History of Myrtle Beach

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9. Neighborhoods
A. Background
In any evaluation or inventorydowntown_myrtle of a neighborhood, it is useful to consider various historic
resources and their importance in predicting and interpreting that neighborhood’s history.
Such resources can include: individual buildingsor sites, districts, or significant routes. In
some cases the early plans for the neighborhood could be critical in the development history
of the area, giving the neighborhood its urban form. Some historic resources can have
community-wide state or even national significance.
Myrtle Beach is located in Horry County, South Carolina, bounded on the east by a sixty-mile stretch of the Atlantic coast known as Long Bay. In Colonial days, the King’s Highway
from Boston to Frederica, Georgia, passed by the area. Some of the earliest landowners and
inhabitants of the Myrtle Beach area were members of the Withers Family, a prominent
coastal South Carolina family with principal homes in Charleston and Georgetown. The
Robert and Mary Cartwright Withers family settledhere in the 1700s. They owned an indigo
plantation on a bluff overlooking the Wither Swash. The Withers Swash was originally part
of a 66,000-acre land grant to Robert Francis Withers, who owned several other plantations
near Georgetown. According to an article in The Independent Republic Quarterly – Spring
1979, little is known of the family’s life in Long Bay but evidence of their being here is
provided by early plats of land grants at Myrtle Beach, the establishment of the Withers,
South Carolina Post Office on April 30, 1888, and the existence of a Withers family grave
marker in the Withers Cemetery located east of the swash off of Collins Street. When the
great hurricane of 1822 came ashore eighteen people sought refuge in the Withers’ house.
All eighteen people were washed out to sea. Years later, the Withers family abandoned their
land holdings and eventually Burroughs and Collins Company acquired the land. Withers
Swash was named “ Eight Mile Swash” on old maps, indicating that the waterway would
have been more extensive during Colonial times than it is now.
According to local historians two principal communities existed at this time – in the Withers
Swash area and an area called the “Sandridge”. The Sandridge was a farming community
situated between 17
Avenue South and 3
Avenue North. Tobacco, peanuts, sweet
potatoes, and garden vegetables grew in the sandy soil of eastern Horry County. The farm
families lived on these crops. Timber was plentiful. Wild game was available. Oysters from
the inlets, crabs from the ocean, and fish from the sea and rivers were abundant. The Todd
family had occupied the Sandridge as early as the 1880s. The Todd family had amassed
several hundred acres south of the land acquired by the Burroughs and Collins Company.
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Other family names associated with the area were Owens, Stalvey, King, Anderson,
Simmons, Dubois, and Adams.
Places of worship have always been the foundation of a community and Myrtle Beach is no
exception. A group living in the area of the former air base site founded the First Baptist
Church, originally Eden Baptist Church, in 1870. In 1896 the church was moved one mile
closer to Myrtle Beach in the Sandridge area, and in 1933 a building was erected at 4
Avenue North and Oak Street.
Mount Olive A.M.E. Church, another important church in the
area, was formed in 1879 by the African-American community
but did not have a church building until 1910 when a wood
frame church was built on Kings Highway between 6
and 7
Avenues North. As reported by the 1880 Census, some of the
African-American family names associated with the area were
Allston, Canty, Holmes, Johnson, Small, Steele, Thomas, and
72261The beginnings of the Myrtle Beach that exist today date to the late 1800s when in 1881 the
Burroughs and Collins Company of Conway, South Carolina, purchased much of the land
that had once belonged to the Withers family. Names of other property owners from whom
the company purchased land included heirs of Joshua Ward, the firm of Gilbert and Potter,
and Dunsenbury and Sarvis. The company was owned by F.G. Burroughs and B.G. Collins
who established an extensive naval stores (turpentine, tar, and resin) operation and later
timber. Primarily fishermen, farmers, and lumbermen occupied the area. F.G. Burroughs
died in 1897 and his share of the business passed to this three sons: Frank A., A.M., and
Don M. Burroughs. Developing the area as a beach resort had been F.G. Burroughs’ dream,
and he had hoped to see the railroad extended from Conway to Myrtle Beach to open up the
area to vacationers as well as provide shipping for his timber and naval stores. By 1900
Burroughs’ dream was becoming a reality.
Development of the beach began in a modest way in 1900-1901. Up to this time, Myrtle
Beach had been known as New Town and Conwayas Old Town, and in 1900 the area was
renamed. One evening, a group of people from Conway decided to vote on a name for New
Town. Mrs. F.G. Burroughs submitted the name, Myrtle Beach, because of the abundance
of native myrtle bushes in the area. Myrtle Beach became the official name of the coastal
village and the name, Edgewater, came in second. The Conway and Seashore Railroad, later
the Conway Coast and Western (a 14-mile tram road), was constructed from Conway to
Myrtle Beach and connected with the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad in Conway. As
Burroughs envisioned, the rail line provided improved access to the beach for vacationers
and the resort began to grow.
Oceanfront lots were sold for as little as $25.00, and it has been said that anyone building a
house costing at least $500.00 was promised a free lot. The A.W. Barrets, of Conway, built
one of the first cottages on the oceanfront in 1908. They paid $25.00 for the lot and built a
house for $75.00, which they named, “Idleways.”The Sea Side Inn, Pavilion, and bathhouse
were built in 1901. The inn was located between 8
and 9
Avenues North near Kings
Highway and faced the ocean. It stood tall among the large sand dunes, myrtle bushes and
scrub oaks. A long boardwalk led from the inn to the oceanfront and the Pavilion; the train
Mt. Olive
Photo Provided by Marie Feaster
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depot was connected to the rear of the inn by a boardwalk. A plank boardwalk was also
constructed running parallel to the beach. The Burroughs and Collins Company opened a
general store on 9
Avenue North between Kings Highway and Oak Street and the first
Myrtle Beach post office was located in the rearof the store, replacing the Withers Post
Office to the south. A notice in the
May 23, 1901, issue of the Horry
Heraldnoted, “The season at Myrtle
Beach will open in a short time now,
and the Sea Side Inn will be open to
the public for the first time with Mr.
F.A. Burroughs as proprietor and Mr.
C.H. Snider as manager.”
The Burroughs and Collins Company
was the driving force in all these
developments. The Sea Side Inn, Pavilion, general store, depot, and railroad were all built by
the company. The company lumber mill at Pine Island, about four miles inland, provided
lumber for beach construction. According to Edward Burroughs’ 1971 column in The
Independent Republic Quarterly, the company had by 1906 accumulated over 100,000 acres
of land including ten miles of beach front property, from the location of the former Ocean
Forest Hotel to around 1
Avenue South. Burroughs also speculated that, from 1900 until
the start of World War I, somewhere between fifteen to twenty beachfront cottages were
Several important events took place prior to the start of World War I. In the early 1900s the
Burroughs and Collins Company shifted its emphasis from timber and turpentine to
farming. The company decided to sell some oftheir land and began looking for investors.
Simeon B. Chapin, a wealthy Northern financier was looking for investments in the south.
In 1912 he came to Conway to tell the Burroughs and Collins Company of his decision not
to invest but was interested in a partnership. As a result of his visit and a handshake
between the partners the Myrtle Beach Farms Company was born. The Company’s original
holdings totaled 65,000 acres and the principal businesses were farming, lumber, and real
estate. Chapin visited the area but left the day-to-day operations to Don and Frank
Burroughs and their associate James E. Bryan, Sr. Around the same time, the tram road was
taken over by Atlantic Coast Line Railroad and developed into a standard railroad track. In
1914, a sand road was built from Conway to Myrtle Beach via Socastee (now known as
Highway 15).
During the period between 1918-1925,
Myrtle Beach continued to grow as a
vacation spot and as a home to some 200
residents by 1926. A second hotel was
built, the Lafayette Manor, and a 50-room
annex was added to the Sea Side Inn. The
Myrtle Beach Yacht Club, a three-story
building, and an associated pier (the first in
Myrtle Beach) were built in the vicinity of
Avenue North in 1922. At the time
the Yacht Club was the northernmost
Lafayette Manor
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structure on the beach. In 1937, Sam P.
