Historic Markers Across South Carolina

Kress Building / Civil Rights Sit-In

Marker ID: SCHM 10-79
Location: on King St, between Wentworth and Society Sts, Charleston, SC
County: Charleston
Coordinates: N 32° 46.968    W 079° 56.059
  32.7828    -79.93431666
Style: Free Standing **


(Side 1)
Kress Building
This three-story Art Deco building. Built in 1930-31, was a 5- and 10- cent store owned by S.H. Kress & Co. until 1980. Kress, with about 400 American stores, designed its own buildings. This store features a yellow brick facade with colorful and decorative glazed terracotta details typical of Kress's Art Deco designs. A 1941 two-story addition faces Wentworth Street. McCrory Stores bought this building in 1980, operating it under the Kress name until 1992.

(Side 2)
Civil Rights Sit-In
On April 1, 1960, the lunch counter here and those at Woolworth's and W.T. Grant's stores on King St. were the targets of the city's first civil rights "sit-in." Black students from Burke High School were denied service but refused to leave. Arrested for trespassing, they were later convicted and fined. This youth-led protest was the beginning of a broader civil rights movement in Charleston."