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Spartanburg Endangered Places Fund: The Montgomery Theater

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Spartanburg Endangered Places Fund 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 Spartanburg County. The fund is designed to create incentives history minded citizens to participate in local preservation initiatives. Many of the decorative elements inside the theater are still intact

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. While this fund is solely for preservation of historic properties in Spartanburg 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 Spartanburg Fund is that Palmetto Trust must retain a preservation easement on any property the fund preserves. 

For 26 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. Spartanburg 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 Spartanburg County's history, historic preservation issues, local real estate matters and a dedication to preserving the county's historic structures. The first Chair of the advisory board is local historic architect, Donnie Love. 

Procedures for the Spartanburg Endangered Places Fund:

  • Priority is given to threatened properties in Spartanburg 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.

Large Plaster screen is the centerpiece of the Theaters Ceiling  The railing around the lobby mezzenine
Pictured above: (L) Large Plaster screen is the centerpiece of the Theaters Ceiling (R) The railing around the lobby mezzanine

We are excited to announce our first project to be the Historic Montgomery /Carolina Theater located in the recently purchased Montgomery Building. The once elaborate theatre opened with great fanfare in 1927 and features a thirty-six-foot-wide proscenium, chandeliers, and a large balcony. It is the only historic movie theater remaining in the historic downtown of Spartanburg and, though it has faced terrible neglect over the previous 40 years, its grandeur is still evident and we are excited to be taking the lead to help it become the extraordinary entertainment gathering place the citizens of Spartanburg deserves.

Click here to see the National Register Information for the Theater.

Click here to see the most recent story by Channel 4.


MAKE YOUR DONATION TODAY!

Help us save the historic fabric and originals details of the Montgomery Theater. At this time, any donation to the Spartanburg Endangered Places Fund will be applied to the Montgomery Theater stabilization effort since it is our first project. However, feel free to designate "the Montgomery Theater" on your check or online.

Donations to the fund can be mailed to:


The Palmetto Trust for Historic Preservation
Spartanburg Endangered Places Fund: The Montgomery Theater
PO Box 506
Prosperity, SC 29127


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