Uptown Greenwood: Daring to dream more
Saturday, July 20, 2013 8:00 PM
Uptown Greenwood continues to grow and flourish. It has become a destination point for business, food, beverage, arts and entertainment. The city's center is, in short, Point Central for Greenwood County. And beyond.
So, what might Uptown look like sometime down the road? Hard to say, of course, but a few thoughts come to mind.
Following the successful closing of Main Street for the Festival of Discovery and Greenwood Blues Cruise, is it out of the realm of possibility to imagine that on a more permanent basis? Traffic that does not need to cut through the city's center could be rerouted, roadways changed to accommodate the added traffic flow. Those destined for Uptown could be given access to parking behind Main Street. A low-level parking deck? Why not? There is certainly room for one where the expansive municipal parking lot is now. Underground access? Why not? Imagine if a tram or something similar were employed to ferry people to and from parking.
In such a scenario, what would happen to Main Street? Simple. The widest Main Street in America could have a central green space. Maybe that green space could include an amphitheater where the Live After Five concerts and other events could be staged.
JUST IMAGINE HOW SUCH A green space could and would complement the Festival of Flowers topiary display. Done correctly, Main Street and the green space could still work well to accommodate the Festival of Discovery cooking teams.
Sounds far-fetched, perhaps, but is it really? Consider what is happening already with some of the Uptown structures. There are two nice condo units above the old Barksdale Building that houses several retail stores on the ground floor. The Grier Building already has one floor converted into a condo. Word is, more to come. The Textile Building? That has great potential for additional living space, combined with retail outlets.
In short, Greenwood's central point could well become a place where residents not only work, shop, dine and find entertainment, but also live year-round. Everything could be within walking distance for those living here and easily accessed by those coming Uptown to enjoy its many offerings.ONE DAY, PERHAPS NOT TOO long from now, Uptown could be the host of far more events. We already roll from the Festival of Flowers into the Festival of Discovery here, so why not a fall festival that brings everyone Uptown? Live After Five and other concert series could be a year-round activity. Greenwood Community Theatre could take a show to an outdoor stage. The Arts Council could put on an Art in the Park event. Uptown restaurants could host a Taste of Greenwood, complete with a wine and beer tasting hosted by Flynn's and others. The Greenwood Chamber's annual wine walk could take on a new look and feel.
This might be the stuff dreams are made of, but then again, the Center City Master Plan that has given us what we already have started out as a dream and became an incredibly successful reality. Options for Uptown Greenwood are boundless. The growth and development are not coming to a standstill, unless we allow or cause it.
Whiting is executive editor of the Index-Journal. Contact him at 943-2522; email firstname.lastname@example.org ,or follow him on Twitter at IJEDITOR. Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only and do not represent the newspaper's opinion.