Old Belk Department Store
140 East Main Street
Architect: A. D. Gilchrist
This section of East Main Street is the highest point in downtown Rock Hill. It became the location of numerous businesses, including the Bailey’s Tin Shop and the home of one of Rock Hill’s early doctors, John W. Fewell. This home burned in ca. 1912, leaving a vacant lot ready for development.
The Herald reported on July 24, 1919 – “That there are plans for a new store building between Reid Furniture and the Western Union Office (the original location of the Fewell home which had burned), to be used by Belk Brothers as a Department store. J.T. Roddey, says the architects have been to New York to inspect stores and models. It is expected that ground breaking with be within two weeks.”
The current building was designed by Rock Hill architect A. D. Gilchrist and originally cost some $100,000., to construct when built in 1930. The department store was a mainstay of commerce on Main Street for decades and for generations of local citizens Belk’s was their store of choice. The store later relocated to the Rock Hill Mall and the facility became the Rock Hill City Club, which ceased operations in 2017.