cultural district

A list of sites included in Uptown Greenwood's proposed cultural district.

Greenwood’s vibrant Uptown corridor has officially been honored by the state for its unique community impact.

On Thursday, the South Carolina Arts Commission announced that the merchant sector earned its designation as a cultural district, becoming the state’s eighth such entity.

Uptown earlier this year was named a Great Place in America by the American Planning Association. Taken together, Mayor Welborn Adams said the achievements reflect the area’s important role.

“This designation recognized the hard work over the last 14 years to implement the City Center Master Plan and grow it into a cultural arts and entertainment hub for our six-county Upper Savannah region,” Adams said.

During the summer, the City Council unanimously approved submitting the application to be considered by the Arts Commission.

The City Council resolution heaps praise on Uptown’s assets and cultural facilities — along with the progress that has been made in bringing the area back from its post-Civil War heyday.

“Uptown Greenwood is the geographical, cultural and historical center of the railroad and mill town in Upstate South Carolina that had its greatest period of growth from 1890 to 1920. Now, roughly a century later, Greenwood has restored many of its commercial buildings to that same period, revitalizing the ‘Uptown’ area into a great public space,” Council’s resolution said.

Anne Craig, director of the Greenwood Arts Center, said being included on the list of cultural districts expands Uptown’s profile across the state.

Officials have identified 25 points of interest — from landmarks such as Inn on the Square and the Sundance Gallery to its restaurants that double as music venues — as part of the district.

A requirement for consideration as a cultural district is local government support through a resolution.

“Along with the City Center Master Plan, the arts and cultural organizations have led the way in the revitalization of Uptown Greenwood, which has become more vibrant with year-round events, programs and festivals. The strong cultural activity and extensive city improvements have been the basis for growth in restaurants, retail and businesses. It is a formula that has worked well for Greenwood,” Craig said.

Contact staff writer Adam Benson at 864-943-5650 or on Twitter @ABensonIJ.