Greenville in Greenville County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
Reedy River Historic Park
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.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Agriculture • Notable Buildings. A significant historical year for this entry is 1910.
Location. 34° 50.713′ N, 82° 24.081′ W. Marker is in Greenville, South Carolina, in Greenville County. Marker is located in Historic Falls Park. Upon entering the park, take the stairs down to the bridge level. Take the elevator Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Greenville SC 29601, United States of America. Touch for directions.
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 distance of this marker); Welcome to Falls Park (within shouting distance of this marker); Liberty Bridge (within shouting distance of this marker); Paul Ellis, III Overlook (within shouting distance of this marker); McBee's Mills (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Liberty Bridge (within shouting distance of this marker); Reedy River Falls (within shouting distance of this marker); Hunting Grounds to Mill Town (within shouting distance of this marker); The Reedy River (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map 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 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.)
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 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
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 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
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 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
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. 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
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 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
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 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
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 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
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 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.
— Submitted February 28, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on June 7, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 1,963 times since then and 139 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on February 27, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13. submitted on February 28, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. 14. submitted on May 1, 2010, by Richard Denney of Austin, Texas. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.