“A beautifully designed and constructed building in the heart of the Pee Dee region.” J.H. Gates, a mid century tobacco buyer, stated in 2003 – “Man was the Kingstree tobacco market rough.”
City Directories and History: The Lake City Downtown Historic District (Imperial Tobacco – Warehouse), is a collection of sixty-two commercial buildings, forty-four of which are contributing to the character of the district, which illustrate the commercial development of the town between roughly 1910 and 1930. The district’s buildings reflect the one- and two-part commercial blocks found in towns throughout the nation, and represent stylistic influences ranging from the late Victorian period examples displaying elaborate brick corbeled cornices and pediments to the more simplified and stripped down Depression-era examples with typical low relief detailing and vertical piers. Corner stores and banks featuring either a Classical or Renaissance Revival style and the brick depot and
surrounding brick warehouses help anchor the district along both the town’s Main Street and its broad intersecting railroad corridor. Lake City once had the most diversified agricultural market in both North and South Carolina, marketing such produce as strawberries, snap peas, cucumbers, squash, limas and other assorted vegetables. From its season opening the last of April through the end of July, the city’s agricultural market sold assorted produce. From August 1st until late autumn, the area operated as the state’s second largest tobacco market. As a result of the growth of agriculture in the area in the early twentieth century, the downtown area businessmen began replacing older frame buildings with new brick structures. The success of local cash crops gave a more expendable income to the average farmer in Lake City and was extremely instrumental in changing the face of the downtown area. Listed in the National Register January 23, 2003.
View a map showing the boundaries of the Lake City Downtown Historic District.
View the complete text of the nomination form for this National Register property. Also see additional information on Imperial Tobacco Company.
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