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Saluda to look at design standards 

Council sees slideshow of downtown through the years 

 

SALUDA—Looking through the years, downtown Saluda has some similar design standards, including brick buildings, street trees, large front windows, tall front stories, second story windows that line up and similar awnings.  

City commissioners met last week and viewed a slideshow of pictures of downtown throughout history. City Manager Jonathan Cannon presented the information and asked council members for their opinions on what they want to change or stay the same.  

Saluda has tasked its planning board with coming up with design standards throughout the city, beginning with the historic downtown district.  

“If there’s anything you see in these photos the planning board needs to think about, make that known so they can take that into consideration,” Cannon said.  

Cannon also said an interesting aspect of downtown Saluda is that street trees have always been very prominent on Maine Street. He spoke of the brick and flat board siding on buildings that have come and gone over the years.  

Cannon also said there used to be buildings on Greenville Street and you can tell the intention was to line Greenville Street with buildings.  

There also used to be steps going into buildings along Main Street, but over time, the street and sidewalk grade has risen, so a lot of buildings have lost the step.  

Cannon also spoke of the awnings over the years.  

“They seemed to be a prominent feature of our downtown for many years,” he said. “This is back in the day where downtowns were where you did all of your shopping.  

What Saluda has lost downtown is gas stations. The historic pictures showed many old gas stations located downtown, including a popular Esso.  

“A lot of the photos have this nice, tall window and a window above it,” said Cannon. “It gives a very open feeling on your storefront on our downtown.”  

Cannon also spoke of the buildings’ colors over the years. He said there was a wide array of colors that is the character of Saluda that not other cities have.  

“I think having this ability to interject some of these elements is very powerful,” he said.  

Cannon also showed a picture of a water fountain located downtown for many years that seemed to always run.  

Cannon said one of the interesting features of historic Saluda was that it is original and has a strong Main Street feel for people to gather and socialize. Many of the historic photographs showed people gathered and talking on the sidewalks.  

“If you look at Saluda, there are anchor buildings, but others are eclectic,” said Mayor Fred Baisden. “That kind of breaks it up.”  

Baisden suggested earth tone colors that will mix in well.  

Commissioner Paul Marion said he agrees with the mayor that buildings downtown should have a select amount of colors to choose from.  

The planning board has begun working on a recommendation for design standards for the downtown district. The city also plans to create design standards for other areas of the city.