Gardner purchased the property and changed
the name to the Ocean Plaza Hotel. James
Bryan built the Myrtle Beach Pavilion in 1923
on the site of the present Pavilion Amusement
A double row of cottages was built
either side of then Ocean Drive
located north of the Pavilion for
several blocks. The cottages were
typically one-story frame built on
piers with hipped roofs and wrap
around porches. Farther north,
oceanfront development was sparse.
The Withers Swash area experienced some significant growth during the early 1900s. The
first Myrtle Beach Grade School was built c. 1918 at the foot of 3
Avenue North between
Oak Street and the Old Conway Highway (Highway 15). Also located in the vicinity were
Macklen’s Store and the Ambrose Store. Several boarding or guesthouses were also
constructed in the area. The heart of the town was between 8
Avenue North and Oak
The late 1920s was a period of significant growth in Myrtle Beach’s history, sparked
primarily by the vision of John T. Woodside. In March 1926, John T. Woodside of
Woodside Brothers Company of Greenville, South Carolina purchased 65,000 acres, which
included 12 miles of ocean frontage, for $850,000 from the Myrtle Beach Farms Company
with plans to develop a community called Arcady. Woodside envisioned a grand beach
resort and country club with golf course. Woodside operated under the names of Myrtle
Beach Estates, Myrtle Beach Sales
Company, and Myrtle Beach Investment
Company. Plans for the area included
the Ocean Forest Hotel (completed 1930
and demolished in 1974) and the Ocean
Golf Course and Country Club located
at 5609 Woodside Drive (now referred
to as the Pine Lakes International
Country Club). Also included were
paved roads, utilities, a yacht basin, polo
grounds and bridle paths. Soon after Woodside purchased the 65,000 acres lights were
improved and streets were paved. New streets were also begun under the supervision of
Stanley H. Wright, C.E. of North Carolina and T.M. Jordan, C.E. of Myrtle Beach.
Woodside also had the area bounded by the Withers Swash, the railroad, and the ocean
surveyed and subdivided by Stanley Wright; this area was called the Hotel Section. Only the
hotel and golf course were completed before the stock market crash and the Great
Depression, which was the demise of Arcadyand the Woodside plans. Woodside’s Myrtle
Beach holdings remained in the hands of his bankers, Iselin and Company of New York for
Ocean Forest Hotel
Beach Cottages
Ocean Plaza Hotel and
Fishing Pier
Photograph by Dr. C.J. Epps
Ocean Forest Hotel
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several years. Independent investors purchased the hotel and country club, but the
remainder of the property was finally repossessed by the Myrtle Beach Farms Company in
the early 1930s. Approximately 40,000 acres of this repossessed land, which was located
between Kings Highway and the Intracoastal Waterway, was sold to P.O. Meade of
Charleston in order to pay back taxes.
The Pine Lakes International
Country Club, formerly known as
the Ocean Forest Country Club,
is significant for its association
with Myrtle Beach’s period of
growth and prosperity as a
coastal community resort from
1926 to 1954 and is an excellent
example of the landmark
buildings built in Myrtle Beach in the mid-twentieth century. One of Woodside’s greatest
accomplishments was the development of the Ocean Forest Hotel and Country Club. The
club and hotel were designed by influential New York architect, Raymond Hood.
Construction on the club began in 1926 and was completed in 1927. When the club was
built, a 27-hole golf course was built in association with the club; Robert White, a golf course
designer and future president of the Professional Golfers Association (PGA), designed it.
Although the original 27-hole course is no longer intact, the present course dates back to
1946, when the new owner Fred Miles, sold 18 of the 27 holes to John McLeod for real
estate development, retaining only nine. Mr. Miles then hired Robert White, a native of St.
Andrews, Scotland to redesign the nine that were left and to add nine more, resulting in the
present course. The clubhouse was originally used for lodging until the Ocean Forest Hotel
was finished in 1930. Although the hotel has since been demolished, it was part of the
Woodside’s dream of Arcady. Arcady was described by the Woodside Brothers as “A
national playground where the leaders of contemporary life may sustain their capacity for
work by bringing to its utmost the art of restand recreation.” Although the club continued
to run as an inn and country club, the ownership passed hands several times. The club was
reorganized in 1944 under the ownership of Frederick Albert Warner Miles, whose family
owned and operated many fine hotels throughout the south during that time.
Although the Woodside Brothers did not see their plans for Arcady come to fruition, they
did build the first golfing facility in Myrtle Beach and paved the way for Myrtle Beach to
become the golfing mecca it is today.
Over the years, Pine Lakes has been host to many famous people, both golfers and non-golfers. It was the birthplace of Sports Illustratedmagazine, which was founded in 1954 by
a group of Time-Life executives who had come to play the well-known golf course and plan
a new weekly sports publication. Known as “The Granddaddy,” the Ocean Forest served as
the introduction of golf to an area that has seen the development of over 100 golf courses in
the past twenty years. The Pine Lakes International Country Club was listed on the National
Register of Historic Places in 1996.
Evidence of the re-emergence of the Myrtle Beach Farms Company as a significant player in
real estate development is provided by a set of maps and plats, prepared for Myrtle Beach
Farms in the 1930s that trace the opening of sections to the north. The first of these is a
Pine Lakes International
Country Club
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1933 map of Myrtle Beach prepared for the Myrtle Beach Farms Company compiling
information from previous surveys and combining it with additions and changes. It included
all the area referred to as the Hotel Section, bounded to the north by 9
Avenue North, and
extended from 9
Avenue North to 40
Avenue North, including all the land situated
between the ocean and Kings Highway. All of the blocks in the mapped area are subdivided
with the exception of those located between the Withers Drive and Kings Highway from 9
Avenue North to 40
Avenue North. Notes on the map indicate that the Myrtle Heights
Section, representing the area from 31
Avenue North to 40
Avenue North, had been
opened earlier that year. In 1935 the Oak Park Section – area bounded by Kings Highway
and the ocean from 40
to 47
Avenues North – was surveyed and opened. Finally, in 1939,
the Dunes Section – area bounded by Kings Highway and the ocean from 47
to the
beginning of the Golf Course Section, beyond 53
Avenue North – was surveyed and
opened. The Dunes Section appears to be the last section opened by Myrtle Beach Farms
Company prior to World War II. The Golf Course Section to the north of the Dunes
Section was originally surveyed by the Woodside Brothers in the late 1920s but not
significantly developed until after World War II by the Ocean Forest Development
Company. The Myrtle Heights, Oak Park, Dunes and Golf Course Sections were primarily
reserved for residential development. The Dunes Golf Course was built in 1949 on land
donated by Myrtle Beach Farms Company.
South of the holdings of Myrtle Beach Farms was an area known as Spivey Beach. In the
mid to late 1920s, Senator D.A. Spivey of the Horry Land Improvement Company began
buying land in this area, which extended approximately from 1
Avenue South to 17
Avenue South and included the blocks between the ocean and Oak Street. Spivey Beach did
not really begin to develop, however, until the 1940s and 1950s.
According to 1939 aerial photographs from the United States Department of Agriculture
and a 1940 United States Geological Survey the area south of Withers Swash, including
Spivey Beach, was undeveloped. The Hotel Section from Withers Swash to 9
North was extensively developed (between 50-100% of most blocks) between the ocean and
Chester Street and moderately developed (25-50%) between Chester Street and the Old
Conway Highway (Highway 15). The oceanfront was almost one hundred percent
developed north of the Hotel Section 9
Avenue North to around 45
Avenue North. The
second row from 9
Avenue North to approximately 29 or 30
Avenues North was also one
hundred percent developed. North of 30
Avenue North, there was almost no second row
development with the exception of a cluster centered around 38
Avenue North from 37
Avenues North. Most of the avenues north of 9
Avenue North had not been built.
