Johnston Design Group donates restorative design for historic McClaren project in downtown Greenville

former McClaren Medical Shelter

Restorative design lends itself to other values we support — urban renewal, affordable housing and social justice. We’re proud to help restore the former McClaren Medical Shelter as a community center honoring Dr. Edward E. McClaren.

Dr. McClaren introduced medical care to Greenville’s African-American community in 1949. Local Jim Crow laws kept African-Americans out of Greenville General Hospital, so the private McClaren Medical Shelter gave them first-class care and clinical facilities. The two-story, 3,000 square-foot facility eventually had a clinical staff of 22 doctors and three nurses, closing in 1954 when Greenville desegregated its hospitals.

The city and community leaders agreed to restore the building in 2018, to honor Dr. McClaren’s legacy and continue his work in the community.

A new location and life for the building

In 2020, Patterson Structural Moving and Shoring moved the former hospital from its original address at 110 Wardlaw Street. The building is now part of The McClaren, a new high-end mixed-use project at the intersection of Rhett and Wardlaw streets. 20% of the apartments will be dedicated to workforce and affordable housing. The former clinic will house a community center on the ground floor, with the upstairs reserved for a non-profit organization and perhaps a museum honoring Dr. McClaren.

We’re donating our architecture and design work to help repair the building. This includes restoring masonry, roof repairs, and repainting and weatherizing the historic windows. We also plan to work on the interior.

As always, we’re pleased to work on an urban renewal project, particularly when it includes affordable housing and continues the work of visionaries like Dr. McClaren. We applaud Lighthouse Living, the developer, for their commitment to building a community that works for all of Greenville.

Watch this space for updates!

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