Anderson in Anderson County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
Anderson: "The Electric City"
Anderson was dubbed "The Electric City" in 1895 when William C. Whitner, an engineer and native of Anderson, built a hydroelectric power plant which was the first in the South to transmit electricity over long distances. The plant, in McFall's Mill at High Shoals on the Rocky River 6 mi. E, supplied power to light the city and also operated several small industries in Anderson. In 1897 Whitner replaced the
experimental plant with a larger generating station at Portman Shoals 11 mi. W on the Seneca River. The extra power from this plant powered Anderson Cotton Mills and a streetcar line which was the forerunner of the Piedmont & Northern RR. Both plants pioneered in transmitting high voltage electricity direct from the station switchboard. This innovation helped spur the modern industrialization of the Southeast.
Erected 1997 by Anderson County Historical Society. (Marker Number 4-25.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • Railroads & StreetcarsWaterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the South Carolina, Anderson County Historical Association/Society series list.
Location. 34° 30.2′ N, 82° 39.017′ W. Marker is in Anderson, South Carolina, in Anderson County. Marker is at the intersection of South Main Street (State Highway 28) and West Whitner Street (State Highway 24), on the right when traveling west on South Main Street. Marker was relocated from its position behind the Old Courthouse to its current location at the corner of South Main and West Whitner Streets. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 100 South Main Street, Anderson SC 29621, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. William Church Whitner (a few steps from this marker); Anderson County Court House -- 1898 (a few steps from this marker); Anderson County Confederate Monument (a few steps from this marker); Anderson County Law Enforcement Officers Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); The Four Way Test (within shouting distance of this marker); Fant's Book Store -- 1851 (within shouting distance of this marker); Sullivan Hardware Co. -- 1875 (about 300 feet Blue Ridge Railroad Passenger Station -- c. 1913 (about 300 feet away); Bank of Anderson Building - ca. 1891 (about 300 feet away); Masonic Temple -- 1889 (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Anderson.
Also see . . .
1. City of Anderson, South Carolina. Official website of the City of Anderson, SC. (Submitted on August 24, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
2. Anderson Downtown Historic District. The Anderson Downtown Historic District is primarily significant as a well-preserved late nineteenth/early twentieth century commercial area. (Submitted on January 8, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
3. Downtown Anderson. Downtown Anderson is the brightest part of the Electric City! (Submitted on January 8, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
4. Anderson, South Carolina. Anderson is a city in and the county seat of Anderson County, South Carolina, United States. (Submitted on August 24, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
5. Rocky River (South Carolina). The Rocky River is a tributary of the Savannah River in the U.S. state of South Carolina. (Submitted on June 15, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
6. Seneca River (Savannah River). The Seneca River is created by the confluence of the Keowee River and the Little River in northern South Carolina, just downriver from Lake Keowee. (Submitted on June 15, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
7. Piedmont and Northern Railway. The Piedmont and Northern Railway (reporting mark PN) was a heavy electric interurban company operating over two disconnected divisions in North and South Carolina, respectively. (Submitted on January 8, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
1. Anderson Downtown Historic District - National Register Nomination Form & 1987 Expansion
Situated in northwestern South Carolina, the town of Anderson was established circa 1827. Although Anderson has grown rapidly and changed much since that time, the Anderson Downtown Historic District, comprised of approximately 102 structures, chronicles a large part of the town's history. Although no longer the geographic center of Anderson, the downtown area is still considered by the citizenry as the heart of town.
The Anderson Downtown Historic District consists of an area which appears very much as it did at the turn of the Century.
Few of the commercial buildings included within the historic district have been irreparably altered since their construction. The majority of the alterations have been made to the first stories of the buildings, while upper stories have frequently only been covered by new siding. The majority of the buildings are in good condition. Structures are primarily two or three stories high and usually constructed of brick. The majority of the buildings relate to one another in terms of height, scale and construction materials. Patterns of fenestration, cornice moldings and other details also provide continuity.
The nominated area has recently been the subject of a survey and planning study by the City of Anderson, partially funded through a Department of Interior grant awarded through the South Carolina Department of Archives and History.
The Anderson Downtown Historic District is partially surrounded by areas also included in the study prepared by the City of Anderson. Although the surrounding area therefore includes some buildings of historic value, the district boundaries have been delineated to include the core of the historic district, with a minimum number of intrusions. Additionally, the structures included either front on the Courthouse Square or on Main Street.
Key structures in the district include:
1. Sullivan Hardware Company Warehouse: This three-story brick warehouse, in the commercial Romanesque style, was constructed in 1909, measuring 91' by 132'. Brick pilasters separate the facade of the building into arched bays. The structure also features a brick corbelled parapet.
