Greenwood County Historical Society ARPA Awards
Submitted by: Maddie H.
The Greenwood County Historical Society collects, preserves, and maintains records of historical significance concerning the history of Greenwood County, South Carolina. We restore and mark historical sites and landmarks and present material relative to the history of the upcountry that became Greenwood in 1897.
The Greenwood County Historical Society began its ARPA (Architectural Preservation and Restoration Awards) program as a promotional activity which recognizes and publicly rewards citizens throughout the county who have invested in the preservation and restoration of public and private buildings of significance or of a style that has overall importance and significance to the history of Greenwood County. Others to be considered are houses that belonged to significant figures in Greenwood’s local history. GCHS maintains their focus on honoring and rewarding local property owners that have taken their time and resources to preserve their properties.
The original program and criteria were developed by Board members Pierce Stockman and Chip Tinsley in 2008 under the leadership of President Ernest Prewett. Five homes were recognized in 2009 and since then – a total of 36 homes have been awarded. We house a picture of the building and the history of the home or building as well as recognition of preservation and restoration accomplished by the owners. Our website now contains the diverse history of the buildings, architects and early and mid-century families who helped to build the history of Greenwood.
All nominations are open to anyone in the county to recognize and nominate a building. A team of members visit each nominated site and use the AHPA Evaluation Rubric in determining if the building should be recognized. Our rubric is divided into two sections: exterior and interior. Categories include architecture, paneling, landscape, design/furnishings, and flooring. The winners are voted on by the Board and recognized in January at the annual meeting with a plaque identifying the name of the building and the year built. One of our most recent 2022 winners, Hodges Church, had suffered a tragic fire and burned down to almost nothing. The little community of Hodges, South Carolina worked to restore the church to its original form and incorporated everything they recovered from the original church into the rebuild, really respecting and holding on to the history of the church and its role in the town rather than just building a new or more updated architectural-style church.
One of the Historical Society’s chief obstacles is getting community involvement as far as nominations go. There are so many people in the Greenwood community that cherish our history, yet they are humble, so it requires someone else nominating them to recognize their efforts in preserving our history. This awards program continues to recognize these people and helps bring the community together to help understand how we got to the modern version of Greenwood County we experience today.
Here is also a link to our website with our past award winners: