Credit: VisitGreenvilleSC/Barberstock

2019 SESAH Conference, 10-12 October 2019

Welcome to Greenville!

downtown greenville
Credit: VisitGreenvilleSC/Barberstock

The 2019 SESAH Conference in Greenville, South Carolina, is co-hosted by the Clemson University School of Architecture.  This is the first time that SESAH has held its annual meeting in Greenville, so we’re very excited to welcome you! 

First, a little background on Greenville. Located in the foothills of the central Appalachian Mountains, in the former Cherokee Indian territories, Greenville was first settled by Europeans in 1754, with the arrival of the Irish immigrant Richard Pearis. Pearis built the settlement’s first mills, establishing Greenville’s historic geographic center on the Reedy River, and its manufacturing economy. Incorporated in 1831, the village and surrounding county were likely named for Revolutionary War hero Nathanael Greene. From the mid-nineteenth century until the early twentieth century, Greenville’s economy relied heavily on cotton and textile mills.  

Credit: VisitGreenvilleSC/Barberstock

Beginning in the 1950s, Greenville’s cotton mills were gradually replaced by international manufacturing corporations.  This early embrace of globalization was the foundation for the metropolitan area’s growth, contemporary manufacturing economy, and the arrival of new residents from around the world who have followed hundreds of international business from some thirty different countries. With the highest foreign investment per capita in the nation in recent years, Greenville has an unexpected cosmopolitan dimension for a city of 70,000. The Greenville-Spartanburg metropolitan area has grown to some 1.5 million people. 

Following years of suburban flight from the city’s heart, the downtown business district languished. As a result in the late 1970s, visionary mayor Max Heller hired the landscape architect Lawrence Halprin to redesign Greenville’s historic Main Street. With development initially bookended by the Hyatt Regency (our conference hotel) at the north end of Main Street and the Peace Center for the Performing Arts to the south, revitalization and the renovated business district grew together with Halprin’s oak trees, and eventually spread into the north and south Main Street areas and neighborhoods.  

A tremendous success and a model for urban renewal projects elsewhere, Halprin’s 1980 plan (which followed his 1976 pedestrian-mall scheme for Charlottesville) was one of the nation’s first “road diets,” as they are called today. The multimodal pedestrian-oriented design subsequently led to the ongoing redesign and improvement of the Reedy River’s urban landscape; the replacement of a four-lane concrete bridge that hid the city’s waterfalls with the beautiful, pedestrian-only Liberty Bridge by Rosales & Partners of Boston; the construction of Falls Park, which won the Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence in 2015; and the construction of new shops, hotels, and apartments that has continued to this day.  Greenville’s Main Street design has since been recognized by The Cultural Landscape Foundation, and Jeff Speck held out Greenville’s downtown for special praise in Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time.  After so many requests, the City of Greenville now shares its story on its website at “Downtown Reborn.” 

At the end of the conference, from October 11 to 13, downtown Greenville will host its annual food and music festival, called Fall for Greenville ( The festival will begin on Friday at 5:00pm, as we finish with paper sessions.  We invite you to enjoy the bustling festival on Main Street, just outside the conference hotel.  The Fall festival promises to be a lot of fun. 

Peter Laurence and Andreea Mihalache
Clemson University School of Architecture
Conference co-chairs

Conference Information

Please fill out this online registration form. This registration form is mandatory. ALL fees increase by $25 after September 9.

Then go to the following link to pay: Conference Registration Page

Conference and Paper Schedule

For the most recent conference schedule, please click on the image below:


Greenville, South Carolina – Local Information

The following section provides important information to assist you in getting oriented to Greenville. 

Air and Ground Transportation

The local airport is Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport (GSP); learn more at  GSP is served by Allegiant, American, Delta, Frontier, Southwest, and United.  Downtown Greenville and the conference hotel are around 14 miles from GSP. There is no public transit from the airport to the hotel; options are taxi, rental car, Uber, and a free shuttle service offered by the Hyatt Regency (reservation-required hotel shuttle). See also GSP’s GSP’s transportation information

Local Transportation

Downtown Greenville is compact and walkable, and walking can be as quick as driving down Main Street on a busy day.  The city has a free trolley bus on Thursday and Friday evenings and weekends.  Greenville is also bike friendly.  The Swamp Rabbit Trail is a 20-mile path to Furman University and the town of Travelers Rest. 

Dining and Shopping

Greenville’s downtown Main Street is lined with restaurants and shops.  Search for restaurants in Google Maps and you will find many choices for dining outside of the meals included with conference registration.  Many more restaurants and shopping options can be found within a short drive. 

Yom Kippur

Tuesday, October 8, 2019, is Yom Kippur.  Greenville has reform and conservative temples. See the Greenville Jewish Federation website for more information. 

Self-Guided Tours

We recommend self-guided tours of downtown Greenville and Clemson on Wednesday, before the Fall for Greenville festival and the Clemson football game.

For self-guided tours of Greenville, just stroll south down Main Street from the Hyatt to Falls Park or the West End. This map of downtown Greenville is from the City of Greenville’s website. For more details, we recommend the local guidebook below. You can also try GPSMyCity or this historical walking tour.  