The Sullivan Hardware Company first opened in Anderson in 1882, dealing mostly in agricultural products and supplies for small textile mills. Since that time, the company has expanded to four warehouses and three retail outlets.
3. Plaza Hotel: Originally known as the Hotel Chiquola, the Plaza Hotel was constructed in 1888 on the site of the old Waverly House. The four story brick Romanesque style structure has been modified through the years and much of its ornamentation is now gone. It does, however, retain decorative brick work, paired 1/1 windows (some arched), and oriels. (The oriel at the southeastern corner of the structure is three-stories high.) The facade also features brick corbeling and bartizans.
4. Anderson County Courthouse: The third Anderson County Courthouse, this Eclectic style structure was constructed in 1898. Features of this three story building include curvilinear gables, decorative brick work, a central clock tower, arched windows with stone sills, a raised basement, and tile roof.
The courthouse underwent major renovation in 1939. At that time, a tower on its right side was demolished and replaced with a wing identical to the left side.
5. Robert Anderson Fountain: This fountain was erected in 1906 as part of an overall beautification of the courthouse grounds, a project begun in
6. Formerly known as the Bleckley Building, this structure was constructed circa 1894 by Sylvester Bleckley on what was then known as Granite Row. Used for many years by Brown, Osbourne and Company, it is currently occupied by the Fleishman Store. The second story of this brick building features a central arched double window flanked on either side by 1/1 windows. A cornice molding which originally appeared at the top was removed in the early 1900s.
Although architecturally altered, the building is locally significant.
7. National Bank of Anderson: This structure was constructed circa 1883 to house the Anderson National Bank, the first bank organized in Anderson (incorporated circa 1873). Now occupied by Kell-Brooks, this two-story brick Ita1ianate structure features a bracketed cornice and paired arched windows with hoodmoldings. Alterations have been made to both the windows and door on the first
8. Anderson City Hall: This building was constructed in 1898 at a cost of approximately $10,000. Romanesque Revival in style, this structure features a corner tower with pyramidal roof with finials and bartizans. Originally brick, it was enlarged and stuccoed during the mid-1900s. The interior has recently been renovated by the City of Anderson.
9. Old Reformer Brass Cannon: Believed to have been used in the Revolutionary War, it became known as Old Reformer in the Red Shirt Campaign of 1876. Brought to Anderson in 1814, it was placed in its present site during the early 1920s. [Ed. Note: The cannon has been removed to the county museum on Greenville Street.]
10. Confederate Monument: Statue of a Confederate soldier, it was dedicated January 18, 1901. It faces the courthouse and commemorates the Confederate Infantry, Artillery and Navy.
11. Sullivan-King Mortuary: 401 North Main. Built in 1909 as U.S. Post Office with James Knox Taylor as supervising architect. Constructed of brick, it features arched windows, brick pilasters, and a tile roof. Although the interior does retain marble floors and a circular metal staircase, it has been altered for its present use. An addition has been made to the rear.
12. The Carnegie Library Bldg.:
Other buildings within the District are:
15a-15b. 310 South Main Street: Early 20th century, two-story, brick, facade altered. (Ed. Note: Due to a fire, only the Main Street facade still stands.)
16. 308 South Main Street: Early 20th century, two-story, brick, altered. (Ed. Note: Due to a fire, only the Main Street facade still stands.)
17. 304 South Main Street: Circa 1900, two-story, brick, original arched windows altered.
18. Kress Building (300 South Main Street): 1913, two-story, brick 2/2 windows.
19. 117 West Church Street: Early 20th century, two-story, brick paired 1/2 windows with arch. (Ed. Note: No longer standing.)
20. Ideal Pawn Shop (121 West Church Street): Early 20th century two-story, brick, 2/2 windows. (Ed. Note: No longer standing.)
21. Tolly & Son Furniture (123 West Church Street): Early 20th century, one-story, brick parapet, company is one of the oldest businesses in Anderson. (Ed. Note: No longer standing.)
22. 216 South Main Street: Circa 1900, two-story, brick, bracketed cornice with dentil detail, 2/2
23. Gene Anderson's (212 South Main Street): Circa 1900, two-story, brick, facade covered.
24. Sadler's Style Shoppe (202/204 South Main Street): Circa 1900, brick, facade covered.
25. Eleanor Shop (200 South Main Street): Circa 1900, two-story, brick, facade covered.
26. Dickson Ice Cream Company (109 West Benson Street): Early 20th century, two-story, brick.
27. 111/113 West Benson Street: Early 20th century, two-story, brick.
28. Sullivan Hardware Store Side Entrance (115 West Benson Street: 1891, two-story, brick, large arch.
29. 117 West Benson Street: Early 20th century, two-story, brick, facade altered.
