The History Behind the Daniel Fountain

061615 fountain TerminalDuskAlong with boy aviator, the fifty-foot fountain on our front lawn is one of the most iconic images associated with Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport.

What you may not know is that this fountain stands in tribute to one of our cofounders, Charlie Daniel.

Charlie Daniel was born in 1895 in Elberton, Georgia but grew up in Anderson, South Carolina. After attending the Citadel for two years and serving in World War 1, Charlie returned to the Upstate and chartered Daniel Construction Company.

Daniel Construction was responsible for some of the Upstate’s biggest building projects at the time, such as the Donaldson Air Force Base, Bob Jones University campus, the Hyatt Regency and the Daniel Building (now known as the Landmark Building).

By 1957, Charlie had a major goal in mind: bring a regional airport to the Upstate before the airports in Charlotte and Atlanta consumed the market.

The first person to join Charlie’s team was Roger Milliken, whom he had previously designed, built and renovated plants with for years.

According to author Dave Partridge in his novel about the airport, “had it not been for the vision and persistence of Charlie Daniel with his powerful business influence and his active commitment to the economic growth of South Carolina, GSP may have never been built. Except for Charlie’s close relationship with Roger Milliken and his request that his old friend accept leadership of the airport project, Milliken might not have been involved.”

Roger Milliken always knew he wanted to honor Charlie Daniel’s memory somewhere on the airport grounds, and the fountain built to preserve the main lawn and its beauty for arriving travelers was the perfect place.

On July 3, 1970 the fountain was turned on and the plaque was revealed. Its inscription reads: This fountain erected in memory of Charles Ezra Daniel by his friends and admirers, 1970

061615 Fountain

Standing fifty-feet tall over its 140-fool pool, this fountain serves as a reminder of the rich history that GSP has brought the Upstate and the visionary team that had the courage to dream big. You can read more about Charlie Daniel and the airport’s rich history in Dave Partridge’s book.

Stay tuned for updates on construction progress!

Happy travels,

– The Terminal

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