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Hampton-Pinckney Historic District


J.M. Geer House, ca. 1894, 309, Hampton Avenue, Hampton-Pinckney Historic District, Greenville, SC, National Register

Photo: J.M. Geer House, ca. 1894, 309, Hampton Avenue, Hampton-Pinckney Historic District, Greenville, SC. The Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. Photographed by User:Bill Fitzpatrick (own work), 2012, [cc-by-3.0 (creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons, accessed September, 2015.

The Hampton-Pinckney Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977. Portions of the content on this web page were adapted from a copy of the original nomination document. [1] Adaptation copyright © 2008, The Gombach Group.

The Hampton-Pinckney Historic District comprises some forty-seven structures dating primarily from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The district, one of the city of Greenville's oldest existing residential neighborhoods, also contains three church structures.

The historic district includes most of a two block area of Hampton Avenue from Butler to Lloyd Street. All of the structures located on Pinckney Street from Butler to Lloyd, with the exception of a modern office building on the corner of Pinckney and Butler, are included within the district. 213 Butler, which is located on the corner of Pinckney is also included.

Although the area is surrounded by commercial and low income housing, the district is intact with no modern or commercial intrusions. The tree-lined streets still reflect the atmosphere of the early 1900s and shield the district from the surrounding areas. Due to the efforts of the city of Greenville's Community Development Program, each of the houses has recently been brought up to meet housing standards, and a process of area revitalization has begun. The city has designated this area as the Hampton-Pinckney Restoration Area, and a neighborhood association has been formed.

Hampton-Pinckney Historic District is one of the oldest existing residential neighborhoods in Greenville, South Carolina. Architecturally it is representative of various styles and stages in Greenville's development. Historically it is an area in which prominent local community leaders have lived. The area, designated a Restoration Area by the city of Greenville and the recipient of Community Development Funds, is today experiencing a period of revitalization.

Around 1815-1816 Lemuel Alston sold over 11,000 acres of land to Vardry McBee, Sr. From this transaction the area which today comprises the city of Greenville, with the exception of a few lots, became the property of a man who was to play a significant role in the city's development. Called by some the "Father of Greenville," Vardry McBee was involved in all aspects of community life — industry, commerce, agriculture, education, and religion. Before his death McBee sold or donated most of his property. The remainder of the McBee estate passed to his son, W. P. McBee (who lived at 21 Pinckney Street).

The W. P. McBee estate was divided among his four children, Frank Butler McBee (402 Hampton) ,Vardry Echols McBee, Malinda P. Landrum (314 Hampton), and Loula M. Briggs (326 Hampton). They sold the property in lots to create this early subdivision in Greenville.

Architecture: The Hampton-Pinckney Historic District reflects several stages in the architectural growth of Greenville. With the exception of the W. P. McBee House (ca. 1835) development first began on Hampton Avenue around 1890. The introduction of Victorian architecture can be traced from its origin in earlier styles (such as the Greek Revival of the W. P. McBee house) to the development into several vernacular styles (such as the Queen Anne of the Geer House and the Italianate of the F. B. McBee house). The second stage of development on Hampton Avenue occurred from 1900 to 1910. Eclectic architecture was dominant then and is exemplified in the Prairie style of the Gallivan and Briggs houses and the Neo-Georgian style of the Landrum House (remodeled in 1910).

Development on Pinckney Street did not begin until after 1902 and its major period of growth occurred from 1904 to 1915. Eclectic architecture again being in vogue, new building materials were incorporated such as red and tan bricks, and red tile roofs. Traditional architectural features such as 2/2 windows, delicate porches, and gabled roofs were replaced with multi-paned windows, wide porches with coupled columns, porte cocheres, hipped roofs, and shed dormers. Architectural development on Pinckney Street continued through the mid 1940s with the introduction of the Bungalow and Neo-Classical Revival styles.

Equally significant are the interiors of the houses. Many of them have remained intact and house such features as mahogany woodwork, gas chandeliers, stained and beveled glass, and porcelain bathroom fixtures.

Education/Religion/Black History: There are three churches located in the historic district: Central Baptist (1904), Bible Presbyterian (1919), and Matoon Church (1887).

Matoon Church is the oldest remaining black church building in Greenville. Organized in 1878 the church structure was erected in 1887 and is still in use today. The ground floor of the church was originally used to house a parochial school, grades 1-9. According to community leaders, the school at Matoon Church played a significant role in the cultural life of blacks in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Around 1929 the Board of Missions discontinued the program. Today a children's day care center operates here.

Politics/Government: The influence of those who lived in the Hampton-Pinckney Historic District on the politics and government of Greenville was evident from the time of Vardry McBee, Sr. through the 1920s. Heyward Mahon (309 Hampton Avenue) and Henry Briggs (326 Hampton Avenue) both served as mayor of Greenville during the early 1900s. T. Q. Donaldson who owned property in the area served as state senator from 1872-1876.

References

Reynolds, Emily, and Joan Faunt. Biographical Directory of the Senate of the State of South Carolina, Columbia, S. C.: South Carolina Archives Department, 1964

WPA. South Carolina: A Guide to the Palmetto State. 5th ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 1963.

Interviews with past and present residents of the Hampton-Pinckney Area. Conducted by Furman University students under the direction of Dr. Tom Shey, 1975.

Deeds of the properties in the area. Greenville County Courthouse.

  1. Graham, Georgianna, S.C. Department of Archives and History, Hamilton-Pinckney Historic District, nomination document, 1976, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.

Hampton-Pinckney Historic District Map

Street Names
Briggs Lane • Hampton Street • Pinckney Street

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