The oceanfront and second row development werealmost exclusively residential in scale.
Boarding houses and guesthouses were common south of 31
Avenue North along Ocean
Boulevard and in the downtown and Hotel Section.
In addition to real estate development, certain other events had impacts on the resort
development of Myrtle Beach. In 1929 the Old Conway Highway from Socastee to Myrtle
Beach, including Broadway, East Broadway, and 9
Avenue North, was paved with rock and
asphalt. Ocean Drive from 9
Avenue North to Ocean Plaza (14
Avenue North area) was
also paved. In 1935 Julian L. Springs had the 2
Avenue Pier built. This was the second
pier constructed in Myrtle Beach and said to be the longest on the east coast. The pier
contributed greatly to Myrtle Beach’s tourist appeal as fishing was a major attraction. The
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old drawbridge, still visible across the Intracoastal Waterway at Highway 501 was built for
train and car traffic in the late 1930s.
The residential
continued to grow
and prosper during
the 1920s and
1950s. The Chapin
Company, a
department store, was organized in 1928.
The 1958 Progress Reportstates that in
the fall of 1918 the pupils who were to
become the first graduating class of
Myrtle Beach High School entered the
first grade. There were only two rooms
in the school building at that time but
had three teachers, one being Mrs.
George Cox. The first graduating class
attended school in this building on the
Old Conway Highway until a new
building was constructed. In 1928 a
combination grade and high school was built on the block bounded by 5
and 6
North, Oak Street and Kings Highway (505 North Kings Highway, where the post office is
now located). The Myrtle Beach Grade Schoolopened in 1928 and two years later, high
school classes were added. Prior to the school’sopening, local students traveled to Conway
for classes. According to the Strand ’65 Historical Progress Edition, the first diplomas were
awarded in 1930 to Arland Cooper, Lonnie
Causey, Grace Perdue, Betsy Hollingshed,
Annie King, Nell King and Jesse Stalvey.
The first Superintendent of Schools in
Myrtle Beach was appointed that same year.
The high school student body consisted of
only 33 boys and girls. The building burned
in February 1946. The grade school was
rebuilt on the original site and the high
school was built at 1403 North Kings
Highway (the present location of Kings
Festival Shopping Center). During the timethe schools were under construction after the
fire, students attended classes at the Lafayette Manor and Carolina Hotel and in area
churches. These temporary accommodations were used for nearly two years during which
time the Myrtle Beach Grade School was erected. The high school was built in 1948-49, and
grades 9-12 were assigned to this building.
Beginning in the late 1800s the African-American community lived in areas referred to as
Racepath, Sandridge, The Hill, and later whatis now called the Booker T. Washington and
Canal Street neighborhoods. The Booker T.Washington neighborhood houses owned by
the African-Americans were originally on whatis now Oak Street and were later moved to
Chapin Company
Myrtle Beach Grade School
Myrtle Beach High School
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Dunbar Street and westward. Long time residentCecil Graham recalls some of the lots at
Avenue North and Oak Street were only available for sale to members of the Fraternal
Order of the Odd Fellows. Many members of the African-American community worked in
the fisheries, farms, hotels, and private homesas housekeepers and cooks. Some of the
African-American men who worked in the hotels formed a club called the “Cooks and
Waiters Club” that met once a month at the Club Bamboo on Dunbar Street.
An African-American
School was also erected
in the late 1920s and was
referred to as the Myrtle
Beach Colored School.
Prior to the school being
erected, African-American students
attended the first through
third grades at Sandy
Grove Missionary Baptist
Church and fourth grade and up at Mt. Olive A.M.E. Church. According to Nina Eaddy,
one of the first students to attend the MyrtleBeach Colored School, Mrs. Butler was the first
teacher and she lived in the camp quarters. Reverend Andrews Washington Stackhouse
taught the last year in the churches and later became principal of the Myrtle Beach Colored
The Myrtle Beach Colored School housed grades one through eight. The building was
heated by a wood pot bellied stove and later changed over to coal using a coal bin outside.
Mary Canty, a former student in 1938, recalls two children were assigned to go out and get
coal each morning in a bucket and bring it in. Originally the building did not have electricity
and light was provided through large windows and kerosene soaked rags, referred to as
flambeaus. Mrs. Canty remembers after studyingreading, writing, arithmetic and literature
with teachers such as Mrs. Gracie Austin, Mrs. P.A. Lamb, Mrs. Abraham, Mrs. Alexander,
Mrs. King and Mrs. Mabel Watson, the students looked forward to playing outdoors. At
recess the students would play Ring Aroundthe Rosey, hopscotch and the handkerchief
game. Students attending high school classes had to travel to Conway’s Whittemore High
School providing their own transportation and housing. For several years Reverend
Stackhouse held some high school classes for the students of the Myrtle Beach Colored
School. Mrs. Eaddy was valedictorian of the first graduating class of the Myrtle Beach
Colored School. Mrs. Eaddy recalls the students of the Myrtle Beach Colored School taking
the ingredients to make soup for lunchtime across the street to Mrs. Ossie Bland’s home.
The soup was made in a big pot and the students took the soup back to the school building
and served the other students there. Lee Simmons recalls bringing a cup from home and two
cents. The students received a piece of cornbread and a cup of soup for their two cents.
The Myrtle Beach Colored School closed in 1953 when the Carver School was built on
Dunbar Street and the Old Farm Road (now Mr. Joe White Avenue). The school, built
under the equalization program by the State of South Carolina, contained eight classrooms
and was extended to twelve in the 1958. Mrs. Emma Burrage, a former teacher recalled
leaving the Myrtle Beach Colored School for the new Carver School and leaving the old
name behind. Even though the school had basketball teams they did not have an indoor
gymnasium to play their games. When the Air Force Base closed in 1947 the USO building
Photo from the South Carolina Department of Archives and History
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8/00 Myrtle Beach • Comprehensive Plan Page C.187
that had been used by African-American soldiers was donated to the school to be used as a
gymnasium. Mrs. Evelyn Brittain, a former classmate of Mary Canty’s, graduated from
college and later taught at Carver Elementary School. Students wanting to attend high school
still had to travel to Conway to Whittemore High School until integration in 1965 at Myrtle
Beach High School. The first African-American students to attend Myrtle Beach High
School were Martha Canty Gore (daughter of Mary Canty) and Prince Bowen. Major change
occurred in the fall of 1970 when Horry County Schools desegregated on a larger scale.
Until 1951, the schools in Myrtle Beach were operated as an independent area and had its
own school district. Following a survey of schools in South Carolina by a committee from
Peabody College, which pointed out the high number of school districts in the state, and the
false economy resulting from such a situation, all areas of Horry County were brought
together into a county-wide school district. Myrtle Beach schools then fell under the
jurisdiction of the County School Board and countyadministration. All expenditures of the
schools were handled through the Horry County Department of Education.
The Myrtle Beach Colored School was demolished in 2000 to make way for the widening of
Mr. Joe White Avenue. A committee of former students and business leaders appointed by
City Council has worked to rebuild the old school building at the corner of Mr. Joe White
Avenue and Dunbar Street. The building will be under construction in the fall of 2005 and
will be a re-creation of the original four-room school building. The building will serve as the
new home for the Horry County Schools adult education classes in Myrtle Beach, adult
education classes offered by Horry-Georgetown Technical College, A Father’s Place
program to join fathers with their children, and a museum showcasing the history of the
Myrtle Beach African-American community and the former Myrtle Beach Colored School.
The building will be called the Historic Myrtle Beach Colored School Museum and
Education Center.
In the beginning of the 20
century a number of
churches were established. The First Presbyterian
Church erected its first building in 1928, now called
Brearley Hall and was located adjacent to the current
church building, on land donated by the Woodside
Brothers. On February 28, 1928, the Reverend Cecil D.
Brearley, of Conway, presided over the first Presbyterian
worship service held in the city of Myrtle Beach. By July
of that same year, the members had erected a new chapel
on the present site of “Mammy’s Kitchen” restaurant.
