Site of the friedheim home
300 East Main Street
Architect: Julian S. Starr
Builder: Julian S. Starr
Built: circa 1908-09
Following the Civil War, bright and energetic young men from Chester and Lancaster counties flocked to the new startup town of Rock Hill. One of these was Mr. E.R. Mills from the Fishing Creek Community of Chester County. He constructed the earliest home on this lot, which at that time took in two city blocks. About the same time, in 1866, Arnold Friedheim, a German immigrant and Confederate veteran settle in Rock Hill, opening a small shop on Main Street and later became the owner of the Mills - Friedheim home at this site. By 1898, his business had grown to include the sale of clothing and shoes, groceries, hardware, buggies, harnesses and furniture. The Friedheim family, including Arnold’s three brothers, had become leading figures in the social, business, cultural life of Rock Hill.
Arnold Friedheim and his large family lived in the Mills – Friedheim home but in the late 19th century it burned, forcing the family to reside elsewhere in the city. In 1909, Arnold Friedheim and his wife Sophie built a home where the E.R. Mills house had once stood. It was a showplace, classical revival home, which occupied the entire block bounded by Main, Saluda and Black Streets and Elizabeth Lane. The home was constructed by Julian S. Starr, an active builder and self-proclaimed architect, although he had no architectural training. The house was a highly impressive structure which became known as the “White Palace.”
In the 1950s, the Friedheims sold the property to the City of Rock Hill, the house was demolished, and the lot became the location of the Rock Hill Municipal parking lot, located next to First Presbyterian Church. In 2015, the City welcomed a new enhanced undertaking for downtown, Fountain Park.