Spirit Driven

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Kim & her Administrative Professionals’ Day arrangement

Today is Administrative Professionals’ Day. Given her depth of knowledge on office history and goings-ons, ability to keep us all on track and the office running smoothly, skill to simultaneously manage a range of tasks from drafting proposals to pleasantly greeting visitors and phone callers, it seems inadequate to simply refer to Kim Poole as our in-office administrative professional. She does it all and will even pause to discuss rare vinyl finds and vintage roadsters. In fact, it was an affinity for timeless sportscars that played a role in Kim’s hiring at CGD 32 years ago. Kim recalls it all below, in her own words:

“Kirk Robins Craig was born on New Year’s Eve 1929 in Greenville, South Carolina.  He passed away on March 29, 2007.  Prior to establishing Craig and Gaulden Architects in 1957 with his Clemson classmate Earle Gaulden, he traveled extensively in Italy and France.  It was on one of those travels abroad that he took possession of a 1955 Austin Healey 100.  He drove it all over Europe before relinquishing it for an overseas voyage to the US in a shipping crate.

I learned about the car on the day I interviewed for what has now become my 32 year journey with Craig Gaulden Davis.  Education and past employment aside, I included a ‘hobby” on my resume that read, ‘Enjoy tinkering with sportscars.’  Following the formalities of the initial dialogue, our conversation turned to our mutual fascination for open top roadsters.  Probably the only time in history that arriving for a job interview in a 1973 Alfa Romeo Spider helped cinch employment!

Kirk and I enjoyed sharing many automotive stories over the years. The ’73 Alfa is no longer a resident of my garage, but I know that Kirk would be thrilled that his Austin Healey is being painstakingly restored piece by piece by a good friend, who reports, “It is totally disassembled, in primer and waiting for welding on rust repair.”  I am granted garage visiting privileges and hopeful for an opportunity to run Kirk’s Healey through the gears when the restoration is complete, accompanied by his red scarf.”

The April 2017 Newsletter

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Greenville County Museum of Art and Art School, Cultural ArchitectureOur April newsletter features a look back and forward to CGD’s impact on downtown Greenville’s cultural corridor, this past month’s A4LE conference, and a little office recreation. You can read it and sign up to receive it straight to your inbox once a month here.


Community & Culture – Then & Now

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Greenville Little Theatre


Hughes Main Library, Greenville County Library System, Interior Design

Hughes Main Library

Museum and Gallery at Heritage Green, Bob Jones University, Cultural

Museum and Gallery at Heritage Green

From the onset, Kirk Craig and Earle Gaulden envisioned their firm as one at the forefront of design innovation and cultural impact. Sixty years later, the impact of such foresight is evident in Greenville and across the Southeast.

Though this vision was intended to be applied regionally, its greatest enactment has arguably landed locally on Greenville’s Heritage Green. Over five decades, CGD has led the effort in creating a cultural pocket at the northwest extents of Greenville’s lauded downtown. The design of the Greenville County Museum of Art, Greenville Little Theatre, Hughes Main Library, and the renovation of the Bob Jones Museum & Gallery affirm CGD’s enduring and comprehensive expertise in the field of community and cultural design.

Today, construction of the CGD-designed South Carolina Children’s Theatre is imminent, expanding a cultural corridor running from the Heritage Green, down Main Street to the Peace Center, and now into the West End. Concurrently, CGD’s regional impact persists as work on the initial design phase of the Columbia County (GA) Performing Arts Center nears completion. The 2,000 seat performing arts center will serve as a bedrock and focal point of the Evans, GA downtown.

CGD Completes Three Fulton County Libraries

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In association with Stanley, Love-Stanley, P.C., Smith Dalia Architects, and McAfee3, CGD has completed and celebrated the opening of three new libraries in Fulton County, Georgia over the past year and a half. The libraries, Metropolitan Branch, Southeast Atlanta Branch, and South Fulton Branch, have combined for numerous design awards. Each branch sits on a unique site and serves a distinctive neighborhood, thus an individual design approach was taken to all three.

