long-Construction Manager, Schiaich Bergermann-Bridge Engineer
Cotton Warehouse across South Main Street from the coach factory of one of the remaining warehouses in downtown Greenville which served the Huguenot mill for this purpose.

After World War II, Greenville experienced a continued industrial growth which was largely focused in its outlying areas. The buildings of the reedy River Industrial Complex were either abandoned or adapted for new uses. Currently there are plans to restore the entire area of the Reedy River Industrial Complex for use as a textile museum complex to be called the "Textile Place." (Source: National Register nomination form.)
    — Submitted February 28, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.

 
Categories. AgricultureNotable Buildings
 
Falls Place and Reedy River Falls -<br>East (Rear) Facade image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, February 28, 2010
12. Falls Place and Reedy River Falls -
East (Rear) Facade
Falls Place from the Main Street Bridge image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, February 28, 2010
13. Falls Place from the Main Street Bridge
Reedy River Falls image. Click for full size.
By Richard Denney, August 30, 2008
14. Reedy River Falls
Photo from Liberty Bridge
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 1,504 times since then and 6 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.   5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13. submitted on , by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.   14. submitted on , by Richard Denney of Austin, Texas. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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