The Rock Hill Record reported on April 5, 1909 – “That a fire in Hartsville destroyed the big department store of A.L. Coker and Company and the entire stock of goods was destroyed. Architects have already been called in to plan a new building.”
City Directories and History: The J.L. Coker Company Building is a large brick commercial building designed by architect Charles Coker Wilson and built for the J.L. Coker Company in 1909-1910. The building is significant in the commercial history of Hartsville and the surrounding community. The building is also significant architecturally as an exceptional commercial building designed by one of the state’s leading architects. The J.L. Coker Company was founded ca. 1865 by Major J.L. Coker. The J.L. Coker Company Building is a one-story brick building with a brick warehouse addition on its south and southeast elevations. The building covers an area of approximately one acre. The brickwork is Flemish bond and the roof is a flat built-up type. The façade is defined by an eleven bay arcade whose segmental arches enclose the display bays and entrances. There are four entrances on the façade; two in the left bays, one in the center, and one on the right. The central entrance has interior and exterior canopies with scroll brackets sheltering double doors. The display windows in the brick arches are filled with opaque glass block. Above the arcade is a bronze entablature which spans the breadth of the building and unifies the façade. Listed in the National Register February 9, 1983. [Courtesy of the SC Dept. of Archives and History]
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