Greenville's Endangered Historic Places

The Bill and Woo Thomason Endangered Places Fund

The Bill and Woo Thomason Endangered Places Fund of Greenville has been established by The Palmetto Trust for Historic Preservation as a revolving preservation fund to identify, purchase, stabilize, maintain, market and/or sell historic properties in Greenville County. The fund is designed to create incentives history minded citizens to participate in local preservation initiatives.

The Palmetto Trust for Historic Preservation, a statewide organization, has successfully saved dozens of irreplaceable historic structures all over the state through its statewide endangered places fund. Several of Greenville's historic buildings have benefited from the Trust's involvement already. The Trust took a lead role in successfully raising money to help fund the move of the Wilkins House to its new location on Mill's Avenue in 2014 and is currently working alongside the City of Greenville in order to ensure the Franklin Fox Beattie House is protected when sold into private ownership. While this fund is solely for preservation of 
historic properties in Greenville County, like other Palmetto Trust initiatives, expenditures from the fund will be returned to the fund upon the sale or lease of the piece of property for which the expenditures were made. A condition of the Greenville Fund is that Palmetto Trust must retain a preservation easement on any property the fund preserves.

The PTHP Board of Directors decided to name the Fund in honor of Bill and Woo Thomason out of respect for their dedication to local preservation, as well as the Palmetto Trust, both having served in leadership positions on the organization's board in the past. Their tragic death in 2013 came at the same time that Bill and Woo were working with PTHP staff to develop an advocacy position regarding the demolition concerns of the Wilkins House. We are confidant they would be very proud of the success in moving and saving the Wilkins House. 

For 25 years, Palmetto Trust has helped to deliver to local communities a statewide perspective with statewide solutions," said Michael Bedenbaugh, executive director of Palmetto Trust. "We are excited to now help develop local solutions that could educate a statewide audience. Greenville County has wonderful historic places that could certainly benefit from preservation."The Fund will establish a real estate committee of local residents who have a deep understanding of Greenville County history, historic preservation issues, local real estate matters and a dedication to preserving the county's historic structures. Though the Board members have yet to be named, Palmetto Trust Board Member Kelly Odom will lead the group and oversee its formation. 

Procedures for the Bill and Woo Thomason Endangered Places Fund of Greenville project selection:

  • Priority is given to threatened properties in Greenville County that cannot be saved by the for-profit, private or public sectors.
  • Saving historic properties is the fund's top priority, but other at-risk resources, such as historic landscapes, can be eligible.
  • The local real estate committee will first determine a property's status, risks, and priority, then make recommendations to the Palmetto Trust Board of Directors.

Criteria considered for  project selection:
  • Architectural and historical significance of the property.
  • Current condition and estimated stabilization cost for the property.
  • Possible threats to the property.
  • Appropriateness of any proposed use and rehabilitation work.
  • Geographic location.
  • Amount of staff time needed to manage the project.
  • Length of time fund monies will be tied up.
  • Maximum investment per project.
  • Likelihood of finding an appropriate buyer.


Donations to the fund can be mailed to:

The Palmetto Trust for Historic Preservation
The Bill and Woo Thomason Endangered Places Fund of Greenville
PO Box 506
Prosperity, SC 29127

If you have any interest in:
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