The historic Wilkins House has arrived on its permanent lot, now safe from the wrecking balls of progress. At 800 tons, it is the largest building ever moved in South Carolina – the moving rig contains 176 tires. The building was preserved because of its very distinctive architecture, and will be restored to much of the original design. The move was only a few blocks, but took 8 hours. Here are some other views of the move in progress:
This stairwell is one of the features of the historic Wilkins Mansion. There is a fundraising campaign to be able to move the house to a safe location and away from the wrecking ball. Learn more on the Palmetto Trust for Historic Preservation site.
The Conestee Mill, Dam and the Lake Conestee Nature Park have been added to the National Register of Historic Places. It will be interesting to see the future use of the mill building.
The days are numbered for this historic mansion unless the funds can be raised to relocate the house and protect it from the possibility of future demolition. Anyone can help by donating or pledging an amount. Learn more on the Palmetto Trust for Historic Preservation site.
Here are some photos of the unique architecture from the inside, courtesy of Jason Smit.
The Claussen Bakery building on Augusta Street is currently empty, but offers some possibility for reuse, based on its location and decorative brickwork in front. There is a lookalike Claussen Bakery building in Columbia, SC which has been converted to a historic and upscale Claussen’s Inn. Here’s a closer look at some of the decorative building features:
This octagonal church was commissioned by Vardry McBee (the ‘father of Greenville’) back in 1842 as a place for employees of one of his factories to worship. The thinking behind the design is that there is more usable floor space per square foot than a square design. It is located in Conestee, SC, and is on the National Register of historic places. It is just one of three surviving octagonal churches in the United States from this era.
This grand mansion is designed in the 2nd Empire Style, with the design borrowed from the French era of the reign of Napoleon III and built in 1876. It is located on 1004 Augusta Street, and sits on a parcel of land which a developer would like to use to create an assisted living center. But the house cannot be effectively used in the new role, so it may be torn down. Unlike the house in yesterday’s post, it is not necessary to destroy the house. But since the house is not under any specific historic protection ordinance, it will require some public creativity to save it. Here is a Facebook group to Save the Wilkins Mansion.
For reference, here is a photo of the house in the past:
… but not forgotten. The historic house that had occupied this space at 133 Augusta Street, next to the South Carolina Children’s Theatre has been destroyed as directed in the will of the last owner. Future use of this space will be either an expansion or new building for the South Carolina Children’s Theatre, or a public park space if the SCCT cannot use the space.
The former owner would also want us to remember her brother Peter F Cureton’s service as a B-17 pilot in World War II. If this space becomes a public park, it will also include a memorial to honor Peter’s service.
For reference here is a recent and historical view of the house, originally built by builder Jacob Cagle:
This mill wheel lies unobtrusively by the RiverPlace walkway under the Main Street bridge. It would probably have many stories to tell if it could talk. Several years ago, it was retrieved from the bottom of the Reedy River and moved to this spot. It is thought to be one of the grain grinding wheels from the original Vardry McBee grist mill back in the early 1800’s.