For self-guided tours of Clemson, see the university’s historic properties website. Among other buildings on the campus, you will be able to visit the 1714 Hanover House, located in the South Carolina Botanical Garden, adjacent to campus, and the 1802 “Fort Hill” plantation house, also known as the John C. Calhoun Mansion and Library, which was the home of Thomas Green Clemson and his family. The Calhoun/Clemson plantation provided the land that established Clemson Agricultural College in 1888. For visitor parking on campus, see the university’s visitor parking webpage. Again, please note that the campus will be inaccessible from 6pm on Friday and on Saturday for the home football game, except for those with home game parking passes. 

If you visit Clemson on Wednesday, you may also like to visit nearby historic Pendleton.  

Local Architecture Guidebook

John M. Nolan, A Guide to Historic Greenville, South Carolina (The History Press, 2008).

Historical Resources

Edwards-Pitman Environmental, Inc., City of Greenville, SC, Architectural Inventory, 2003,

Greenville County Library, Local History:

Greenville County Library, Historic Residences:

Saturday Study Tour

tour illustrationTown and Country: A Taste of Greenville’s Architecture

Whether just joining us for the morning (Study Tour A: 9 AM – 1 PM) or the entire day (Study Tour B: 9 AM – 5 PM), study tour attendees will get a taste of greater-Greenville’s rich architectural resources on Saturday, October 12th. 

Morning Tour: North Greenville County (9-1 PM)

We will begin our morning tour of Greenville County at Furman University, designed by Perry, Shaw and Heburn, Kehoe and Dean, in the 1950s. Our tour will focus on the Colonial Revival campus, the 19th-century plantation house moved to the site, and recent efforts by Furman’s Task Force on Slavery and Justice to interpret campus history. We will then jaunt to several nineteenth-century homesites including the Spring Park Inn, a circa 1820 I-house that was essential to the development of the recently hip Travelers Rest community. We’ll then head to see two eighteenth-century log buildings transformed into I-houses in the nineteenth century John H. Goodwin House (c. 1790 and currently under restoration) and the George Salmon House (c. 1784). It will be peak leaf-peeping season so be ready for some fall foliage!

Afternoon Tour: Greenville City (1- 5 PM)

Our afternoon tour of the city of Greenville will begin with an exclusive inside look at the 1929-30 Beth Israel Synagogue, recently adapted into a private residence. We will then embark to the Allen Temple AME Church, an African American church designed in the neo-Baroque/Beaux Arts flavor by Cuban-born architect Juan Benito Molina in 1927, and the Springfield Baptist Church, a modernist 1970s sanctuary designed by Clarence Addison for a congregation at the heart of the upstate’s civil rights movement. Our afternoon will end with Greenville’s textile history and a visit to the enormous Judson Mill (begun in 1911 and expanded to include over 800,000+ square feet!); we’ll talk with the site’s developer about the exciting plans underway to transform the building using historic preservation tax credits. 

To sign-up for the tours, please visit the conference registration page. The cost of Study Tour A (morning only) is $40; the cost of Study Tour B (entire day) is $70. A boxed lunch is included on both tours (we’ll eat before 1 PM) and both leave from the conference hotel (Hyatt).

For further questions, please email Lydia Mattice Brandt at

2019 SESAH Conference Hotel Information 

greenville hotelThe 2019 SESAH Conference will be held at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Greenville at 220 North Main Street. The Hyatt Regency created a SESAH room reservation website.  The main hotel website is here.  The discounted group rates for the SESAH members are listed below.   If the group rate is no longer available, prevailing rates may be offered for some or all of your dates. 

  • Single and double occupancy – $165/night plus taxes
  • Triple occupancy – $175/night plus taxes
  • Quadruple occupancy – $185/night plus taxes
  • Upgrade – $165/night plus taxes

If you have questions about the hotel, please contact Kyle Sizemore at 864-298-2441 or kyle.sizemore [@]  

The Hyatt Regency is about 14 miles from the Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport (GSP).  For conference attendees flying into Greenville, the Hyatt Regency offers complimentary shuttle service to and from the airport.  Please contact guest services 24 hours prior to your arrival to confirm shuttle times and arrange your pickup. More information about transportation options can be found in the Local Information section. 

For those driving to Greenville or renting cars at the airport, the Hyatt Regency offers valet parking and self-parking in a four-level parking garage adjacent to the hotel.  Daily parking rates are listed below. Please note that the maximum garage clearance is 6’8”. The hotel has limited parking available for oversized vehicles; please contact the front desk to make arrangements.

Self Parking

Indoor self-parking with in-and-out privileges

$7.00 /Overnight

Valet Parking

Valet parking with unlimited in-and-out privileges

$20.00 /Overnight

IMPORTANT NOTE: Saturday, October 12, is a Clemson home football game (versus Florida State). Although all SESAH conference events (besides the Saturday Study Tours) will be held in Greenville, Clemson is located approximately 30 miles from the campus, so hotel rooms in Greenville will likely sell out quickly. We recommend that you book your conference hotel rooms as early as possible.

Archive CFP for the conference (no more submissions will be accepted):