The Anderson Downtown Historic District is primarily significant as a well-preserved late 19th/early 20th Century commercial area. The district retains a typical town plan with a courthouse square in its center, as well as numerous good examples of Victorian commercial architecture. in addition, Anderson is significant for its role as both a commercial, governmental, and cultural center for Anderson County.
In 1826, by an act of the Legislature, the Old Pickens District was divided into the judicial districts of Anderson and Pickens. One year later, a commission of five men purchased 130 acres for the formation of
The majority of the early commercial structures were wooden, several of which were destroyed or damaged by fire in 1845. Store buildings and hotels were rebuilt, but it was following the period of Reconstruction that Anderson experienced a period of major construction. beginning in the 1870s and continuing through the turn of the century, many structures were erected. Many of the present downtown buildings date from that period of growth, and are consequently typical of late Victorian architecture.
Following the erection of a Confederate Monument in 1902, the Anderson Civic Association was organized and created a park around the monument. The downtown beautification program which took place in 1904-05, also included the landscaping of the courthouse grounds and the installation of the Robert Anderson Memorial Fountain. This beautification program also included the planting of trees along streets in the area.
Present-day Anderson in many ways resembles its appearance during the early 20th Century. Although new structures have been
Spanning the period between 1872 and the present5 architecture in the district ranges from the Eclectic Sullivan Hardware Store to the modernistic Bailes Building. However, the majority of the structures in Anderson's central business district date from around the turn of the century. Notable structures include the Sullivan Hardware store and Warehouse, the Romanesque Revival Anderson County Courthouse, the Plaza Hotel, the Anderson County Arts Center, and the Sullivan-King Mortuary.
With a trading area extending over South Carolina's Piedmont section and into Georgia, commercial and manufacturing enterprises in Anderson developed rapidly from the time of its founding until the Civil War. Following Reconstruction, Anderson's textile-based commerce and industry once again began to prosper. Growth continued throughout the 19th Century into the 20th, climaxing between 1898 and 1907, with one of the greatest periods of building activity in the town's history. It was during this era of prosperity that a large number of the structures comprising the downtown district were built.
Today Anderson remains a trade center for the county and surrounding area. The Downtown Merchants Association, along with city governmental leaders, is
Since its founding, the business district of Anderson has served as the center of cultural activities for the town. According to tradition, the present Masonic Temple was erected in 1889 on the south side of the Courthouse Square, with Anderson's first opera house located on its second floor. For a number of years, this was the scene of concerts and plays presented by traveling companies. With the advent of moving pictures, 11 theaters began to appear in the city, one of the first being located in the structure at 127 North Main Street. Opening in 1910, it was known as the Electric Theater. Today, Anderson Community Theater productions are held in a building located on the north side of the square.
1987 Anderson Downtown Historic District Expansion
The John C. Calhoun Hotel at 402 N. Main Street (southeast corner of Sharpe Street) in Anderson is an eight-story reinforced concrete building with a brick veneer. It is located adjacent to the Anderson Downtown Historic District (listed in the National Register on February 23, 1979). The district is primarily significant as a well-preserved late nineteenth and early twentieth century commercial area featuring a variety of architectural forms popular during the period. In the
Begun as a local project by the Anderson Community Hotel Corporation in February 1924, and completed the following year, the John C. Calhoun Hotel was designed by James J. Baldwin and Joseph H. Casey, prominent Anderson architects of the period. (1) Fiske-Carter Construction Company, one of South Carolina's largest firms in the 1920's, built the hotel. (2) The John C. Calhoun Hotel played an important role in the development of the downtown business district that served as the governmental, commercial, and cultural center of Anderson County. It was an active hotel for approximately thirty-five years from its construction to the advent of motels in the early 1960's. The building remains as a good and essentially intact example of an early twentieth century hotel.
The Calhoun Hotel is a flat roofed, L-shaped building displaying neoclassical elements. The primary entrance is centrally located on the N. Main Street facade. Three storefront divisions flank the entrance and have undergone some minor alterations. A secondary entrance is located on the Sharpe Street facade. The exterior fabric at street level is concrete scored to simulate stone. The lobby mezzanine level
The lobby and mezzanine area retains integrity, and features a beamed ceiling, plaster ornamentation, a tile floor, marble baseboards, marble and wood wainscoting, and what appear to be early or perhaps original lighting fixtures.
Professional error led to the exclusion of the John C. Calhoun Hotel from the district when the nomination was prepared in 1978. Because the Calhoun Hotel is adjacent to the Anderson Downtown Historic District, the UTM coordinates for the district will not change. A map showing the new boundaries of the district is attached.
Acreage less than 1/2 acre.
— Submitted June 15, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.
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