Alfreda Funnye, Coordinator
From the late 1930s to the early 1960s, Charlie’s Place was a Myrtle Beach nightspot owned by Charlie Fitzgerald and his wife, Sarah. The nightclub was on Carver Street in the Booker T. Washington Neighborhood, next door to their home and a small hotel they operated.
Early Motown performers brought their music to Charlie’s Place in the days before integration. It provided a place for African-American artists of the day to perform, including Dizzy Gillespie, Little Richard, Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington and many others.
The city's goal to preserve the history and musical culture of the former African-American nightclub and adjacent motel came to life when the city honored the community's request by buying the land. When completed, the city seeks to restore the economic contribution the club made to the community.
Phase One of the preservation included reconstruction and remodeling of Fitzgerald’s house for use as a community center and event space. The work involved 1,264 square feet of interior space and 240 square feet of screen porch reconstruction. Crews added space to the rear of the building to include restrooms for visitors attending activities to be held on the site. Phase Two of the renovation included restoration of the first four motel units and reconstruction of eight other units. A few of the rooms will be kept as a museum to the era, showing what “Green Book” travel was like in times of segregation. Other rooms will be reconstructed and used for small shops and community classes or crafts. To see photos of the process, click here.
SCHEDULE A FREE TOUR
Charlie’s Place, 1420 Carver Street, will beginning to offer free, scheduled tours on Tuesdays, beginning February 2. Due to COVID-19, tour spots are limited. To schedule a free tour, contact Alfreda Funnye at 843-918-1056 or send an email to email@example.com.
BUSINESS INCUBATOR UNITS
Charlie's Place offers four incubator units for rent to entrepreneurs. A minimum of a one-year lease agreement is required, with annual renewal for a maximum of three years. For more information, contact Alfreda Funnye at 843-918-1056 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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