The Metropolitan Branch (pictured) provides ample outdoor public grounds to support library programs and community events. Four freestanding Doric columns that once supported a church portico formerly on the site give the outdoor space a subtle boundary and function as dramatic and highly visible place markers. A transparent and contemporary exterior draws patrons in from the outdoor space to the light and playful interior space.

The Southeast Branch has a colorful interior scheme that activates the space. Ceiling clouds and floor material changes designate and get a cozy feel to what would otherwise be reading areas lost in the middle of open floor space. Large glass panels separating meeting rooms from the large circulation area provide acoustic privacy while maintaining an open feel throughout the space. Outside, organized simple geometric forms of varying materials give the overall edifice an appropriately playful yet bookish feel.

The South Fulton Branch is on a site where extensive efforts were made to preserve a ‘wooded backyard’. Design efforts focused on the dense area of trees on the site; a long, curved floor to ceiling storefront window wall stretches across the back of the collections area, affording patrons an alcove that overlooks the trees. The woodland themed is not forgotten within the library; an expansive custom wall covering that features an array of animals enlivens the children’s reading area. Further, each end panel on every bookshelf displays a large tree end grain graphic.


Enduring Relationships: Wren High School

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Wren High School, Anderson County Schools, K-12 Education Architecture

In August 2012, Wren High School, the pride of Piedmont, South Carolina, opened the doors to a dynamic new entry space, administrative area, and student commons area. CGD provided the design for transforming a once non-descript pick-up and drop-off plaza and covered walkway into an inviting entry experience. An aged, insipid space outside the nearby gymnasium gained new life as a student commons, complete with custom trophy cases and ribbony multicolored ceiling panels.

CGD’s relationship with Anderson School District 1 and Wren High School carries on today with the renovation and expansion of aging athletic facilities. This undertaking includes a new fieldhouse for four athletic teams, four new tennis courts, and new football concessions and restroom facilities. Enhancements will also include additional football stadium parking, upgraded accessibility, and landscaping. These improvements all serve to better consolidate Wren’s athletics into one area. Establishing lasting relationships with clients has long been a hallmark of CGD’s approach to design; these projects are a testament to such an approach and the steady enhancement of a campus over time.


Throwback Thursday – Another nod to a 1990s project in the rural northwestern Upstate

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Devil's Fork State Park, South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism, Recreation ArchitectureFrom the last TBT project (Ambler Elementary), go north through Pumpkintown, then take Scenic Highway 11 west just across the lake into Oconee County. Wind down and past roads with names that include the words hollow, whippoorwill, Boone, and ridge.

The destination, Devil’s Fork State Park, is a remote state park along the southern banks of Lake Jocassee. Completed in 1991, CGD provided design services for the updated vernacular cabins and shelters throughout the park. Featuring natural materials that meld into the sylvan backdrop and large screened porches that afford views of the water and surrounding hills, the secluded lakeside villas and covered shelters are still in use to this day.


Throwback Thursday (in first person) – Ambler Elementary School

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Pickens County takes immense pride in its small, rural, and high achieving elementary schools. Ambler Elementary School is a case in point. Twenty years ago, I was a 4th grade student attending class in the brand new CGD designed classroom and gym wing. The scope of the project also included renovating the cafetorium and existing classrooms, reorienting the main entrance, and building a new covered walkway along the pick-up and drop-off drive.

My memories of the new space are fond. The new gym, though small, was a cathedral compared to the musty portable that a group of twenty 10 year olds could seemingly rattle off of its cinder block foundation when doing jumping jacks or dosey-doeing during state-mandated square dance lessons. The renovated cafetorium was similarly grand to a 4th grader. Sunlight would burst through the large east facing windows in the morning while the entire student body waited to line up and go to class. It was during one such morning wait that a friend of mine plucked a live foot long snake off the floor as if it were just a napkin that needed to go in the trash. This was the same friend who came in another morning after being sprayed by a skunk and whose backpack, doubling as an after-hours game bag, contained traces of squirrel hair and blood.

The renovations and additions to Ambler merited t-shirts (now clearly tattered and threadbare) for the entire student body and a visit from Governor Beasley. It was a big deal and a joy to call ‘ours’. Looking back, it’s a great case for the impact designers have on the lives and wellbeing of those they serve – even 4th graders in northern Pickens County.

