Awarded: Crew Upstate, Development Impact Award, 2018
The Aug. W. Smith Company was a highly regarded local department store in the Upstate of South Carolina for nearly three-quarters of a century. In 1926, the store moved into a new three-story building on East Main Street designed by Lockwood, Greene and Co. of Boston. The plain storefront, rectangular windows, externally expressed structural frame, and selective use of Romanesque ornament were exemplary of early 20th century Commercial Style American architecture.
Abandoned in 2009, the historic structure sat vacant until a local developer and the McMillan Pazdan Smith design team began planning its rebirth as a mixed-use development in 2016. Through the South Carolina Abandoned Buildings Revitalization Act, the site was available for abandoned building tax credits, and the developer received final certification through the Special Assessment for Rehabilitated Historic Property.
Over the decades, the character of the building changed dramatically. Although much of the brick and stone veneer remain, the building’s numerous casement windows had been bricked over and infilled with stucco. Much of the ornamental elements had been removed. Using historical photography, our team restored the building to its original iconic design, removing the stucco, restoring the brick and stone veneer, and recreating the classic window profiles. Inside, the completely renovated structure features four levels along with two new levels added above the existing roof, 45 apartment units, 3,600 SF of ground-level retail space, and 4,200 SF commercial space at the basement level. Ranging from 650 to 1,700 SF, the residential spaces offer a mixture of studio, one- and two-bedroom units, including 14 units with terraces or balconies on the penthouse floor, and a two-story penthouse.
Completed in Fall of 2018 with over 57,000 total square feet, potential commercial tenants include co-working space, a coffee shop, local boutiques, and a campus extension of a local community college.