Thursday, January 27, 2011

research project

one of my research projects from last semester published on 99 blocks magazibe...
Many Voices, One Site'
Monday, January 24, 2011 9:10:00 PM
Previous Post << >> Next Post

In the fall of 2010, nine graduate students in UNCG’s Museum Studies program did intensive research on the "hidden histories" of individual buildings on Elm Street. In the coming weeks 99 Blocks will feature buildings they investigated with background and "then and now" photos taken by the students. If you have anymore information on this building, contact us at and we’ll forward it to the students.

The Sole of Versatility: One Building’s Evolution to Fit the Needs of a Changing City -- 123 S. Elm Street

This article is by Natalie Wall, a graduate student in the Museum Studies Program in the Interior Architecture Department at UNCG, focusing on museum exhibition design. A native of High Point, her undergraduate studies were in art history and interior design and she has commercial design work experience.

Few items in life are as versatile as the shoe. From style to size to purpose, shoes take on many forms. Much like its past use as a shoe store, 123 S. Elm St. evolved and proved to be fitting for many ventures that involved countless walks of life. Untying its mysteries revealed a string of people, stories and events. This exhibit reflects the building’s place in time, and urges us to "look again."

"We used to wear loafers and saddle shoes, which were brown and white shoes. That’s what we wore all the time." -Merle Frazier, patron of the Roscoe Griffin Shoe Co., 123 S. Elm

"I went there with my mother and we bought shoes…They carried nice shoes for men and women, and children. It was a nice quality shoe store." -Merle Frazier

"Not many graduates had a job to go to in the summer of 1938…I was fortunate that I had a job as manager to one of the shoe stores that my father owned." -Roscoe Dillard Griffin, former treasurer of Roscoe Griffin Shoe Co.

"Young Man Charged with Threatening to Kill His Sweetheart. Mr. Harry W. Boyles, night manager of Clegg’s Uptown Café was arrested. He suspected that some other young man was paying attentions to the young lady. He wrote several notes…threatening to kill her unless she would agree to marry him." -The Greensboro Daily Record, December 1, 1909

"Citizen of Hellas Elopes With Kale. Attention was attracted by loud shouts, apparently coming from Clegg’s Uptown Café. Charlie Nicholas, part owner of the establishment, was escaping with the money. It seemed from the bit of conversation that was caught that Nicholas had loaned his partners money and that they had been slow in remunerating him. The officers released him on the ground that no criminal action could be taken against a man who took money from his own safe, no matter how forcibly." -The Greensboro Daily Record, January 9, 1917

The Evolution of 123 S. Elm Street

1904 - 123 S. Elm St. is built. According to the Sanborn Maps, the building first housed a Sewing Machine Shop and Tailor

1907 – About the time Clegg’s Uptown Café moves in, owned by W.F. Clegg, owner of Hotel Clegg

1920 – Greensboro Music Company occupies the space

1936 – Mears Jewelry Company uses the building for a couple of years

1938 – Roscoe Griffin Shoe Co., Inc. establishes itself at 123 S. Elm St. as a family shoe store, and stays at this location until 1975. Different businesses including a photographer, loan service, and beauty salon rents the upstairs space during this period

1977 – The building sits vacant for a few years

1980 – Best TV Rentals of Greensboro moves in

1988 – Halstead Industries uses the space

2005 – Manning and Associates occupy the space, and are still currently at 123 S. Elm St. The Capsule Group, LLC is also based here.

No comments:

Post a Comment