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Old August 6th, 2016, 02:40 PM   #1
LSyd
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Florence, South Carolina - big town renaissance

when Hauntedheadnc posted his Florence thread a few years ago i was kicking myself for not photographing the grit. i'd been by on I-95 a lot for work and threw it a few times on the way to Myrtle Beach, but never thought of going and photographing it.

then i went downtown for work this summer and was surprised by the change from his thread. Downtown is undergoing a massive boom after a 2010 initiative, with blocks of renovation and some new construction. the skyline is dominated by a brutalist metropolitan building; despite its fugliness, it has one of my favorite toilets in the world, with a floor to ceiling window looking out at some gritty industrial warehouses, churches, and railroads.

Florence is the main city of an MSA of about 200,000. it was chartered in 1871 and incorporated in 1890:7 following the 1888 creation of Florence County. Prior to its charter, the city was part of one of the original townships laid out by the Lords Proprieters in 1719. The area was gradually settled through the late 19th and early 20th century. Early settlers practiced subsistence farming and produced indigo, cotton, naval stores and timber, which were shipped down the Pee Dee River to the port at Georgetown and exported. In the mid-19th century two intersecting railroads were built, The Wilmington and Manchester, and the Northeastern. thanks Wikipedia


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new courthouse construction

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McLeod regional hospital

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the McLeod complex has reused several historic buildings, including this old train station


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Old August 7th, 2016, 02:18 PM   #2
ohpenn
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Some good old buildings, but a lot of empty store fronts. I don't know much about this area, It looks to be struggling though.
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Old August 7th, 2016, 05:53 PM   #3
WeimieLvr
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It looks like it may be struggling but also on the way up...I would love to see more of these small Carolina towns make a comeback, and it looks like this one is trying to do just that. I think it has a fighting chance, but there has to be something there to attract new life into the town...I'm not sure if Florence has that.

I've been by Florence many times but never stopped to check out the town. Thanks for posting some interesting photos!
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Old August 27th, 2016, 09:54 AM   #4
lio45
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Nice bones and architecture! I agree though, looks pretty devoid of life... Thankfully, the bones will be there when that starts to change
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Old October 3rd, 2016, 08:18 AM   #5
lancetop
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Wow what a fantastic photo series! Florence is definitely on the way up.

Almost every small town in America deals with a struggling downtown area. My small town on the West Coast has a downtown that is half-empty as well...suburban malls are hard to compete with~
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Old October 4th, 2016, 05:04 AM   #6
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Nice!
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Old January 22nd, 2017, 11:16 PM   #7
HighRiseCharlotte
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Nice photos, I'm glad to see someone provide some recent pics on Flotown as few people know what's just off the exit there. I always thought Florence was in a neat position geographically as it's pretty much in the center of 95 and has I20 and near Myrtle Beach and along had some good pieces of infrastructure , it kinda seemed like a untapped city of potential (which sounds horrifying at first as Flotown can be a bit rough). I'm glad to see there coming up and hope things are getting better for the people there. Great photos of the main municipal tower but also everything around it, including the hospital you captured some good stuff!
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