Aided by seminary students, Reverend Brearley
continued to supply the pulpit on the first and third
Sunday evenings until 1940. During the Depression,
membership dwindled but the faithful persistedand membership began to grow after 1935.
In 1949, a congregation of 70 had a full time minister, the Reverend F.M. Kincaid, who
served until 1942. Dr. Brearley returned as supply pastor and then served as full time
minister from 1945 until 1961. When the sanctuary was constructed at its present location
between 13
and 14
Avenues North in 1948, the originalframe church was relocated to the
new site. Since 1928, the church has grown froma membership of 19 to over 1600. In the
1980s Brearley Hall was donated to the Disabled American Veterans Association and was
relocated to the site of The First Assembly Pentecostal Holiness Church on Church Street.
Photo Provided by
First Presbyterian Church
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Both share the building. In 1990, the newly renovated sanctuary of the Presbyterian Church
was dedicated. In 2001, the church purchased 18 acres of land on Robert M. Grissom
Parkway between 38
and 44
Avenues North as the future site of their church.
The First United Methodist Church now locatedat 901 North Kings Highway organized its
first congregation in 1919. The first Methodist service was held in the old Myrtle Beach
Farms Company Store in 1915. Mr. L.D. Clardy brought his pastor, the Reverend E.F.
Scoggins, from Socastee Church to preach. The entire Myrtle Beach population, seven
families, came to hear him and organized a Sunday school. First United Methodist Church
grew from this beginning. The South Carolina Annual Conference organized the church in
1919 as part of the Waccamaw Circuit, with the Reverent J.E. Cook as pastor. A true
“Circuit Rider,” he road his horse “Dandy” to serve five churches. In 1921 a frame building
was constructed on the corner of 9
Avenue North and Kings Highway (where the church
now stands) on land donated by Myrtle Beach Farms Company. The “Little Church” served
the congregation and community nearly fifty years before it burned in 1968. The Reverend
Pierce E. Cook, who had served the Waccamaw Circuit, became the first full-time pastor in
1938. Planning and building a handsome new church, a brick structure facing the Atlantic
Ocean, began in March 1939. The first service in the new sanctuary was held November 5,
1939. Buildings and programs have expanded over the years to meet the needs of the
growing congregation and the community. The church became officially First United
Methodist Church, Myrtle Beach in 1968. On September 22, 1989 during Hurricane Hugo
the steeple of the church was lifted off its base and then slammed down cross first through
the roof of the sanctuary. After $180,000 of repairs, the congregation re-entered the
sanctuary three months later in January 1990.
Catholic services were first held in the early 1930s at the Ocean Forest Hotel, and St.
Andrew Catholic Church was built in 1939 on land donated by MyrtleBeach Farms. The
church is located at 37
Avenue North and is now part of a large campus that includes St.
Andrew Catholic School grades one through eight.
As Myrtle Beach continued to grow in the 1930s, a number of resident Episcopalians began
to look into the possibility of organizing an Episcopal Church in the area. During the
summers of 1935 and 1936, Reverend Thomas S. Tisdale of Marion worked with local
residents to organize a congregation. The first services were held on Sunday afternoons in
the Methodist and Presbyterian churches. In March 1937, Myrtle Beach Farms Company
donated a lot on Highway 17 at 30
Avenue North for a church building. On November 23,
1939, work on the church building began. The church was originally called The Church of
the Messiah and became a parish in 1949. In 1951, Margaret Wiley gave a lot at the corner
of Highway 17 Business and 31
Avenue North which allowed for expansion of the church.
That same year the church was renamed Trinity Episcopal Church. Other expansions took
place in 1957, 1958, 1965, and 1973. In 1991 more than $1.2 million was invested in a major
church expansion.
In the early 1930s, Myrtle Beach Farms Company built a small, one-room brick jail on the
southeast corner of Oak Street and 10
Avenue North. The police force consisted of two
officers, with one on duty during the day and the other at night. The first newspaper was
printed on June 1, 1935. C.L. Phillips and Clarence Macklen produced it out of a warehouse
behind Macklen’s grocery store near 3
Avenue and the Old Conway Highway. On April
11, 1936, the Intracoastal Waterway was dedicated. The building of the waterway had
Existing Conditions Neighborhoods
8/00 Myrtle Beach • Comprehensive Plan Page C.189
provided employment for many Myrtle Beach residents. Myrtle Beach’s first movie theater,
Ben’s Broadway, opened in 1936 and the Gloria Theater on 9
Avenue North near the
Pavilion opened in 1937. Myrtle Beach began receiving regular telephone service in 1936
with the establishment of the Seacoast Telephone System. Its first office was located in the
Lafayette Manor and a year later moved to an office on Chester Street between 9
and 10
Avenues North. Service grew from 25 telephones in 1936 to 90 in 1941. The Myrtle Beach
Fire Department was organized in 1936, two years before the City’s incorporation. Myrtle
Beach was incorporated in 1938 and immediately afterwards a water and sewer project was
begun. Dr. W.L. Harrelson served as the first mayor. H.B. Springs, Carl C. Pridgen, and
Dewey H. Bell established the town’s first bank, The Myrtle Beach Depository in 1937. The
Myrtle Beach Bank and Trust Company replaced the original bank facility. Later the bank
became First National Bank of Myrtle Beach, then S.C. National, and recently Wachovia.
Washington Park Horse Race Track opened
June 3, 1938 with harness racing and pari-mutuel
betting. The entrance to the park was about 300
feet from the corner of Oak Street and 21
Avenue North. This elaborate racing complex
included a half-mile track, stables for 150 horses,
and semi-weekly races with an average $250
purse. Washington Park Race Track was built
with the hopes that the South Carolina
Legislature would abolish the anti-gambling
laws. This did not happen and the venture folded in 1947.
The late 1940s was a significant period for Myrtle
Beach. The Myrtle Beach Air Force Base was
established in 1942. The base officially closed in 1947.
The base was reactivated in 1956, but due to military
budget cuts, the base closed in 1993. For a more
detailed history of the Myrtle Beach Air Force Base
please see the W.I.N. Planning Area VI Plan. In 1949
Highway 501 was opened, the Dunes Golf Course was
built, the Chapin Library was established with funds from the Chapin Foundation, and, most
importantly, the Pavilion Amusement Park was opened at its present location on Ocean
Boulevard between 8
and 9
Avenues North. It replaced the original pavilion that had
burned in 1944 and has since become a landmark property in Myrtle Beach.
Associated with the Pavilion are the German Band
Organ and the Carousel, both brought to the Pavilion
in the 1950s. The Herschell-Spillman Company of
New York built the Carousel in 1912. It was one of
five hand-carved
carousels built at that
time, and the only
one that is still in
working use. The carousel contains 50 hand-carved figures;
most of which were completed by 1912, but two of the
elephants are believed to date back to 1890. The carousel
Photo by The Jaeger Company
Existing Conditions Neighborhoods
8/00 Myrtle Beach • Comprehensive Plan Page C.190
was owned by Oxford Lake Park in Anniston,Alabama, until 1950 when it was bought by
Myrtle Beach Farms Company. An electric Wurlitzer organ was installed in the carousel
when it was moved to Myrtle Beach. In 1988, two of the hand-carved animals from the
carousel were featured on postage stamps released by the United States Post Office.
A. Ruth and Sohn in Bayden, Germany
constructed the German Band organ in
1900. It was originally constructed for
the World Exposition in Paris, France,
and was featured as the main attraction.
After the World Exposition, it was
shipped back to Germany where it
traveled from town to town, being used
for different entertainment events, in a
wagon led by a team of six horses.
Twenty years later, the organ was
purchased by a wealthy American
industrialist who placed the organ in a
room he had specially built on his estate
in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. The
organ remained in Martha’s Vineyard for
thirty years where friends and family as
well as musicians and bandleaders enjoyed
it. In the 1950s, Mr. Harry Beach of
Myrtle Beach Farms Company went to
Martha’s Vineyard to try to buy the organ.
