Mayfair Mills Lofts
This mill has been thoroughly preserved and converted to residential use. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2005, this mill also is significant because it was owned and managed by Fred Dent, U.S. Secretary of Commerce under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. Call ahead (864-576-1073) if you’d like to see inside of this historic factory turned urban living space.
Built by downtown pharmacist and banker Henry Ligon in 1923 as Arcadia Mills, the building was one of the last multi-story, brick cotton mills constructed in its era. With the crash of the stock market six years later, the plant went into bankruptcy, along with a nearby companion mill (Arcadia Mill No. 1, 1875 Hayne Street), and was purchased by a New York cotton brokerage, Joshua L. Baily & Co. Arcadia Mills was renamed Mayfair after the swanky London hotel of the same name.
The Baily family ran the two Arcadia mills, along with four others in South Carolina, for 71 years. In 1947 Fredrick Baily Dent moved to Spartanburg to run the enterprise, which flourished until foreign imports of cloth began carving away its market. He served as the nation’s 21st Secretary of Commerce from 1973 to 1975.
After the mill closed in 2001 Georgia developer Pace Burt invested $8 million to convert the mill to 107 New York-style loft apartments. Burt intends a similar renovation on the original Arcadia Mill (opened 1909). When complete, that mill will have 50 loft apartments.