DOWNTOWN – ANDERSON SC: A mixture of old and new.
SUMMARY: DOWNTOWN ANDERSON SC: A friendly southern city (about 27,000) that has capitalized on its rich history to create a destination point filled with interesting landmarks, charming restaurants (some featuring evening entertainment) and a mixture of shopping experiences. Recent restorations and conversions of the historic Calhoun and Chiquola hotels into luxury apartments, lofts and/or condominiums has also made the downtown area an attractive place for comfortable, convenient “Downtown Living.”
At the bottom of this webpage you will find DOWNTOWN ANDERSON features and photos presented in the following major categories:
►► I.) A HISTORIC PLACE TO VISIT, LIVE AND ENJOY
►► II.) THINGS TO DO IN DOWNTOWN ANDERSON
►► III.) FOOD AND ENTERTAINMENT
►► IV.) SHOPPING
ARTICLE: DOWNTOWN ANDERSON, SC – The City of Anderson began its history with Incorporation in 1833. Its early agricultural base saw cotton become the cash crop of the area. Anderson then found its place in the Industrial Revolution with the introduction of the first long distance transmission of hydroelectric power and continuous supply of electricity. This innovation brought numerous textiles mills into the county. And that development of power transmission by William C. Whitner earned the city its lasting nicknamed of “Electric City.”
Industrial growth and Anderson’s position as the County Seat, helped to make Anderson the commercial center for the area. A number of new businesses and downtown buildings sprang up during the growth period of the late 19th/early 20th century. And the downtown remained the strong economic center for a number of years.
In 1972, the Mall of Anderson opened. Belks and Sears department stores left the downtown area to become anchor stores in the mall. The years following saw gradual declines in downtown business activity. Appreciating the city’s history and wanting to capitalize on it, 1978 saw the City of Anderson petition to have a number of blocks along Main Street between Tribble Street to Market Street placed on the National Register of Historic places. The application inventoried over 100 commercial and residential buildings of historical importance.
The 1980’s and 90’s saw more emphasis placed on the re-inventing the downtown area. And in the mid 1980’s the City of Anderson created a refurbished and expanded municipal complex on S Main St. to better service the needs of an increasing population. And in the early 1990’s a new Anderson County courthouse was built build across from the old courthouse.
In a “1992 Downtown Vision Process” set the stage for revitalization of the downtown area. Streetscape improvements were implemented; Greenspace directions were set and a number of buildings in the Downtown Historic District saw renovations and new tenants. It sparked a downtown transformation which is still underway.
The efforts of the 1990’s were nationally recognized when in 2000, The National Civic League selected the City of Anderson to received one of its annual “All-America City” awards. That recognition helped to promote a greater national awareness of Anderson as well as increased area pride and interest in the downtown community.
Since 2000, the downtown area has seen major restorations of two downtown historic hotels. The Chiquola (circa 1888) which is located next to the Courthouse was converted into 18 luxury condos and the Calhoun Hotel (circa 1925) which was converted into 42 luxury downtown apartments. Additionally, downtown buildings have been renovated to create The Bleckley Inn, an 18 room Inn (with an 8 room expansion underway) featuring convenience and comforts in a historic setting.
New Greenspace has added to the attractiveness and functionality of downtown. 2007 saw the addition of Generator Park which highlights Anderson’s nickname as the “Electric City”; and in September 2013, the completion of “Carolina Wren Park” (just north of the old Courthouse) will create an attractive outdoor amphitheater well suited for quiet walks, community meetings and/or entertainment venues.
Adding to the exciting changes in downtown Anderson is a mid-2013 decision by Anderson University to acquire the lower level of the Chiquola for use as a multipurpose center for the “study, practic and celebration of the arts and entrepreneurship”. By fall of 2014 tenative plans for the new space includes the creation of graphic design studios and a place for part of a Center for the Advancement of Entreprenurship.
And on the entertainment side, if you enjoy music, dancing and visiting with friends in an outdoor setting, head to downtown Anderson and enjoy the free Downtown Block Party that is held each Thursday evening at 6:00 pm for about 30 weeks of the year. Different bands are brought in for an evening’s entertainment. Presently it is held in front of the new Courthouse, but it will soon be moved to the new City of Anderson Greenspace Park once that park is completed. If you prefer to be close to the band and the dancing area, take your chairs and set up early. It is not uncommon to have 1000+ in the audience. And you can enjoy a nice meal before of after the music in any one of the nice variety of downtown restaurants that are available in Downtown Anderson.