The organ was shipped to Myrtle Beach in
1954 and has been in the Pavilion Amusement Park since that time. The organ is 11 feet
high, 20 feet long and 7 feet deep. It weighs about two tons. Working parts include 400
pipes with 98 keys, and 18 life-like hand-carved figures. These figures include 12 that move
in rhythm to the music, 2 of which play the harp and others that beat drums. The organ was
originally operated by hand, featuring a large wheel that had to be manually turned to
channel air through the machine. The hand-turned wheel has since been replaced by a
motor, which compresses the air electrically.
Music and dance have always been a part of the history of Myrtle Beach. In the 1940s and
50s Sarah and Charles Fitzgerald operated Whispering Pines Night Club on Carver Street,
also known as “The Hill”. Many well-known entertainers performed at Whispering Pines
including Jerry Butler, James Brown, Chuck Berry, Clyde McFadder, Lena Horne, Ella
Fitzgerald and others. The Cadillac Club, Club Bamboo and Patio Casino offered more
nightlife for the community during those days.
Other well-known early members of the African American community included Joe White
and his wife, Louise. Mr. Joe served as a shoe stylist for the stars who appeared at the Circle
Theater in the Ocean Forest Hotel during the summer seasons in the 1950s. Mr. Joe White
was an outstanding goodwill ambassador for Myrtle Beach. When 10
and 11
North were realigned in 2000 the street was renamed Mr. Joe White Avenue to honor his
Photos by The Jaeger Company
Existing Conditions Neighborhoods
8/00 Myrtle Beach • Comprehensive Plan Page C.191
memory. Many residents remember Mr. Joe riding his bicycle every day to his workplace,
Woody’s Barber Shop, at the corner of Broadway and 10th
Avenue North.
World War II did not have a significant
impact on Myrtle Beach in terms of
affecting the area’s growth patterns, and
the same type of development that had
occurred prior to the war characterized
the period immediately following the
war. The turning point came on October
15, 1954 when Hurricane Hazel struck
the east coast causing extensive loss of
property in Myrtle Beach. Many of the
small cottages and boarding houses that
had typified Myrtle Beach’s early
oceanfront development north to the Myrtle Heights section were destroyed by the storm
and replaced by small, 20-40 room motel
operations. The Chesterfield Inn located at
700 North Ocean Boulevard, built in 1946,
survived Hurricane Hazel. Until recently The
Chesterfield Inn had been in the same family
since Steven C. Chapman of Chesterfield,
South Carolina began it in 1936. Mr.
Chapman bought a small frame house with
five rentable rooms. Over the next ten years,
the original Inn was destroyed by fire,
moved, eventually torn down, and
Chapman built the present Chesterfield in
1946. The Chesterfield Inn had been
owned and operated by members of the
Chapman family for over fifty years. The
Chesterfield Inn was placed on the
National Register of Historic Places in
November of 1996. Myrtle Beach residents
Karon and Kyle Mitchell now own the
Myrtle Beach’s second golf course and country
club, The Dunes Golf and Country Club was
organized and promoted by G.W. “Buster”
Bryan and Jimmy D’Angelo. It was designed by
Robert Trent Jones and opened for play in 1949.
The second nine holes were completed in 1950.
The course was built on land near Singleton
Swash donated by Myrtle Beach Farms
Company. During the Civil War, a large salt works, distilling salt from seawater, was located
on this property.
The Chesterfield Inn
Photo by The Jaeger Company
Main Street Business District
Photo from the Collection of former Mayor Mark Garner
Pavilion and Downtown Area 1953
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8/00 Myrtle Beach • Comprehensive Plan Page C.192
In 1950 the city’s core business district was Main Street. Businesses included the Kozy
Korner Restaurant, Mack’s 5, 10 & 25 Cents Store, Ben’s Broadway Theatre, Nyal Drugs,
and the Carolina Café. Across the street from the business center were the City Hall and
Police Station (remains the City Hall building today) and the Myrtle Beach Depository.
Myrtle Beach was also home to a number of other beauties. The Miss South Carolina
Pageant, sponsored by the local Jaycees, was held in Myrtle Beach at the Pavilion from 1950
to 1958. Well known mystery writer, Mickey Spillane, assisted the Jaycees in the production
of the pageant and often served as one of the pageant judges.
In 1951, the Sun Fun Festival was started as a fundraiser for the Ocean View Memorial
Hospital. This popular event, always the first week in June, continues today. The Myrtle
Beach Area Chamber of Commerce sponsors the annual Sun Fun Festival.
The Ocean View Memorial Hospital was chartered in 1949 but did not open its doors until
1958. The first site of the hospital was on Ocean Boulevard and was later abandoned when
an outside corporation bought the hospital and built a new facility called Grand Strand
Memorial on Highway 17. During the past ten years the hospital has undergone numerous
expansion projects and is now known as Grand Strand Regional Medical Center.
The Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce was chartered in 1938. During World War II the
Chamber was inactive. In 1947 the Chamber was restructured and re-chartered and found a
home at 824 North Kings Highway. The Chamber included the North Myrtle Beach area.
In 1952, Claude and Harry Dunnagan coined the phrase, “The Grand Strand” by naming
their business “The Grand Strand News Bureau”. In 1957 the area was officially designated
South Carolina’s Grand Strand. The Chamber has gone through several name changes as its
membership grew. In 1979 the name was changed to the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of
Commerce and it opened the Myrtle Beach Area Convention Bureau. In 1994 the Myrtle
Beach office was relocated to 1200 North Oak Street. In 2003 the Ashby Ward Official
Myrtle Beach/Grand Strand Welcome Center on U.S. Highway 501 in Aynor opened for
business. Ashby Ward was the President and CEO of the Chamber for over 30 years until
his death in 2003. A new welcome center was also added at the Myrtle Beach International
Airport in 2004.
The Rivoli Theater opened on Chester Street in
Myrtle Beach on June 19, 1958, showing the
movie “This Happy Feeling” starring Debbie
Reynolds. The Rivoli was owned by the Merle
Investment Company of Charlotte and operated
by the Beach Corporation, headed by Wyatt L.
Parker. Costing $400,066 with 1,076 seating
capacity, the theater was designed by architect
Harold J. Riddle and built by contractor J.A.
Baldwin of Crescent Beach. James A. Porter was the first manager. With sound from a
four-channel stereophonic system, the movie screen measured 21 x 50 feet – state of the art
equipment at the time, to be found in only one other theater at Fort Collins, Colorado. The
lobby featured terrazzo floors and walnut paneling. Many people recall being admitted to the
Saturday matinee for five bottle caps. Perhaps the grandest Rivoli recollection is the 1967
world premiere of the movie “Don’t Make Waves,” starring Tony Curtis, Claudia Cardinale,
Photo by Robert Pickett
Existing Conditions Neighborhoods
8/00 Myrtle Beach • Comprehensive Plan Page C.193
Sharon Tate, Terry Moore, and David Draper (Mr. Universe). The building was purchased
by the City of Myrtle Beach in the late 1990s with plans to convert
the building into a cultural arts center.
Since the 1950s, Myrtle Beach has experienced unprecedented
growth and change fueled by its increasing popularity as a vacation
destination. In 1962, Joe Thompson of The Caravelle Motel
created the famous Myrtle Beach golf package. A golf museum
was established at the Caravelle in 1968. The Beach golf package
has expanded somewhat and is marketed by Golf Holiday.
Temple Emanu-el
was founded in
1963. This
synagogue is located
at 406 65
North. In January 2002 the Rosen Education
Center was completed and provides space for functions of the congregation as well as a
Sunday Hebrew School setting.
