Monthly Archives

April 2008

Belton Depot Wins Preservation Award

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The Palmetto Trust for Historic Preservation presented the 2008 Heritage Tourism Award to the Belton Area Museum Association, Anderson County, and the Belton Area Partnership for their restoration of the Belton Train Depot in upstate South Carolina. The recognition was made at the opening session of the Landmark and Preservation Conference in Greenville.

Renovations designed by Craig Gaulden Davis and completed in 2006 restored the almost century-old structure, which had been a museum and venue for bluegrass music for a number of years. The building now has new hardwood flooring, an HVAC system that meets museum standards, handicap accessibility, repaired and newly painted walls, and updated plumbing and electrical systems.

The Depot houses the Ruth Drake Museum, the South Carolina Tennis Hall of Fame, and an exhibition gallery and performance space. It is open Wednesdays through Saturdays from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. For more information, contact Director Shirah Heller, 864-338-7400 or visit the Depot’s webpage.

Greenwood Library Reuses Existing Grocery Store

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A site that once provided Greenwood, South Carolina residents with nourishment for their bodies will now do the same for their minds. The brain food will be available at the new Greenwood County Library, built on the site of the old the Main Street Winn-Dixie. In 2009 visitors will be able to check out books and DVD’s where they once bought groceries.

The old grocery store was chosen with a vision in mind. Its reuse is one of many features that will allow the project to earn basic LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. LEED, a program of the US Green Building Council, is the best known standard for measuring and encouraging design and engineering that has a less harmful impact on the environment.

LEED certification has become a more common objective with colleges and public institutions, but Greenwood has the chance to become South Carolina’s first green-certified public library. Besides the reuse of the Winn-Dixie lot, several other factors were taken into consideration in the design of Greenwood’s new library.

While the parking lot may look like a regular parking lot, it will have reserved parking spaces for employees and visitors who car pool or drive energy efficient vehicles. Urinals and lavatories will use only use half a gallon of water with each flush. Thanks to more efficient mechanical and electrical equipment, and details of the building’s design, the new library is expected to consume 12-14 percent less energy than one designed to meet today’s building codes. And builders will be using materials made with recycled content and acquired regionally.

In addition, Prudence Taylor, the library director, and her staff are pursuing the LEED Innovation and Design credit for Education. The library will offer LEED tours of the completed facility, signage that describes specific sustainable features found in the building, feature book displays and programs on sustainable design and living.

Building an environmentally-friendly building is about participation from everyone who’s involved; the owner, the occupants, the designers and the contractors, says Mary Pat Crozier, an architect serving as CGD’s sustainable design consultant for the project. But at the end of the day, visitors may be able to take home more from the experience than the items they checked out.

This article based on stories provided by Mary Pat Crozier, AIA, and Ann Para

Kirk Robins Craig 1929 – 2008

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Kirk Robins Craig, FAIA, whose work as an architect changed the face of Greenville and the practice of architecture in South Carolina, died Saturday, March 29, after an extended illness. He was 78.

In a career that spanned nearly 50 years, Mr. Craig and the firm he founded with Clemson friend and classmate Earle Gaulden were responsible for the design of hundreds of private and public buildings, including the Greenville County Museum of Art and the Peace Center for the Performing Arts.

Throughout that career, Mr. Craig was known as much for his gracious manner as for his keen eye for design. Despite his extraordinary talent, Kirk welcomed everyone to the table, recalls Tom Ventulett, who as managing principal of Atlanta architectural firm TVSA collaborated with Craig Gaulden Davis on the Greenville Commons Hyatt Regency and the University of Georgia Performing Arts Center. He was as much a gentleman as an architect. It allowed him to do some wonderful things.

Mr. Craig was born in Greenville to Stonewall Jackson Craig and Nancy Goudelock Craig on New Year’s Eve 1929. After graduating from Greenville High School, he entered the architecture program at Clemson University and after graduating in 1951, served as a First Lieutenant with the 84th Construction Engineers, Army Corps of Engineers in Korea. When he returned from Korea in 1953, Mr. Craig returned to school, earning a second bachelors degree from Cornell University by 1954. Over the next two years, he would travel extensively in Italy and France and work briefly at firms in New York, Atlanta and Greenville. But in 1956, now a licensed architect, he went back to school, and in 1957 earned a Master in Architecture degree from Harvard School of Design.

When Mr. Craig returned to South Carolina, he and Gaulden launched their partnership. Among their first projects were small churches and residences. To make ends meet, Mr. Craig taught part-time at Clemson, a practice he would continue in some way for most of his career. One of his first students was Bill Davis, who joined his mentor in the firm that would eventually become Craig Gaulden & Davis. The firm, which celebrated its fiftieth anniversary last October, counts private homeowners, churches, schools, libraries, universities and governments across the southeast among its clients.

During his architectural career, Mr. Craig served as president of the Greenville Council of Architects, the South Carolina Chapter of the American Institute of Architects and the Clemson Architectural Foundation. In 1986, he was elevated to the AIA’s College of Fellows. In 1996, the South Carolina Chapter awarded him their Medal of Distinction, and in 2000, the Greenville Section of the AIA named the Greenville County Art Museum, Greenville Commons, and Peace Center among the five most important buildings in Greenville. Clemson University followed in 2001 by naming Mr. Craig an Alumni Fellow.

Earle Gaulden is convinced that neither ethical standards or the quality of design in South Carolina would have been as high without him. “Kirk had an important influence on the practice of architecture in this state.”

Sidney Stubbs, FAIA, of Mt. Pleasant, thinks of Mr. Craig as the consummate architect. Architects, clients and others admired him for his extraordinary balance of skill, values, and accomplishments. “He was a skilled designer, a teacher, and freely gave his time and talents to further the profession through the AIA. He was a gentleman and my friend.”

Edward T. Zeigler, Jr, AIA, now President of Craig Gaulden Davis remembers Mr. Craig as a gifted teacher who brought out the best in everyone. “He taught us graciousness toward clients, and had a calming influence on everyone. He was really fun to be around and always had a twinkle in his eye. The quality of his design ability continues to inspire us.”