Much has been done in downtown Anderson to make it more comfortable and appealing to area residents and visitors. The changes are exciting, but the downtown area revitalization project is still an on-going process. With each new building renovation and/or new business that moves into the downtown area, another link is added to making Downtown Anderson a place to be proud of, enjoyed and a more attractive destination point for the Upstate residents and visitors.
For more detailed information on Downtown Anderson, you may visit the following City of Anderson websites/webpages:
►► I.) DOWNTOWN ANDERSON – A HISTORIC PLACE TO VISIT, LIVE AND ENJOY
The past 10 years has seen building restorations that have made Downtown Anderson a convenient and fun place to live and visit. Luxury apartments, condos and now a 26 room inn are now available with all the modern comforts in a historic setting.
►The Calhoun, 402 N. Main St. – 42 downtown luxury Apartments and Lofts – www.thecalhoun.com
►The Chiquola, 100 W. Whitner St. – 18 downtown luxury condos –all sold.
History of The Chiquola
►The Bleckley Inn, 151 E. Church St – Boutique Hotel & Event Venue in renovated historic building. – Bleckley Inn Website
►► II.) DOWNTOWN ANDERSON – THINGS TO DO IN DOWNTOWN ANDERSON
Below is a sampling of some of the available Downtown Anderson activities. The Convention and Visitors Bureau is a great place to start as they have a number of flyers and information on Downtown Anderson as well as the surrounding area. And while you are there, you should visit the Anderson Arts Warehouse which is a restored historic building featuring artworks and a nice sales shop.
►Anderson Convention and Visitors Bureau, 110 W Federal St #8 – Downtown and area Brochures – While there you might want to pick up brochures entitled “A little Birdie Told Me” and “A Stroll Downtown.” They give you a view of the historic and downtown points of interest. – www.VisitAnderson.com
►Anderson Arts Warehouse, 110 Federal St. – wwwAndersonArts.org
►Anderson Downtown Tour – Printable – “A Stroll Downtown” Self Guided Historic Walking Tour – Downtown Anderson Walking Tour
►Anderson Museum, 202 E. Greenville St. – AndersonCountyMuseum.org
►Bliss Salon, Inc., 418 N. Main St. – Full Hair Services – Women and Men. – http://www.blisssalononmain.com
►Block Party – Main and Whitner St.- Courthouse Free music and dancing – Thurs 6 to 9 pm – www.DowntownAnderson.com
►Chez La Rouge Salon, 307 S. Main St. – Chez La Rouge Facebook page
►Electric City Playhouse, 514 N. Murray St. – Alternate theater – typically 6 productions per year. -www.ECPlayhouse.com
►Farmers Market – 402 N. Murray Ave. – Fresh fruits, vegetables, crafts, bake goods and more. – Open June to Thanksgiving – Tues 5 to 8 pm, Thurs 9 to 1 pm, and Sat 9 am. – Anderson County Farmers Market
►Generator Park, Corner of McDuffie and Whitner Sts. – Memorial to “Electric City” name.
►Greenspace Park, 130 E. Whitner St. – Amphitheater & park area – Anderson City Greenspace Park
►Horse Drawn Carriage Rides, downtown Block Party events – call 864-933-4751 for info
►Palmetto Moonshine, 200 West Benson St. – See SC’s First Legal Moonshine micro-distillery – Permitted in 2011 – www.PalmettoMoonshine.com
►The Spa at Lilia, 116 E. Benson St. – Spa and Fitness Center – www.liliadayspa.com
►► III.) DOWNTOWN ANDERSON – FOOD AND ENTERTAINMENT
Downtown Anderson offers a nice variety of locations for dining and some offer weekend live entertainment. The following is a sampling of restaurants all within walking distance of the Courthouse.
