I was in Greensboro, NC, to watch the ACC Women’s Swimming Championships and had an afternoon free. I had heard such great things about the area so I decided to see what there was to do and see in Downtown Greensboro.
Parking was pretty easy. There was were plenty of parking lots just one street over from the main street. I parked at The Railyard which was at 120 Barnhardt Street next to the Boxcar and Greensboro Distilling Co restaurants. The rates were inexpensive, and it was really convenient.
Since there are two big denim companies that have a presence in Greensboro (VF Corp and Cone Mills), they lent their support to a public art event called Jeansboro. The commissioned young art students and designers to create scenes about the Greensboro area (sports, history/heritage, local plant life, or famous people from the area) on 4-foot tall sculptures.
Six were installed in 2016 and more have been created since then. I saw many of them just walking down the street, but these five were my favorite.
F.W. Woolworth Building in Downtown Greensboro
34 South Elm Street, Greensboro, NC, United States
One of the highlights of my visit to Downtown Greensboro was visiting the INTERNATIONAL CIVIL RIGHTS
CENTER & MUSEUM which features a tour of the F.W. Woolworth building which has is in its original location and restore the lunch counter.
In 1960, racial segregation still rampant especially in the south. Four African American college students sat down at a “whites only counter in Woolworths. They were asked to leave, but they chose to stay. This sit-in got attention all over the country was really helped charge a movement to challenge this terrible practice.
The national attention leds hundreds of people (students, civil rights organizations, community members to join in a protest that lasted six months. This protest was victorious since it on July 25, 1960 the F. W. Woolworth lunch counter was officially desegregated.
The tour of the museum included a tour of the lunch counter and was very well done. You could envision the students sitting there and challenging the unfair and unequal treatment of people of color. It was inspiring to learn more about the changemakers in our country.
The rest of the museum was interesting as well. There were a lot of exhibits and it was well laid out.
Elsewhere in Downtown Greensboro
Another interesting site to see is the Elsewhere Collaborative. It is a museum in downtown Greensboro and has an interesting history. The museum started as a way to show the items of Sylvia Gray, a thrift store owner who collected odds and ends and materials and sold them in a thrift store.
When she passed away, the family began organizing the items in the same location as the former thrift store and gave the space a new life as a museum and a space to support artists. Artists can left there and make art out of the objects in the museum so visiting the museums can be a treasure hunt to both see the artistic expression of the residents and see the collection of very interesting items. Definitely worth seeing.
Art and Scultures in Downtown Greensboro
When I was walking around the downtown area of Greensboro, I saw so many different sculptures and murals. I don’t know the story on all of these, but they caught my interest.
- Greensboro Lunch Counter. (2022, January 28). National Museum of American History. Retrieved March 19, 2022, from https://americanhistory.si.edu/exhibitions/greensboro-lunch-counter
- Home – Sit-In Movement. (2022). The International Civil Rights Center & Museum. Retrieved March 19, 2022, from https://www.sitinmovement.org/
- “Jeans on Parade in Greensboro, Home of Wrangler and Cone – Carved in Blue – TENCEL™.” TENCEL, 19 Oct. 2018, carvedinblue.tencel.com/jeans-parade-greensboro-home-wrangler-cone/
- U. (2022, March 16). Elsewhere Collaborative. Atlas Obscura. Retrieved March 19, 2022, from https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/elsewhere-artist-collaborative