Slobot About Town L:

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Buildings of Yore.

The Union Depot was built in 1904.

In 1973 2/3rds of the original Union Depot was demolished. The remaining 1/3rd stands to this day.

The Gresham Hotel was built in 1910 at the corner of N. Daniel Morgan Avenue and Magnolia Street, conveniently close to the Union Depot. At 7 stories it was the tallest wooden-framed building in Spartanburg. It had 100 rooms, 70% of which had private baths. In its later years it was known as the Morgan Hotel.

It was razed in 1986.

The Cleveland Hotel was built in 1915 on property belonging to John B. Cleveland.

It would open in 1917 and would be demolished in 1992.

The Hotel Franklin was the result of the expansion of the Finch Hotel which faced Liberty Street. The Finch Hotel was originally built in 1914. In the 1920s the Finch would expand in a L-shaped fashion and create a new entrance on Main Street.

Shortly thereafter ownership of the Finch changed and the hotel would became known as the Hotel Franklin. When Betty Grable came to Camp Croft during WWII she stayed at the Hotel Franklin. The Liberty Street portion of the hotel would be demolished in the 1960s. The Hotel Franklin would eventually be demolished in 1988 to make way for the Spartan Food tower.

Some of the windows of the old Finch/Franklin live on...

in the Broadwalk building on Broad Street.

The Chapman Building was built in 1912 by a New York businessman with the surname of Chapman. A classic example of the Chicago style of architecture, it was designed by Julius Harder of New York and was Spartanburg's first skyscraper. In 1922 the Chapman Building was sold to Isaac Andrews and A. M. Law and then renamed the Andrews-Law Building. In 1926, Andrews bought out Law and the building became known as the Andrews Building. 8 stories tall, the first floor was initially occupied by a ladies' store called the "Quality Shop." In the 1920s the Central National Bank moved into the first floor. During the Depression of 1929/1930 the bank had to close though, later, the Commercial National Bank moved into the same location. As the Schuyler Building, the Archibald Rutledge Building and the Montgomery Building were built the Andrews Building found its stature on the Spartanburg skyline diminished. The final, and sole occupant, of the Andrews Building was the First National Bank. In 1977 it was decided that the building would be razed to make way for a new $30 million development known as Spartan Square. Demolition was scheduled for 8 am on Sunday October 09, 1977.

On October 8th a demolition crew working for Big Chief Contractors and Thompkins and Co. of Oklahoma City worked to ready the building for implosion. The Andrews Building was structurally weakened by the demolition company to ease demolition. Of the 42 columns supporting the building, all but 7 had been cut or partially cut by Big Chief.

The stability of the building, however, was overestimated and at 11:30 am on Saturday October 08, 1977 the Andrews Building suddenly collapsed. A large section of the building fell off the top of the building at first. The rear portion then gave way and then the front began to crumble. 10 seconds later the building had been reduced to a 40-foot pile of rubble.

Killed in the collapse were James A. Gillespie, 53, a City of Spartanburg project liaison officer, Jack Deutsch, 48, Big Chief project foreman, Dennis Collins, 23, a Big Chief construction employee, J. F. Russell, 48, explosives demolition worker with Tompkins and Co. of Oklahoma City, and Fred Parris, 61, construction worker. The sole survivor of the disaster was Joe Durham of Drayton. The last words of Jack Deutsch were reportedly, "Lord, God, it's falling." Fred F. Parris rests in eternal peace in the Holly Springs Baptist Church Cemetery.

James A. Gillespie was laid to rest in Greenlawn Memorial Gardens.

Today the site of the former Andrews Building is occupied by Extended Stay America.

At the corner of Church and Crescent Streets one can find El Bethel United Methodist Church.

El Bethel is known as the "One Day Church" because its original structure was built over the course of a single day, May 1st, 1912.

In the 1950s the former structure was replaced by a modern brick building.

The Duncan Building once stood at the corner of Magnolia and East Main. In 1905, the True's Department Store was opened in the Duncan Building.

True's is said to have had the first elevator in Spartanburg.

On December 02, 1880 the Spartanburg City Council purchased a $966.02 clock from the Seth Thomas Clock Company to install in its first city hall. The city hall was completed late in 1880 at a cost of $8,900. The city hall held city offices, a guardhouse and a post office on its ground floor and a 700-seat theatre on its second. The building, in time, would come be known as "The Opera House" for its second floor theatre. Perched atop the Opera House's tower was the Seth Thomas clock and, below it, a 1,200-pound bell that sounded the hour and the alarm in the event of a fire.

In 1906 the Opera House was sold. It would be demolished in 1907. In 1928 the Masonic Temple would be built on the site.

Luckily the clock and bell were transferred to Spartanburg's Fourth County Courthouse, which had been built on Magnolia Street in 1891. It was designed in a Romanesque style by Godfrey Norman. Behind Slobot's head stands the Spartanburg's fifth, and current, courthouse (built in 1957).

The Fourth County Courthouse would be demolished in 1958. The clock and bell would be mothballed for the next two decades.

As 1976 approached Spartanburg's Bicentennial Committee began discussing the resurrection of the old clock and bell. A bell tower was constructed to hold the clock and the bell and, by 1979, the bell was again sounding the hour. In 1989 the clock tower, which had been the centerpiece of the ill-fated downtown pedestrian mall, was relocated to its current position in order to open downtown once more to traffic.

It continues to chime the time in downtown Spartanburg.