Why Is Our Newsletter The Villa Voice?
A look back…
Those new to the area or to our Art Museum family may wonder why our newsletter is called The Villa Voice. It’s named after the building in which our Museum is housed—and that dates back to before there was an Art Museum.
The structure was built in 1924 as a family beach home. Its last residents were the Springs family, owners of textile manufacturer Springs Industries, who dubbed the home Springmaid Villa. The house originally stood adjacent to the landmark Ocean Forest Hotel, at approximately 54th Avenue North and Ocean Boulevard. When the hotel was razed in 1974, the Springs family moved out. The building stood idle for nearly a decade when the decision was made to demolish it.
By chance, Gaye Sanders Fisher, then the newly-elected president of the Waccamaw Arts & Crafts Guild, learned of the plan. Appalled at the proposed demolition of one of Myrtle Beach’s few historic structures, Fisher lobbied relentlessly with the owner of the property, the Cox Construction Company, to donate the Villa to the Guild.
A new site at our present location was donated by the Burroughs & Chapin Company, Inc. Transporting the Villa to its new home required three days, two trucks and a coordinated effort by City and utility officials as well as numerous Guild members. It took another 13 years of fundraising, redesign and reconstruction to convert the home into a museum that could house the Guild’s art collection, ultimately the Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum.
Thus, our newsletter’s name reflects not only our Museum’s home but also its historic roots.