The History of Slater Hall
In 1927 H.N. Slater purchased 466 acres of property in Northern Greenville county to build a textile mill and “village”. This village consisted of homes, a Fire Dept., General Store, Barber shop, Post Office and the hub of all social activity, the Slater Hall Community Center. The mill, still in operation, has a rich history, including a role in producing the fabric used for the Apollo 11 spacesuits that “walked on the moon”.
This large, three story building, situated on 3.83 acres of property at the heart of the Slater-Marietta area. The bottom floor provides a large gym, stage, and auditorium area where the mill hosted community wide events including movies, dances, and holiday celebrations. The second and third floors provide additional meeting space used for a wide variety of purposes from children’s activities like scouting to senior citizens’ gatherings.
In 1945 ownership of the hall passed to the Slater Community Association and continued to function as a community gathering spot into the 70’s. Without funding the Slater Community Association was unable to maintain the building and eventually it fell to a state of disrepair—no longer safe to house community events. In 1984 the Slater Community Association gifted the property to the Greenville County Recreation District, now Greenville County Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism (GCPRT).
GCPRT installed a new Senior Action Center on the property, and is actively supportive of the committees goal to restore the original structure.
About the Property
Focus on Slater Hall in recent years has driven a lot of improvements. Since 2005, the focus has been on the property itself. Beautiful new landscaping and a 1/4 mile walking path, along with several picnic areas, have been installed across the property. A wonderful new playground, dedicated in May of 2006, has already become an active gathering spot for the younger local residents.
To commemorate the 40th anniversary of the lunar landing and pay homage to the role that the Slater Mill and community played in that endeavor, a “Space Shuttle Rocker” was installed in the summer of 2009 in the toddler area of the playground. Other property improvements included the repaving of the basketball and the installation of two new basketball goals.
About the Building
Since the inception of the Slater Hall Citizens’ Committee, over $160,000 in government funding has been allocated to the GCPRT for the restoration of the building. GCPRT, working in conjunction with the SHCC, has put those funds to work with the primary goal of reopening the Hall for inside events. Structural work on the building began in the summer 2007 with the replacement of the roof and gutter system to protect the structure from further weather damage. In 2008, the building was equipped with a state of the art electrical system including two sets of event panels to support outside activities on the property. In late 2009, electrical upgrades and plumbing renovations on the first floor were completed. In early 2010, an exterior handicap accessibility ramp was installed and a local craftsman restored all the first floor and front windows—a key first step to restoring the building’s appearance to its original condition.
On April 10, 2010, the SHCC celebrated the “Grand Re-Opening” of Slater Hall. In 2011, in an effort to increase community activity within the newly renovated building, the GCPRT began hosting “Open Gym” every Thursday evening from September through May. It is our hope that with increased use of the building, Slater Hall will once again function as a community center and provide for expanded fund-raising events to reach our ultimate goal of historic restoration and total revitalization. Slater Hall is not just a building, it is a community resource, and its usage will provide Northern Greenville County with a venue to reinstate some of the traditions so valuable to the “village” and establish new opportunities for cultural growth and development.
How Do We Get There
We have made a lot of progress. Although the building opened in 2010, we are still working. A new HVAC system will be installed in 2014. But to fully use all floors of the building, there is still work to do. The goal will be met through:
- Community Support
- Corporate Sponsorship
- Government Funding