This is the centerpiece of downtown now, the same riverbank once lined with abandoned cars and polluted with industrial waste now a gorgeous park. It runs the whole length of downtown as it meanders and tumbles through.
The father of a friend of ours, Max Heller, was the mayor who began the cleanup, lured people and big-name hotels back into the city, and transformed it into a lovely, lively place.
We were nearby at a 90th birthday party and decided to stay a couple extra days and have a spring break. We had so much fun!
We parked our car at one end of the park and at the head of the trail was a Chihuly piece to welcome us. I was so excited as I have admired other bloggers' posts on complete exhibits of his works, but this was the first piece I had seen in person. Not my favorite Chihuly, but interesting.
From the car park, we walked a quarter of a mile down a hill, toward the bottom of the ravine.
The graceful curve of the pedestrian bridge over the park mimics the curves of the river as it tumbles over the falls into pools where children wade and play. It's hard to believe that above you is a city full of bumper-to-bumper traffic, rushing business people in suits and ties, construction projects ....
Above the natural falls and the dams that powered the city's industries, including textile mills, is a second, more traditional pedestrian bridge. This bridge leads to the bones of the original Dukes Mayonnaise factory, now converted to a performance venue with indoor and outdoor stages.
Art galleries and sculptures are all along the river walk, and stairs lead up to the city above where the new architecture harmonizes with the old.
We enjoyed music in several of the little parks on Main Street, fancy coffees on the street, crepes for our Easter dinner, appetizers and drinks outdoors at the Hyatt Hotel. My favorite things were how lively a city Greenville is with people everywhere day and night, and all the art everywhere you look. I'll show you my favorite piece of all next time!