Best small town is also most historic

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 4, 2001

Greenville has done it again.

This week, released the results of its Historic Small Towns study and Greenville has been ranked at the top of cities in counties with fewer than 100,000 residents with exceptional historic character.

Butler County ranked number one in the state with Greenville ranking number one in the county. Based on four categories, the city received an adjusted index of 51 on a possible scale of 100. Although Florence, Ala. Also received 51, Greenville moved to the top of the list based on the number of historic buildings on the National Register of Historic Places as compared to the population.

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"This is great. There's something positive happening here. Like I said before, I knew that we were number one, but now everybody else is finding out, too," said Mayor Dexter McLendon.

"I think this is absolutely fabulous," said Tom Braxton, president of the Butler County Landmarks Foundation, and vice-president and board member of Greenville Main Street. "I think this is well overdue. Greenville is a small, sophisticated town and it has been over-looked for so long. We are now getting the recognition we deserve. Without a strong sense of our past, we can not move forward into the future."

According to the report, the ePODUNK Historic Small Towns Index uses four statistical measures to rank the historic character of small places in the United States. The Index is based on the number of buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places in a county, the size of National Register Historic Districts in a county, the age of a county's housing and the number of county projects awarded a federal preservation tax credit. ePodunk researchers analyzed these numbers for counties and places that are nonmetropolitan or have fewer than 100,000 residents. Within the counties that came closest to a perfect score of 100, the researchers chose small towns with the most outstanding historic character as measured by the number of listed historic buildings.

"In this case, Greenville had the greatest concentration of historic places. This is the second time that Greenville has ranked in our listings. I'm going to have to come down to visit," said Brad Edmondson of

Earlier in 2001, named the City of Greenville as the number one city in United States.