Redevelopment of southern mill towns : a study of Georgetown, South Carolina
Author(s)Morgan, Robert L. (Robert Lafaye), 1975-
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture.
John de Monchaux and Lynn Fisher.
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The Georgetown Steel Company (GSC), located in Georgetown, South Carolina, closed and filed for bankruptcy in October 2003. GSC has only been operating since the late 1960s; therefore, it does not contain masonry warehouse structures that have a clear conversion value. Its borders, however, include a scenic river with deep water access and a historic downtown. GSC's predicament is not unique, as the news of closing mills has become commonplace in the southeastern United States. The American industrial base that initially started in the northeast and moved south is now relocating to cheaper international locales. When these mills close, it leaves a devastating hole within the community, with lost jobs, abandoned megastructures, and polluted sites. As the United States shifts to a service based economy, smaller southern towns like Georgetown that were favored by industries will have to fight for their survival. Situations such as the GSC's offer a tremendous amount of despair, but at the same time, an incredible opportunity. As the mills are closing, large numbers of people are relocating to the southeast from the northeast and Midwest. Many locations in the southeast are exploiting their natural resources and are becoming either a destination spot for the wealthy (both in tourism and the second home market), or a new home for retirees and those seeking an improved quality of life. Through Georgetown, South Carolina, this thesis explores the disappearing southern mill town and its transformation to alternate uses. I have analyzed this transition in terms of design, planning, and redevelopment. Issues such as growth patterns, urban densification, appropriate use, rehabilitation, brownfield remediation, economic viability, and(cont.) social responsibility have been explored. While I have focused on Georgetown, my goal is to provide a body of research that can be utilized by towns facing similar transitions.
Thesis (M. Arch.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Architecture; and (S.M. in Real Estate Development)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Architecture, 2004.This electronic version was submitted by the student author. The certified thesis is available in the Institute Archives and Special Collections.Vita.Includes bibliographical references.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Architecture
Massachusetts Institute of Technology