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Answered: What would you do with the former Morris Sokol building site

We asked and you delivered with some great ideas for what to do with the former historic store located on Upper King.

Morris Sokol Furniture in 2020.

Here is a view of the building from 2020.

Photo provided by the Preservation Society of CHS

City Editor Erika here. Last week, we ran a piece about the history of the old Morris Sokol building on Upper King. I had so much fun reading through over 50 responses submitted about how you would renovate the site. Bravo, you had some great ideas.

Many responses suggested turning it into a green space, a grocery store, a hotel, a retail store, or entertainment options like ax throwing, bowling, mini golf, or an arcade.

Here are several other submissions:

  • “Affordable housing for people working downtown in hospitality.” - Jessica B.
  • “A kid-friendly spot since that is sorely lacking downtown or tearing down to put in a pocket park with a fountain or other fun, unique features.” - Melaina M.
  • “I’d turn it into a retro jazz speakeasy, using some of the furniture that Sokol sold during that time. Obviously, it would be replicas, but it would be nice to honor the place with some of what made it what it was. I’d put old pictures of the Sokol and other businesses on King Street in the establishment. Employees would have to dress in the time period. It would be like stepping back in time.” - Michele P.
  • “Small shops inside the space, with a large, open area for a coffee/tea shop with lots of sofas and chairs for lounging (to honor the furniture store) and photos of Morris Sokol furniture maybe hanging from the rafters and have a rooftop bar/restaurant open for lunch.” - Beth S.
  • “I would create an upscale version of the old department stores with lunch counters in the back. Have multiple boutique-type booths in the front for shopping and an old-school diner-type lunch counter in the back. They were the best.” - Sarah Z.
  • “Keep the original signing and use the space to make a resource center for social work endeavors.” - Chrissy F.
  • “I would renovate this lovely landmark and rich historical block into low-cost apartments for over-65ers. It would be clean, safe, and beautiful. The residents would add richness and cultural significance to the block. They also would bring their fervor for a Charleston re-discovery. Living on King Street would be an affordable dream for me.” - A.M. Beckman Lease
  • “An indoor mall with artist/small business pop-up space and have a cocktail bar on the roof.” - Sarah K.
  • ” A mid-century modern food court/cafeteria with big lunch trays and retro furniture and local artwork. Casual dining + go with rooftop seating/lounge. The side building (2nd floor) could be a retro bar.” - Lauren M.
  • “Keep the historic building and repurpose it into a mixed-use market like Ponce City or Krog Street in Atlanta.” - Keyla M.
  • “I would make bathrooms and a hospitality house for visitors and locals.” - Jean M.