Former mill village undergoes Renaissance

By Debbie Dalhouse

glendale shoals, photo by Lindsey MooreThe one-time mill village of Glendale in Spartanburg County is experiencing a renaissance through the SC Design Arts Partnership.

A series of community visioning exercises, called charettes, led to formation of a new Glendale Outdoor Leadership School, restoration of the former mill office as headquarters for a new environmental studies program for kindergarten through college students, planning for a five-mile “blueway” along Lawson’s Fork Creek and the Pacolet River, and development of a half-mile “greenway” with hiking trails.

“The design charettes demonstrated not what is, but what can be,” said B.G. Stephens, a Glendale community leader who participated in the partnership’s SC Mayors Institute for Community Design.

The strength of the partnership lies in building community collaborations. The latest charette was conducted by the American Institute of Architects and facilitated by Bob Bainbridge, a Clemson University planning expert. The Mary Black Foundation is funding Outdoor Leadership School programs; Wofford College is leading the environmental studies program; and the Palmetto Conservation Foundation is developing the greenway. The SC Design Arts Partnership is directed by the Clemson Institute for Economic and Community Development in collaboration with the SC Arts Commission and Clemson’s College of Architecture, Arts, and Humanities.

For more information: Lindsey Moore, 803-734-8622, or