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Commercial buildings from years ago

Real Estate - Commercial
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The Charleston Regional Business Journal is launching a semi-regular feature looking at historic features of commerical buildings across the region, starting with a commercial property at 237 King St. in downtown Charleston.

The property is currently a retail location for Amalfi by Rangoni, a seller of women's shoes. Decades ago, it was occupied for many years by W.P. Cart Co., a jeweler, silversmith and importer. The adjacent property was a bank, which today is a Starbucks Coffee shop.

But in 1963, it was vacant. It was also part of a National Park Service project to survey historic buildings.

Park service architect Harley J. McKee filed a report on 237 King that year. Tons of architectural details are available in the report, such as the condition of the building — sound with deterioriating paint — and construction materials — cast iron and stucco.

McKee said the building was constructed around 1850 and had three stories, including some modern additions such as store windows and doors. You can also see a window-unit air conditioner in the photo taken for the survey below.

A genealogy book, Prominent Families of New Jersey Volume 1, mentions the family that owned W.P. Cart and the retail location on King Street. It mostly focuses on the younger Theodore Cart, however, who was born in Charleston in April 1898, the son of Francis and Annie Cart who were "natives of Charleston."

"He is also director of the First-Mechanics National Bank, and the Peoples Brewing Company, of Trenton, as well as vice-president of the W.P. Cart Company, retail jewelers, of Charleston, South Carolina, in which his father was long interested."

Use the slider below to see the photo taken in 1963 compared to a Google Street View shot of the same angle, and check out the July 11 edition of the Charleston Regional Business Journal's print edition for a current update on the region's commercial real estate market.

Reach Andy Owens at 843-849-3142.

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