Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Step One

Belding is half way to putting the Gibson Building and the clock tower into a historic district.

In a 4-1 consensus vote, the council approved the first reading of an amendment to a historic district ordinance that was adopted last year in response to public outcry over Electrolux’s intent to tear down the building, which hits an emotional note with many residents.

beldingsilkmillMembers of the Silk City Preservation Society attended the meeting in matching T-shirts and several spoke about saving the historic brick silk mill section of the property built by Alvah and Hiram Belding in 1901, which is largely hidden by numerous additions.


Bobbi Bieschke of Greenville said demolition plans obtained by the preservation society show that Electrolux plans to leave a fenced-in area dominated by a smoke-stack and concrete slabs where the site’s buildings used to stand; “a big hole that will never generate revenue.”

The second reading will take place at the Aug. 16 meeting. If adopted, a seven-member Historic District Commission would be created to review proposed site work within the eight property district along East Main Street in accordance with state historic preservation guidelines.

That seems to indicate that the fears about Electrolux's plans to tear down and run are true, which would be a shame if it happens. The building now is not the most pleasant site to look at, but a gaping hole with a fence around it in the middle of downtown would be a whole lot worse. Stay tuned.