In 1967, the Myrtle Beach Convention Center was built and then expanded in 1976 to over
55,000 square feet and added another 100,000 square feet in 1993 to accommodate Myrtle
Beach’s growth as a convention city. After years of planning and eighteen months of
construction the Radisson Plaza Hotel opened its doors in January 2003. Having an on-site
hotel had been a goal of the Convention Center since its expansion in 1993. In 2005,
Sheraton Hotels and Resorts assumed management of the Sheraton Myrtle Beach
Convention Center Hotel.
The Flood Insurance Act in 1971, under which low –cost flood insurance became available,
had a significant impact on Myrtle Beach. According to an undated article in The Sun News,
the area boomed after 1971. “Out-of-state” investors and national chains bought up the
best-situated motels, knocked them down and replaced them with high-rise oceanfront
hotels.” The first high rise in Myrtle Beach was The Yachtsman Hotel.
Music and dance continue to be a focal point in Myrtle Beach. The Myrtle Beach’s Bowery,
next door to the Pavilion, was the starting point for the award winning singing group
Alabama, who played for tips as the house band in 1973. The singers received a major
recording contract in Nashville in 1980.
Between 1970 and 1975, new construction topped $75 million and the permanent
population tripled. Millions of tourists visited the Grand Strand giving Myrtle Beach the
highest per capita income in South Carolina.
In the 1980s, the Grand Strand’s popularity continued to increase dramatically. Golf course
construction was on the increase with 80 courses being added by 1995. Even Hurricane
Hugo in 1989 did not interrupt the growth of the Grand Strand. In 1989, the city of Myrtle
Beach was named the 6
fasting growing metropolitan area in the United States.
Photo by former
Mayor Mark Garner
Rosen Education Center
Existing Conditions Neighborhoods
8/00 Myrtle Beach • Comprehensive Plan Page C.194
The late James Futrell was elected to City Council,and served the city from 1982 to 1992.
Futrell was the first African-American person to hold a council seat. His memory has been
honored with the naming of Futrell Park off of Mr. Joe White Avenue.
Since 1990, the Myrtle Beach area has entered a new boom period with the emergence of
many new stores, hotels, restaurants, homes and industries. In 1994 Burroughs and Chapin
Company, Incorporated built Broadway at the Beach. This $250 million attraction is set on
350-acres between 21
and 29
Avenues North. The development features 100 specialty
shops, restaurants, attractions, nightclubs, and hotels all surrounding a 23-acre lake.
Seaboard Commons, a big box retail center, was also constructed in 1994 between Mr. Joe
White Avenue and 21st
Avenue North. Seaboard Commons is home to Lowe’s, Target,
Goody’s, Barnes and Noble, Office Max, PierI Imports, TJ Maxx, several restaurants,
specialty stores, and Sam’s Club. This was the beginning of the big box retail stores being
constructed in the area.
With the steady increase in growth, access in and out of Myrtle Beach has greatly improved
over the years. The first segment of Robert M. Grissom Parkway, portions of it formally
called Central Parkway, opened to the delight of local residents in the spring of 1999. The
parkway was named to honor the memory of long time Mayor Bob Grissom who died in
1998. Robert M. Grissom Parkway, referred to by locals as “The Bob”, was completed in
2002. The parkway stretches from 48
Avenue North at the Carolina Bays Parkway to
Harrelson Boulevard, the new gateway into Myrtle Beach International Airport.
On Thursday, June 29, 2000, the first segment of the Conway Bypass was opened to traffic
from Highway 17 to Highway 90. Veterans Highway, as it is now called, is a $384 million
road project which stretches from S.C. Highway 90 to U.S. Highway 501 and has
significantly relieved beach traffic congestion.
The Carolina Bays Parkway opened Tuesday, December 17, 2002. Known as Highway 31,
the 6-lane controlled access freeway runs north-south from S.C. Highway 9 to S.C. Highway
544. It generally parallels U.S. Highway 17 and runs to the north of the Intracoastal
Waterway. This will provide further relief to U.S. 17 Bypass, and provide through traffic
with a great alternative during the busy tourist seasons.
In 1991, a group of cyclists and trail enthusiasts interested in creating a contiguous route
between cities along the East Coast formed the East Coast Greenway Alliance. Now a
national non-profit organization, the Alliance has brought together 15 states to create a
2,600-mile city-to-city corridor for cyclists, hikers, and other non-motorized users. The goal
is to form a continuous, safe, green route from Maine to Florida that is locally owned and
managed. The route will be at least 80 percent off-road, using features such as abandoned
railroad beds, canal towpaths, and parkway corridors wherever possible. The greenway is
envisioned as an urban alternative to the Appalachian Trail, winding its way through some of
the East Coast’s finest cities and urban forests. Over 400 miles have been constructed, and
another 297 miles are planned or in progress. The South Carolina East Coast Greenway
Committee formed in 1999 and began the process of identifying a route that would pass
through key coastal cities, connect to existing trails, and highlight the state’s scenic beauty
and historic resources. Comprised of municipal and state officials and non-profit trail
groups, the Committee has identified a 262-mile route. Approximately 70 miles are in public
control, most of which is along the northern part of the greenway. This includes the
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8/00 Myrtle Beach • Comprehensive Plan Page C.195
Carolina Bays Parkway trail, the Bike the Neck trail and the Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle
Beach segments combined, and they create the 38-mile of the Grand Strand trail network.
The first eight-mile section runs along existing right-of-way from the North Carolina state
line south through Little River to North Myrtle Beach. The trail will follow existing
designated bike lanes and routes through the neighborhoods of North Myrtle Beach to
Barefoot Resort, a distance of about 10 miles. From there, the trail connects to the Carolina
Bays Parkway right-of-way. The greenway will follow the parkway for 9.5 miles, past pine
forests, cypress swamps, and through the 9,300 acres of the Lewis Ocean Bay Preserve to
Robert M. Grissom Parkway. This portion of the trail is through the unincorporated area of
Horry County. From Robert M. Grissom Parkway, a newly constructed multi-modal trail
leads through Myrtle Beach to Harrelson Boulevard where the trail can connect to the
Myrtle Beach International Airport and a passive park planned on the Intracoastal Waterway.
From the Central Business District of Myrtle Beach, the greenway will be extended to serve
the Myrtle Beach State Park and South Park Village (the former Myrtle Beach Air Force
Base) before it traverses the Town of Surfside and the Garden City Beach community. This
approximately 10-mile segment of the project will join the existing Bike the Neck trail in
Murrells Inlet where the Georgetown County line and U.S. Highway 17 Business intersect.
The East Coast Greenway Corridor follows U.S. Highway 17 through the Waccamaw Neck
to the City of Georgetown. The greenway will connect natural preserves already in public
ownership or control such as Brookgreen Gardens, Huntington Beach State Park, Lewis
Ocean Bay Preserve, and Clemson University’s Hobcaw Barony Education Center.
With the new millennium, the construction continues. The 21st
Avenue Ocean Front
Planned Unit Development (P.U.D.) was one of the first oceanfront PUDs in the city. In
January 2000 City Council gave final approval to this 8.13-acre development at the
intersection of 21
Avenue North and North Ocean Boulevard, beginning at the ocean and
extending west along 21
Avenue North. The area includes 4.48 acres of privately owned
real estate and 3.65 acres of publicly dedicated street or alley right-of-way. The PUD was
designed to promote upscale, high-image hotels and condominiums along with restaurants,
shops, offices, water amenities, meeting areas, parking facilities, and other attractions that
compliment a high density transient accommodation population. The PUD created an
opportunity for public benefits in this development including underground utilities, wider
sidewalks with landscaping, an ocean front park, attractive street lighting and benches and
other infrastructure improvements and enhancements.
This development opened the door for creating additional PUDs throughout the city.
Numerous planned unit developments including high-rise time shares, condominiums, and
up scale residential areas are being planned or constructed from the oceanfront to the
waterway. The Grand Dunes is a 2,200-acre upscale residential and resort development at
Parkway from the ocean to the Intracoastal Waterway. The 2,200-acre annexation was
the first time the corporate limits of Myrtle Beach extended across the Intracoastal
Waterway. The Coastal Grande Mall completed in 2004 has over one million square feet of
retail space with acres of out parcels including a Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Best Buy, Costco,
Michael’s, Home Goods, and numerous restaurants and specialty stores. South Beach
Resort located at 29
Avenue South and South Ocean Boulevard is a 16-acre time-share
resort development.
