Lawrence Halprin's Legacy: Main Street, Greenville

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Halprin Tours

Lawrence Halprin's Legacy: Main Street, Greenville

Lawrence Halprin's Legacy: Main Street, Greenville
Oct 08, 2016
Main Street
Greenville, SC
United States

Guide: Dale Westermeier

Westermeier is the Deputy Director of the Greenville Parks & Recreation Department.  

A plan to revitalize Greenville’s Main Street was completed by Lawrence Halprin & Associates in the late 1970s, following years of relocation by commercial businesses to the suburbs. While civic entities largely remained downtown, the linear 5-block stretch was littered with vacant storefronts and thus felt abandoned and neglected. Halprin’s plan was two-fold: lure commercial businesses back downtown, and beautify the neighborhood so that people will want to shop there. To meet both ends, he reduced traffic from four lanes to two, added street parking, widened sidewalks, and initiated a tree plan that has become the character-defining feature of downtown Greenville.

Today’s Main Street is bustling with shoppers, people eating at cafes, and the occasional conference or event crowd. Public art and plazas punctuate the landscape. The main concepts from Halprin’s streetscape plan remain intact, but some details have evolved with the needs and the taste of the users (ie: curbs, signage, planters). Westermeier will identify those features and facilitate a discussion around the challenges that have emerged from the original streetscape design as well as those concepts and features that were instrumental in spurring a successful reinvestment in Main Street.

A highlight of the discussion will focus on Greenville’s robust tree program intended to maintain the healthy tree cover synonymous with downtown’s revitalization. Each tree has been evaluated individually and recommendations have been developed for maintenance or removal. Westermeier will describe the growing systems put in place to maintain healthy trees, and efforts made to retain Halprin’s original design intent.

This tour is part of a larger program intended to celebrate the life and legacy of landscape architect Lawrence Halprin. Learn more about the program and view other tours by returning to the event page for What's Out There Weekend: The Public Landscapes of Lawrence Halprin.

10:00 - 11:00 am
Main Street
206 South Main Street
Greenville, SC 29601
United States