►Bombay Club, 134 N. Main St. – American menu – www.BombayClub.net
►Downtown Brick’s Bar and Grill, 121 N. Main St. – Pizza, Calzones, Burgers, Sandwiches ,Pastas, Steak and Seafood – BricksDowntown.com
►Doolittles, 112 N. Main St. – Sandwiches Steaks Seafood; visit their website for full menu – DoolittlesRestaurant.com
►Figs Beanery and Creamery LLC, 200 N. Main St. – Coffee, Ice Cream and Sandwich shopFigs Facebook Page
►Johnny Angells Bar, 126 N. Main St. – Limited hours and menu, visiting bands –
Johnny Angells Facebook Page
►J. Peters, 202 S. Main St., sandwiches, steaks, seafood - www.JPetersGrill.net
►McGee’s Irish Pub and Restaurant – 116 W. Orr St. – Celtic Classics/Signature Entrees -McGees Irish Pub website
►Mellow Mushroom, 305 S. Main St – pizza, hoagies, calzones, salads – www.MellowMushroom.com – Anderson
►Sullivans Metropolitan Grill, 208 S. Main St. – full selection lunch & dinner menu – sullivansmetrogrill.com
►Summa Joes Searing Pans and Pizza, 127 N. Main St. – Lunch and Dinner Tue-Sat – SummaJoes.com
►The Fox at Anderson, 312 S Main St. – A Traditional British restaurant and pub –
The Fox website
►The Meeting Place – 124 W. Whitner St. – serving Anderson for over 50 years – breakfast, meat and three – 7:30am – 2:00 pm M-S, 11 am-2:00 pm Sun. No Website
►Viva il Vino, 110 E. Church St. – Wines and appetizer bar. Limited hours Opens 3PM Wed-Sat. Viva il Vino Facebook Page
►Xilantros Latin Grill, 125 N. Main St., Latin Classic Lunch and Dinner menu –
The City of Anderson Website includes a more complete list of the greater downtown area restaurants. Visit their webpage at www.DowntownAnderson.com/restaurants
►► IV.) DOWNTOWN ANDERSON – SHOPPING
Whether you are staying in Downtown Anderson or just visiting, here are a few of the varied shopping experiences that you can enjoy. And if while you a visiting the downtown area you should need any professional services, downtown Anderson as the County seat includes a number of quality law firms and investment services.
►Apple Dumplin’ Antique Mall, 500 N. Main St. – 14,000 sq, ft. with 70 booths featuring furniture, china, glassware , bottles, quilt, jewelry, art works and more. -www.appledumplinantiques.com/
►Blake and Brady, 140 N. Main St. – Women’s styles in a boutique atmosphere –
►Cahaly’s Custom Clothing, 208 S. Main St. – Men’s Clothing and Accessories.
►eyeZinga, 111 N. Main St. – Full optical services from eye exams, to fitted custom glasses. – eyeZinga.com
►Gallery 313, 305 N. Main St. – Custom Framing, Arts & Gifts – www.Gallery313
►Kitchen Emporium and Gifts, 311 N Main St – KitchenEMporiumandGifts webpage
►Merle Norman Cosmetic Studio, 501 N. Main St. – Merle Norman Anderson webpage
►Phil Jewelers, 116 N. Main St – PhilJewelers.com
►Pixel Point, 109 Sharpe St. – Artesian Gallery and More – PixelPointGraphics.com
►Reborn Relics, Antiques and Restoration, 507 N. Main St. – Antiques, Restorations and misc. services. -RemantsAntiques.com
►Remnants, Antiques, Gifts and Thrift Shop, 300 S. Main – an eclectic mall of dealers retailing antiques, furnishings, giftware and art. About 6000 sq. feet with 45+ vendors. RemantsAntiques.com
►The Cabernet Canvas, 402 S. Main St. – Entertainment Studio – The Cabernet Canvas
Hopefully you have found this webpage helpful in allowing you to better appreciate all that Downtown Anderson has to offer. But there is no substitute for visiting and walking the downtown area and enjoying the shops and various downtown attractions. Whether you have a day or just an hour, you will be able to find something to capture your interests in Downtown Anderson.
Last update: June, 2013
Other Neighborhood Previews Resources
- ANDERSON ARTS CENTER, Anderson, SC
- ANDERSON COUNTY, SC – Popular recreation, renewed growth
- ANDERSON COUNTY GOVERNMENT, Anderson SC
- ANDERSON COUNTY LIBRARY SYSTEM, Anderson SC
- ANDERSON COUNTY MUSEUM, Anderson SC
- ANDERSON COUNTY SPORTS AND ENTERTAINMENT/CIVIC CENTER, Anderson SC
- Anderson, SC – DARWIN WRIGHT PARK
- Anderson, SC – DOWNTOWN, a fun place to visit and live.
- Anderson, SC – Carolina Wren Park
- Anderson, SC – LINLEY PARK
- ANDERSON MALL, Anderson, SC
- ANDERSON RECREATION CENTER, Anderson, SC
- ANDERSON UNIVERSITY, Anderson, SC
- Search NP.com featured neighborhoods