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Eckerd Drugs, 1530 Main Street: 1960s   11 comments

Posted at 1:28 am in closing

Main Street, Columbia S.C. Showing location of ECKERD'S Modern Drug Store, Located at 1530 Main Street, Columbia, South Carolina

ECKERD'S Modern Prescription Department Employs Six Registered Druggists. 1530 Main Street, Columbia S. C. "Creators of Reasonable Drug Prices"

ECKERD'S Modern 42½ Ft. Soda Fountain. Seating Capacity of Luncheonette Dept.: 176. "Creators of Reasonable Drug Prices". 1530 Main Street, Columbia S. C.

ECKERD'S Modern Drug Store, Employs a Personnel of 42 Sales People. "Creators of Reasonable Drug Prices" 1530 Main Street Columbia, S. C.

There is no date on these postcards, but from the cars in the first shot, I'm guessing post-war, but not by much -- I'm sure a car expert (hint) could pin it down much more closely.

To the best of my memory, I never visited the downtown Eckerd's, and in fact don't recall it in operation at all. Given that, tempered with the fact that some people have mentioned from time to time in the comments that they do remember it, I'm putting the closing as probably the early or mid 1960s.

The building is certainly an imposing one, and one which does not say "drugstore" at all, with the stone facade and dramatic arches on the second and third floors. You might almost expect to see someone clutch his chest dramatically and fall over the third-floor railing as a gunshot echoes up and down the street..

And, in fact, the name plaque styles the building as the "Historic Canal Dime Savings Bank", so presumably it was built for that long vanished operation. The last postcard suggests that Eckerd's was a deep, narrow, one story operation. Does anyone know if there was another business upstairs?

UPDATE 10 August 2020: Add map icon, update tags.

Written by ted on October 4th, 2010

Tagged with , , , , , ,

11 Responses to 'Eckerd Drugs, 1530 Main Street: 1960s'

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  1. Two clues to the date:

    1. Although Eckerd claimed in was started in the 1890s, the company history really begain in the early 1950s when Jack Eckerd started expaqnding his pharmacy operations.

    2. The Wade Hampton Hotel is in the backgroud of one of the cards.

    If I had to make a guess, I would suspect that the upstairs of the building was probably used for storage.


    4 Oct 10 at 9:07 am

  2. What was that high-rise on the left side of the street toward the Capitol?


    4 Oct 10 at 10:29 am

  3. Nevermind. I think that's the still-standing Palmetto Building, now a Sheraton.


    4 Oct 10 at 10:51 am

  4. @Badger, you are correct.


    4 Oct 10 at 12:08 pm

  5. The downtown Main Street Eckerd's was still in operation in the late 70's. The building is a rare example of Richardsonian Romanesque architecture in Columbia. John M.

    John Merrell

    4 Oct 10 at 4:42 pm

  6. This Eckerd's is also where the 1960's sit-ins took place, so there is some history with this particular store.


    4 Oct 10 at 8:38 pm

  7. Back in the 60s my mother would haul my sister and me the length of Main Street on marathon clothes shopping expeditions about twice a year -- right before Easter and right before a new school year began. We usually wound up eating lunch at Tapp's but a few times I remember eating at this Eckerd's. The postcard photos make it look very open and organized, but my memory of the place is that it was extremely crowded and cluttered, just jammed with people at lunch time to the point of claustrophobia.

    As for the exterior, even as a 5 year old I wondered what kind of drug store would look like the haunted house ride at the state fair.


    5 Oct 10 at 5:20 am

  8. That's it! That's exactly what it looks like..


    5 Oct 10 at 11:21 am

  9. tonkatoy

    1 Mar 12 at 12:21 pm

  10. I remember as a kid, we would go there
    And have lunch, corn muffins,
    Rice ngravy the best memories
    We always got a booth.
    Then we would walk to the state house
    And feed the birds/pidgeons roasted
    Peanuts, that the man would
    Sell us. I also remember my favorite movie
    I saw on main St. The jungle book.
    I think main a kid was
    The best of my life. After being
    Raised in Henley homes.
    4 kids, 1 mom. We survived.
    It wasn't easy. And we don't
    Pls. Vote '2020
    deb neal

    Debra P Neal

    17 Sep 20 at 1:08 am

  11. It think this closed by 1982

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