The Anchorage Opens in West Greenville

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Greenville’s repute as a once burgeoning, now coming-of-age gastronomic destination is a marvel to which even the New York Times lends recent credence. The city’s seemingly overnight ascension to credibility among epicures rests largely on the restaurants that champion efforts of local farms to supply kitchens with fresh ingredients for updated vernacular fare. The Anchorage is no exception; in commissioning Craig Gaulden Davis to reimagine a neglected structure in the Village of West Greenville, the restaurant’s commitment to homegrown endeavors extends beyond the kitchen and crop field and to the drafting table.

The Anchorage charged CGD with giving their decrepit 2,400 SF space a neighborly feel and sense of community while preserving the historic character unique to the three adjoining structures that comprise the overall edifice. Design leader Stuart Stenger incorporated rough sawn wood members, re-exposed brick walls, and custom millwork sawn from reclaimed beams onsite. Greenville artists and artisans were commissioned to furnish artwork and custom pendants. A rotted portion of the second story floor was demolished, creating opportunity for a soaring entry space; progressing into the dining area, the room constricts to be more intimate. Whitewashed joists and tongue and groove ceilings overhead soften the experience, affording a dining ambiance distinctive to a place rising to a modernity that is contentedly rooted in the past.

New Year, New Website

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It has largely been business as usual at CGD over the last several months. Computers boot and coffee drips each morning; proposals and drawing sets go out the door. The in-office putt-putt tournaments were played and the jacket and cups awarded.

But, even as our e-newsletter (which we hope you receive) went out on time each month, broken links and outdated templates resulted in our web presence appearing stale. As a way of ushering in the firm’s 60th anniversary year, it is a thrill to unveil our newly designed site. Our intent is that this site will prove more stable and agile across platforms, provide a coherent overview of who we are and what we offer as design professionals, and simply be more aesthetically appealing. Firmness, commodity, delight – the three Vitruvian principles of design we learn in school and apply in all of our work. Thank you for stopping by.

CGD Goes to School

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legacyvisitOn Thursday, the CGD staff had the pleasure of touring Legacy Charter Middle and Early College High Schools. Over the years, CGD has been closely involved with renovations across the schools’ shared campus, creating a vibrant learning space out of the formerly abandoned Parker High School on Greenville’s west side. A sampling of those projects includes a new secure yet welcoming main entrance, a fitness center, updates to classroom and hallway finishes, and most recently the kitchen and dining area. Under construction is a new media center, amphitheater, and walkways better connecting the campus. It was in the radiant new dining area that our staff was able to sit with Legacy staff to learn about the good work happening at the schools and enjoy the same fresh and nutritious lunch Legacy students have every day.

What’s Up at Craig Gaulden Davis? January 2016

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peace-centerOur first newsletter of 2016 is ready for viewing, HERE. From top to bottom, it tracks north to south – from the dense center of downtown Greenville, to the southern edge of Falls Park, to suburban northern Anderson, then finally to rural Belton. Intentional or not, the ordered distinctives of the architect’s manner are evident even in newsletter article arrangement.

CGD Tigers Ready for Monday Night

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CGDtigersFrequent pacing, finger nail biting, eyebrow stroking, kneading sweaty palms. Those are the tendencies one can expect on the second floor of 19 Washington Park in these final hours leading up to Clemson’s Monday night shot at a national title and a perfect 15-0 record. Pictured is the office’s Tiger contingency – all sporting some combination of orange, awaiting tonight’s bout in the desert. A solid majority of CGD is ALL IN. Go Tigers!

CGD Intern Takes Off for Genoa

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Krider_GenoaMatthew Krider, one of CGD’s 2015 summer and holiday break interns, departed Wednesday for a semester abroad in Genoa, Italy. A junior in Clemson’s School of Architecture, he continues a long tradition of the Clemson branch of the CGD family spending a semester on the Ligurian Sea. Pictured in the airport ticketing lobby with Krider is his future bride, Alexis. By assigning the perfunctory and completely believable intern oriented task of ascending to a downtown Greenville rooftop at night with a tape measure and camera, CGD was honored to play an underhanded role in Krider’s surprise rooftop proposal over the Christmas break.

