Poe Mill Residents to Create Mural

The Greenville Journal reports:

By April A. Morris

The corner of Buncombe Road and Shaw Street is considered the gateway to the Poe Mill Village, which surrounds the 11-acre site where the former Poe Mill cranked out textiles between 1896 and 1977. The mill burned down in 2003 and only the two smokestacks remained. The site requires cleanup, partially funded by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grants, before it can be redeveloped. Though there are more residents and businesses moving into the village, the corner has been “characterized by a lot of illegal activity and in turn has defined the community,” said Poe Mill neighborhood association president Kwadjo Campbell. To welcome residents and visitors and indicate renewal of the neighborhood in the Poinsett District, the New Poe Mill Neighborhood Association is launching a mural project next month. On Sept. 6, volunteers from Home Depot will begin priming a wall of a convenience store. Community members are invited on Sept. 13 to paint parts of the mural designed by artist Adam Schrimmer, Campbell said. The event will also include music, food and children’s activities “to add to the festive feel,” he said. The mural, which will feature images of the village yesterday, today and tomorrow, is part of an “environmental strategy” to renew the gateway, he said. According to the grant application, crime in the area has been reduced significantly since 2007, but the perception of crime infestation deters new investment in the community. “Until we attack that corner, the community will be defined by that corner,” Campbell said. “This is about changing our gateway.” The project received $7,500 in funding from the Greenville County Redevelopment Authority (GCRA), United Way and Greenville County Council. The GCRA recently received $800,000 in EPA Brownfields grants for assessment and cleanup of the former Poe Mill site, where hazardous substances and metals have been found in the soil. Campbell said a contractor for the cleanup should be secured within two weeks. Plans for the Poe Mill site following the cleanup include a skate park, which was informally established at the mill’s ruins, and a recreation area. As part of a creative inquiry class in 2010, Clemson University students in the School of Planning, Development, Preservation and Landscape Architecture had developed potential plans for the mill site, ranging from a park to additional housing. Other planned improvements in the community include a traffic circle and additional lighting, Campbell said. Poe Mill Mural ProjectSept. 13, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.Buncombe Road and Shaw Street, Greenville – See more at: http://www.greenvillejournal.com/local/3533-poe-mill-neighborhood-to-create-mural.html#sthash.cM62VrAG.dpuf