Northside – Spartan Mills Smokestacks
Lights on sunset to sunrise

At the time this smokestack was built in 1888, it was the tallest in the state, and believed to be the only round one in the South. The smokestack now towers above the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine. Originally constructed by master builder Thomas Badgett, this colossal structure was built out of five million locally made bricks. Edifices such as these, in the heart of mill villages still occupied by former mill workers, have historical relevance and serve as symbols of adaptation and change.

Beaumont Village – Spartan Mills Smokestacks
Lights on sunset to sunrise

Beaumont Mill was built in 1890 on Chinquapin Creek in the city. It was acquired by Spartan Mills in 1941 and closed in 1999. The remaining mill building and smokestack were constructed with locally made brick. They stand at the foot of the “mill hill,” Beaumont Village. The Village was built by the mill to house workers. The mill sold the houses in the 1950’s, mostly to mill workers.

Today the property serves a new purpose, as the administrative offices of Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System. Edifices such as these in the heart of mill villages have historical relevance and serve as symbols of adaptation and change. The community of Beaumont is more than 125 years old, and still serves as home to many former mill workers and their families.

The artist Erwin Redl has chosen to treat the smokestacks here and in Northside as two synchronized, large-scale canvases for high-powered multicolored lights that bath the surface of the worn bricks. For the artist, these artworks offer a new way of seeing old structures. Redl celebrates the spirit of innovation and imagination with these icons of Spartanburg’s textile past.

download_pdf_linkDownload & Print (+ Spanish translation) – NORTHSIDE


download_pdf_linkDownload & Print (+ Spanish translation) – BEAUMONT VILLAGE


photos byGus Powell, courtesy of Bloomberg Philanthropies.


photos courtesy of Steven Stinson

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