Discussing Downtown Spartanburg Pedestrian Spaces, Midcentury to Present

Whether you’re getting in some steps at the Mary Black Foundation Rail Trail or strolling through Morgan Square after dinner, it’s fair to say there are more pedestrians moving in and around downtown Spartanburg than at any point in living memory.

And with historic levels of private development and accompanying new infrastructure showing no signs of abating in Spartanburg’s urban core, the pedestrian experience in our city is changing rapidly.

So how did we get here? What was downtown like back before concepts like “walkability” dominated the urbanist landscape? How did the national trend towards car-centered suburban development in the mid-20th century affect downtown Spartanburg and what did leaders then try to do about it? And why were those efforts less successful than everyone in Spartanburg had hoped they would be?

On this episode of the Spartanburg City News podcast, the hosts are sharing a conversation about those questions held during our first-ever live podcast recording, held on August 18 at Fretwell. Joining the discussion are Brad Steineke, Assistant Director of Local History with Spartanburg County Public Libraries and Grayson Johnson with Fretwell. Listen below for more!

Want to listen to the Spartanburg City News podcast on the go? You can find it on SpotifyiTunesStitcher or search “Spartanburg City News” in your favorite podcast app. Theme music provided by Spartanburg singer-songwriter, David Ezell.

Prepared by the City of Spartanburg.