Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Efird's, downtown Charlotte, North Carolina. Exterior façade on Tryon Street with wall sign, circa 1955 (courtesy Pat Richardson)<

By Steve Swain - Special to Meckburbia

Beginning operations as the “Racket Store” and soon thereafter as the “Bee Hive” on the corner of East Trade Street and North College Street in Charlotte, North Carolina, the store would become Efird’s Department Store was bought by Anson County native Hugh Efird and two of his brothers, Joseph and Edmund, in 1907.

Joseph Efird took charge of the Charlotte store after Hugh died in 1909 and oversaw the creation of a chain of stores that eventually included over 50 retail establishments across the Carolinas and Virginia, all directed from Charlotte.

In 1922, plans were announced for constructing a brand new half million dollar Efird’s Department Store on the 100 block of North Tryon Street. The new flagship Efird’s store was designed by locally renowned architect Louis Asbury and was a state of the art store: five stories high with over 100,000 square feet of floor space including a bargain basement a top floor dining room and, uniquely of its time, escalators.

Efird's, downtown Charlotte, North Carolina. Exterior façade on Tryon Street with wall sign,date unknown. (courtesy Pat Richardson)

Efird’s sold out to Belk in the mid 1950s, and its North Tryon Street store became part of the adjacent Belk complex. The store building was razed in the early 1990s, and the Bank of America Corporate Center sits on its site today.

More about the stores and malls of the past including early photos of SouthPark at Live Malls.

1 comment:

  1. FOund this post when I googled Efird's. AM writing an historical young adult novel that takes place in Charlotte in 1950. Do you happen to have any interior shots of department stores? Carol Baldwin