53 Main Street, Conestee, Greenville, S.C.
City Directories and History: (McBee Chapel) Architecturally unique, McBee Methodist Church was designed ca. 1842 by John Adams, a local wheelwright who felt that more seating space could be secured by an octagonal arrangement. The little structure is a fine example of octagonal architecture in vogue in the United States from the 1840s-1860s, its prime advantage being that it encloses one-fifth more floor area than a square with the same total length of wall. In addition, octagonal design offered a new aesthetic dimension to American architecture at this time. The eight-sided brick structure has a pyramidal asphalt shingle roof topped by an octagonal louvered cupola. It also features a molded brick cornice and a whitewashed base. The small stained glass panes surrounding larger panes of clear glass were added at a later date. The balcony, formerly used by slaves prior to the Civil War, was later removed and its door converted to another window. The church has a seating capacity of 150. The church was named for Vardry McBee, the “Father of Greenville” who provided funds for the little church. Listed in the National Register March 23, 1972.
(Courtesy of South Carolina Department of Archives and History)
A stop on the Built of Brick Jaunt – Driving Tour
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IMAGE GALLERY courtesy of photographer Bill Segars – 2005
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