Today, the former Air Force Base is closer to the creation of an Urban Village. The project,
referred to as The Market Common, includes a broad range of uses such as retail, residential,
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8/00 Myrtle Beach • Comprehensive Plan Page C.196
time-share, office/commercial, restaurant and entertainment, and recreational facilities. The
111.30-acre site is located adjacent to a grand public regional park, complete with lakes,
walking and jogging paths and recreational facilities, and Farrow Parkway that connects
Ocean Boulevard to Highway 17 Bypass.
In addition to The Market Common, the former Air Force Base will be home in the near
future to 1,500 new families in the to-be created Centre Pointe subdivision. With the
increase in population in this area discussions are now taking place to build a public school
in this planning area and a new fire station is being constructed at this time.
As the city continues to grow the comprehensive planning process attempts to manage
growth. The City of Myrtle Beach Comprehensive Plan accepts and encourages additional
growth of population and the economy into the future. At the same time, however, the plan
addresses the need to manage that growth so that the environment is protected, quality of
life is improved, and governmental funds are spent efficiently. Growth managed in this way
results in the urban form envisioned in the neighborhood and other elements of the City’s
Comprehensive Plan.
As reported earlier Myrtle Beach originated as a small agricultural settlement on Withers
Swash, near which were built areas of beach cottages and vacation homes. Each of these
areas, built at different times for different purposes, had their own defining characteristics
based on the residents and the physical layout of the area.
Time has eroded some of those defining
characteristics. Populations have changed, as
retirees and other newcomers outnumber natives of
the city. Development that caters to the automobile
and regulations that are too broad to encourage
neighborhood-specific development have helped to
homogenize the look of many neighborhoods. The
very visible presence of tourist-oriented
development strung along the beach and Kings
Highway also covers up the individual neighborhoods
behind them. Nevertheless, residents still identify
strongly with their neighborhoods.
Neighborhoods are the foundation of every city. Participants in the It’s TIME visioning
process and W.I.N. (Working to Improve Neighborhoods) program recognized this and
voiced strongly their desire to preserve and enhance the residential areas of the city.
B. Issues
1. How can existing neighborhoods be preserved and enhanced?
It is accepted practice throughout the country for city governments and its citizens to
cooperate in a standard planning process to strengthen neighborhoods. The process
typically begins by creating a team of representatives from the city and each neighborhood to
undertake the planning program. The team then conducts a neighborhood analysis that
looks at the facts and issues relating to the neighborhood. The neighborhood is studied and
mapped to identify its detailed land uses, structural conditions, families affected by poor
Houses similar to this traditional beach
cottage with a second unit in the rear of
the lot can be found throughout the older
neighborhoods of Myrtle Beach.
Existing Conditions Neighborhoods
8/00 Myrtle Beach • Comprehensive Plan Page C.197
housing, social conditions, and other special neighborhood conditions. The detailed analysis
is followed by specific neighborhood improvement plans. Neighborhood organizations and
leaders are involved to ensure that the most important neighborhood problems are properly
studied and that practical solutions are proposed in the plan. Neighborhoods with many
problems to be solved can be designated by the city council as “neighborhood revitalization
strategy areas” for special attention.
The comprehensive plan update provides community-wide goals (for example for economic
development and historic resources) and establishes city-wide systems (such as
transportation and open space). Within that framework, neighborhood plans can be
developed that take advantage of the strengths of individual neighborhoods to address very
specific problems.
The planning area neighborhood plans which follow were completed for a number of
interrelated reasons. Most notably to:
• serve as a guide for future development;
• represent articulated shared visions about the future;
• identify tasks that need to be carried out to improve the area;
• offer support for positions that the neighborhood may wish to take on to facilitate
specific proposed changes;
• help to justify requests or proposals for services or funds;
• increase citizen involvement;
• develop leadership among the residents;
• increase knowledge and commitment to the neighborhood; and
• may increase citizen access and trust of local government.
Working to Improve Neighborhoods (W.I.N.) isa neighborhood planning program that is
being used to address the problems and concerns of Myrtle Beach’s neighborhoods. The
program began in August 2004 and is coordinated by the City of Myrtle Beach Planning
Commission and Planning Department staff toengage the Myrtle Beach community in
neighborhood planning and revitalization issues. The City’s mission is to continue to work
with residents and business owners to promote great neighborhoods with a sense of
community. The City is striving to achieve the highest possible quality of life for
neighborhoods in the City of Myrtle Beach planning areas.
Through the W.I.N. process citizens are challenged to:
• build a partnership between the city, neighborhood residents, institutions, and
• respond to expressed needs and initiate ideas and activities that support building
stronger neighborhoods;
• address the goals, problems, and opportunitiesof the neighborhoods at a level that is
more responsive;
• develop events, policies and projects to help citizens to marshal resources that will
fortify and strengthen existing efforts;
• promote mutual understanding of issues and viewpoints by fostering communication
between citizens and their city government; and
Existing Conditions Neighborhoods
8/00 Myrtle Beach • Comprehensive Plan Page C.198
• reinforce the City’s economic and housing initiatives through neighborhood
improvements and new and rehabilitated housing.
The W.I.N. process began with identifying the boundaries of the neighborhood planning
areas. The community was divided into seven neighborhood planning areas following
closely the United States Census Tract boundary lines.
Planning Areas III, IV and VI have been the subject of more extensive study during
the last decade. Several planning documents produced for these three planning
areas have been previously approved by City Council and have been included in their
entirety in the Comprehensive Plan by reference. In the W.I.N. process, these earlier
plans have been enhanced through additional public involvement and the
Comprehensive Plan now reflects these early plans by reference in addition to the
enhancements from the W.I.N. process.
During the W.I.N. process the neighborhood planning area plans, with the exception of
Neighborhood Planning Area III, were developed as part of the Myrtle Beach
Comprehensive Plan Neighborhood Element update. The W.I.N. process began in August
2004 and continued through 2005. The plans have been presented to the Planning
Commission for approval. On September 26, 2005 the Myrtle Beach Planning Commission
by affirmative vote of a majority of its members recommended this Comprehensive Plan
amendment, including the W.I.N. Plans now referred to as the Neighborhood Element be
sent to the Myrtle Beach City Council for adoption. The Neighborhood Plans will be
updated on an annual basis after meeting with residents and business owners of each
planning area.
Neighborhood Planning Area III plan (A Neighborhoods Development Plan For
Planning Area 3 – 2000-2020 and Mr. Joe White Avenue Corridor Development
Design Guidelines)was adopted by City Council on March 23, 2004 as an amendment
to the Comprehensive Plan. The Planning Commission, over a 36 month period, and with
support from the Community Appearance Board, neighborhood organizations, property
owners and City staff, surveyed the public, assessed present conditions, and completed
numerous studies related to the needs of the Planning Area III neighborhoods. On
November 9, 2004 the citizens of Planning Area III met as part of the W.I.N. process
to revisit the leadership survey of neighborhood needs, problems and issues as
discussed in A Neighborhoods Development Plan for Planning Area 3 – 2000-2020
and Mr. Joe White Avenue Corridor Development Design Guidelines. During this
meeting the citizens reprioritized the needs,problems and issues identified in the
Existing Conditions Neighborhoods
8/00 Myrtle Beach • Comprehensive Plan Page C.199
original neighborhood survey. By reference A Neighborhoods Development Plan for
Planning Area 3 – 2000-2020 and Mr. Joe White Avenue Corridor Development
Design Guidelines and the reprioritization of the neighborhood leadership survey is
made a part of this Comprehensive Plan.