UBJ Features CGD Green Wall

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The December 4 issue of the Upstate Business Journal features a recently completed CGD project as the prominent ‘money-shot’ on the table of contents page. The subject of the photo is CGD’s green wall installation at the Pacolet Milliken Enterprises offices at Riverplace in downtown Greenville. View the full screen spread on page 4 above, and read more about the firm’s first green wall installation in this month’s CGD NEWSLETTER.

Numerous Awards for Pedrick’s Garden & Falls Park

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pedricks_bridgeOver the past month, Pedrick’s Garden at Falls Park has received the South Carolina American Society of Landscape Architects President’s Award of Excellence and the Architectural Precast Association’s Design & Manufacturing Award in the trim and landscape category; The Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence – Silver Medal was bestowed upon Falls Park as a whole. Working alongside city officials and planners, landscape architects, engineering consultants, philanthropists, and artisans, CGD is honored to have played a role in bringing to fruition one of the region’s most lauded urban parks.

Lost & Found

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GVLartmuseumA lost-but-found memento of CGD’s distant (from a millennial’s perspective) past was brought to the attention of all at the office this past week. A friend of CGD principal and vice president Scott Powell found THIS newsletter while cleaning out an old desk. It recounts the anticipated groundbreaking of the Greenville County Museum of Art, a project that affirmed CGD’s then burgeoning reputation as a leading design firm in South Carolina. Coincidentally, the newsletter is addressed to CGD co-founder Kirk Craig, as the desk in which it sat for years was purportedly once his own.

CGD Employees Contribute to Successful EURO Fest

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20151017_154138At CGD, an affinity for exceptional design often extends to pursuits outside the office. Such was the case at the EURO Auto Festival this past Saturday, October 17, where green fairways and blue skies provided an optimum backdrop to showcase hundreds of the finest examples of European automobiles past and present. CGD’s Kim Poole and Charles Gunning continued their longstanding service as event organizers, and Calvin Wright volunteered at the show. This year’s event was the first to be held on the golf course at the Preserve at Verdae; a solid attendance affirmed the show’s new home on the links.

McGlothlin Center for the Arts Ribbon Cutting

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EHribboncuttingSitting in handsome accord with a grassy hillside among Southwest Virginia’s ridge and valley landscape, Emory & Henry College’s new Woodrow W. McGlothlin Center for the Arts was formally opened and dedicated last Friday, October 16. Held in the south facing main theatre lobby, the ceremony included a ribbon cutting and remarks by project architect and CGD principal Scott Simmons. CGD interior designer Andrea Kuhfuss was also in attendance. A copy of the event program, which provides an account of this CGD project’s inception and final design figures, can be viewed HERE.

Rose Crystal Tower Unveiled

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Chihuly-revealed_450pxAfter the high scaffold was removed and the weekend’s cold winds wailed no more, only a long black veil separated Chihuly’s ‘Rose Crystal Tower’ from Greenville’s public eye. The veil was drawn on a bright October 6 evening. There were many at the scene, and they all did agree that the city’s newest public art installation is a remarkable sight. We encourage all who walk the hills of Falls Park to visit the piece, particularly on upcoming cool dark nights when the uplit crystals glow. A video of the unveiling, featuring CGD’s Ed Zeigler, is available to view HERE. Photo credit: Liene Kukainis

Kuhfuss & Stenger Attend Library Conference

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lib_confEquipped with new life size CGD project banners and a vast knowledge of and experience with library programming and design, Stuart Stenger and Andrea Kuhfuss will represent the firm at the 27th Annual Georgia Council of Media Organizations Conference October 8-9 in Athens, Georgia. Intended to bolster and advocate for the importance of libraries in 21st century communities, the GaCOMO Conference will feature speakers and vendors from around the nation, exhibits, and seminars. The conference comes off the heels of last week’s ribbon cutting ceremony at Fulton County’s Metropolitan Library. CGD’s Stenger and Kuhfuss led the design efforts as the library consultants for this lauded new branch.