Exciting renovation

Thousands of cars a day pass near the old Rock Hill Cotton Factory, with many inside those cars noting the multitude of changes to the outside of the building over the past 14 months. But most have not been privy to the changes taking place on the inside.

Photos in Tuesday's Herald revealed interior office space that, while modern, also has utilized many of the architectural features of what had been the state's first steam-powered textile mill. Designers have left the soaring wooden ceilings, the tall windows and dormers, and open floor space intact. Exposed pipes and wooden beams maintain the industrial feel of the building.

The renovated Cotton Factory at the intersection of White Street and Dave Lyle Boulevard will house Williams & Fudge, a locally owned college loan agency. The building's other sections will be used for office or retail space. Gary Williams and his partners have spent $10 million on the project.

This renovation serves not only as a stunning example of how the successful development of the city's textile corridor can proceed but also as a way to preserve an important landmark of the community's heritage.

The public soon will have a chance to get a closer look at the updated Cotton Factory. A grand opening is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Sept. 6.

We look forward to viewing a building that is both a piece of the city's past and a harbinger of its future.