Bon Haven

Bon Haven - 5
Bon Haven is a historic three story home located at 725 North Church Street in Spartanburg, South Carolina built in 1884 by John B. Cleveland, was a Spartanburg businessman remembered for founding Converse College, and founding the city's water and public school system, his philanthropy, among other things. Bon Haven's architecture led to the house being added to the National Register in 1976.

John Cleveland died in 1928, and the house has remained owned by the Cleveland family since then. The last Cleveland to occupy the house died in 1995, the house has been vacant since then. An effort to preserve and save the house in 2015 failed, leading to this week's issuance of a demolition permit.

I visited the house today to pay my "last respects" shall we say. I parked nearby and found the area fenced off. "No Trespassing" signs were everywhere. I've seen recent photos (even some from today) from people who chose to disregard the signs and took photos from inside the fence. I chose to remain outside the fence.
Bon Haven - 9
I was still able to get some decent photos of the house though:
Bon Haven - 4 Bon Haven - 5 Bon Haven - 6
The middle photo matches up well, composition wise, with this postcard's painting of Bon Haven in the Spartanburg County Lbirary's Digital collection:

I also found in the library's digial collection this photo of Jesse Cleveland's house (John's brother). This house is supposed to be identical in design to Bon Haven's:
This house was torn down to make way for Cleveland Junior High School off Howard Street, now home to The Cleveland Academy of Leadership.

Southern Architecture Associates, a salvage company specializing in documenting historical buildings like this, has documented and photographed the home. The company has posted an interesting PDF documenting the house, exterior and interior, at their website and a slideshow on their YouTube channel. While it's a shame the house couldn't be saved, it is good the house and its contents have been documented and posted publicly.

I had intended to head straight back home, but then I noticed that the Hub City Railroad Museum was along my path home in my navigation app. I remembered the museum is open on Saturday, making it a perfect time to visit. I'll cover my tour of the museum in a followup post.

View the rest of my photos at Flickr.


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