Neighborhood Planning Area IV includes the downtown redevelopment area from
Avenue North to 14
Avenue North and from Broadway and Oak Streets to the
Atlantic Ocean. In March 1997, the Myrtle Beach City Council created the Pavilion
Area Task Force which was charged with preparing a draft plan for the Pavilion area
of the downtown. Ehrenkrantz, Eckstut and Kuhn Architects PC was hired in April
to begin work on the plan. Over the course of seven months, the task force and the
consultants met on a regular basis to establish a framework within which
development could occur in an orderly and market driven fashion while attracting
more families to downtown, giving them more things to do and more appropriate
merchandise to purchase, keeping them for a longer period of time and increasing
the length of the tourist season. The Pavilion Area Master Plan(PAMP) was
adopted by City Council on November 10, 1998 with the exception to the reference to
selling city-owned oceanfront property. PAMP continues to be used today by the
Downtown Redevelopment Corporation in the redevelopment of the downtown area.
By reference, the PAMP is made a part of the Comprehensive Plan with the
exception of the reference to selling city-owned oceanfront property
Neighborhood Planning Area VI includes the former Myrtle Beach Air Force Base.
In response to the closure designations for the Myrtle Beach Air Force Base in the
early 1990s and other potential base closure and realignment actions for military sites
in the state of South Carolina, the Governor created the South Carolina Defense Base
Development Commission. The purpose of the Commission was to “conduct
comprehensive studies of issues pertinent to military base closures, force reductions,
conversions, redevelopment and future uses of bases.” An Executive Committee of
Commission representatives from the Myrtle Beach area was formed to oversee
studies and issues related to the Myrtle Beach Air Force Base including the selection
of the contractor and preparation of a redevelopment plan for the Myrtle Beach Air
Force Base. The Executive Committee held a series of meetings on this subject and
established a volunteer Redevelopment Task Force of community leaders to
investigate and report on separate issues related to the base closure.
The Myrtle Beach Air Force Base Redevelopment Task Force hired EDAW, Inc.
from Alexandria, Virginia as the prime contractor of the reuse consultant team.
EDAW, Inc. created the Myrtle Beach Air Force Base Community
Redevelopment Plan in January 1993. During this same time period the Horry
County Department of Airports hired the LPA Group to prepare the Master Plan and
Base Reutilization Study. The Myrtle Beach Air Force Base Community
Redevelopment Plan recommended the establishment of an authority or
development corporation as the organizational structure for management activities
and the implementation of the reuse plans. The Air Base Redevelopment
Commission was established in 1993 and an Executive Director was hired. Under the
guidance of the Executive Director, the Commission and the City of Myrtle Beach
Planning Department the Plan for the Air Base Planning Area was created and
adopted as an amendment to the City of Myrtle Beach Comprehensive Plan on
Existing Conditions Neighborhoods
8/00 Myrtle Beach • Comprehensive Plan Page C.200
March 23, 1993. The plans mentioned above that were prepared for the Task Force,
Department of Airports, and the Air Base Redevelopment Commission were used by
the City of Myrtle Beach in the preparation of the General Redevelopment Plan for
the Air Base Planning Area . The General Redevelopment Plan for the Air Base
Planning Area was created and adopted as an amendment to the City of Myrtle
Comprehensive Plan on April 13, 1993. This General Redevelopment Plan for the Air
Base Planning Area is identical to the Plan for the Air Base Planning Area with the
exception of the addition of several sections of material – Chapter Five and
Appendices A, B, C, and D. The purpose of this plan was to act as a guide to the
activities of the Air Base Redevelopment Commission and the City of Myrtle Beach
as they pursued their missions to implement the plan and effectuate the reuse and
redevelopment of the former Myrtle Beach Air Force Base. This redevelopment plan
set forth a strategy for the entire base in an effort to utilize the 3,790 acre asset for the
greater good of the entire Grand Strand community, with a focus on minimizing
impacts of base closure.
In 1994 the Air Base Redevelopment Commission was dissolved and the Governor of
South Carolina created the Myrtle Beach Air Force Base Redevelopment Authority to
oversee the disposition of real and personal federal property that has been or will be
turned over to the State or to the redevelopment authority as referred to in the
Defense Base Closure and Realignment Act, 10 U.S.C. 2901. A new Executive
Director was hired to guide the redevelopment of the base.
Since the establishment of the Air Base  Redevelopment Authority the former Air
Force Base has seen many improvements both public and private. In 1996, the City
of Myrtle Beach and the Air Base Redevelopment Authority contracted with Design
Works, L.C. of Charleston, South Carolina, and created a master plan team to further
define and refine the master development plan for the urban village. In January 1998
Design Works L.C. of Charleston, South Carolina created the Urban Village
Redevelopment Master Plan for the Myrtle Beach Air Base Redevelopment Authority
and the City of Myrtle Beach Planning Department. The main impetus of the Urban
Village was two-fold. First was the desire to diversify the Grand Strand economy by
providing jobs and housing opportunities not associated with tourism. Second was
the desire to take advantage of the existing base structure of buildings and
infrastructure. When the base was in full operation, it acted as an urban village for
the 4,000 employees and their families who were stationed there and over 12,000 other
area residents who had direct association with the Myrtle Beach Air Force Base. The
Community Redevelopment Plan created in 1993 challenged the community to create
new development predicated on maximum environmental protection and high
quality lifestyle. The image desired was a richly landscaped environment with tree-lined thoroughfares, major water features, large open spaces, preserved woodlands
and wetlands, and attractive buildings and street furnishings. This Comprehensive
Plan includes by reference 1) Plan for the Air Base Planning Area, 2) General
Redevelopment Plan for the Air Base Planning Area, and 3) Urban Village
Redevelopment Master Plan.
The neighborhood plans establish objectives, strategies, and policies as provisions that must
be followed. The neighborhood plans inclusion as part of the Comprehensive Plan assumes
that the goals, policies and objectives of the neighborhood planning areas will be carefully
Existing Conditions Neighborhoods
8/00 Myrtle Beach • Comprehensive Plan Page C.201
weighed as part of future consideration of changes in land use designation. These plans are
intended to provide guidance to both the City and to the planning areas.
The neighborhood plans are designed to address neighborhood issues over the next 20 years.
The policies contained in it are intended to guide new development and will help determine
what public improvements are made in the neighborhood. The plans represent articulated
shared visions about the future. The plans include identified tasks that need to be carried
out to improve the area. The plans offer support for positions that the neighborhood
wishes to take on, specific proposed changes and help to justify requests or proposals for
services or funds. The W.I.N. process has and will continue to increase citizen involvement
while developing leadership among the residents. The plans help to increase knowledge and
commitment to the neighborhoods and may increase citizen access and trust of local
The plans can also be used as a guide by neighborhood organizations to determine if new
development proposals and land use changes are in accordance with the neighborhood’s
agreed upon vision for its future. The plans also provide present and future neighborhood
organization board members, and others involved in neighborhood affairs, information
about neighborhood needs, priorities and proposed projects. Finally, the neighborhood plans
provide guidance to those deciding whether or not they want to live or invest in the
neighborhood. It makes a statement about neighborhood values and expectations.
The City of Myrtle Beach through the “Working to Improve Neighborhoods” (W.I.N.)
program will continue to work together with residents to promote great neighborhoods with
a sense of community. The goal of the W.I.N.process is to achieve the highest possible
quality of life for neighborhoods in the City of Myrtle Beach. Our objectives are:
• to build a partnership between the city, neighborhood residents, institutions, and
• to respond to expressed needs and initiate ideas and activities that support building
stronger neighborhoods.
• to address the goals, problems, and opportunities of the neighborhoods at a level
that is more responsive.
• to develop events, policies and projects to help citizens to marshal resources that will
fortify and strengthen existing efforts.
• to promote mutual understanding of issues and viewpoints by fostering
communication between citizens and their city government.
• to reinforce the City’s economic and housing initiatives through neighborhood
improvements and new and rehabilitated housing.  click here for City of Myrtle Beach History long version