Woodside Building

1923–1974

(Greenville). The Woodside Building was constructed on Main Street in Greenville in 1923. At seventeen stories, it was Greenville’s first skyscraper and the tallest building in either North or South Carolina. It served as banking headquarters for the entrepreneur John T. Woodside, a central figure in the upstate cotton mill boom. In 1929 a local observer described the Woodside Building as a “silent sentinel that bespeaks for Greenville’s enterprise.” The neoclassical structure with its white marble exterior stood as a Greenville landmark for a half-century. The marble lobby contained Ionic columns and French plate mirrors, while a rooftop garden offered a splendid vista of the upcountry metropolis. At Christmas, office lights were left burning on each floor so that the illuminated windows formed a cross on all four sides. For two generations the windows “became as much a part of the Christmas tradition as breaking out the family ornaments.” The South Carolina National Bank purchased the Woodside Building in 1950. The large, round letters “SCN” placed along the roof became an additional city landmark.

By 1974 two modern structures overshadowed the Woodside Building. The Daniel Building, a gleaming monument to the construction magnate Charles E. Daniel, was the architectural expression of a new age of “soaring aspirations . . . far from the fields of cotton and the ‘mill towns’ of the early twentieth century.” The new Greenville City Hall had a dark bronze facade that bore a striking resemblance to Manhattan’s Seagram Building. By contrast, the Woodside Building seemed hopelessly out of date. The structure was demolished in 1974 to make way for a new building for South Carolina National Bank.

Dunlap, James A., III. “Victims of Neglect: The Career and Creations of John T. Woodside, 1865–1986.” Master’s thesis, University of South Carolina, 1986.

Marsh, Kenneth Frederick, and Blanche Marsh. The New South: Greenville, South Carolina. Columbia, S.C.: R. L. Bryan, 1965.

Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Title Woodside Building
  • Coverage 1923–1974
  • Author
  • Keywords Greenville’s first skyscraper, banking headquarters for the entrepreneur John T. Woodside, a central figure in the upstate cotton mill boom, South Carolina National Bank purchased the Woodside Building in 1950
  • Website Name South Carolina Encyclopedia
  • Publisher University of South Carolina, Institute for Southern Studies
  • URL
  • Access Date August 11, 2020
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update July 12, 2016
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