YRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Charlie’s Place could be completely redone as soon as the end of this year, and that kind of news is sitting well with those who grew up and still visit the neighborhood.
Work is being done on what was formerly known as Charlie and Sarah Fitzgerald’s house. Neighborhood services director Cookie Goings said the roof is complete for phase one of the building.
Now, workers are just waiting on the windows to come in before adding sheet rock and moving on to phase two, which Goings said will involve the old motel section of the site. Phase three will include a parking area.
Mickey James grew up in the Booker T. Washington neighborhood and heads the Jazz Festival in that area each year. He said he’s happy to see the project start to come to life.
"To look at where it came from and where it is today, it's really refreshing,” said James.
Goings said it’s possible the project could be complete by September or October, which is right around the time of the Jazz Festival.
"It’s really good to reflect on the past and look at the present as far as commemorating and the historical aspect of it. It’s phenomenal,” said James. "It’s going to have restrooms, and it’ll be a place to go. People can look around in and see some of the historical pictures or whatever and look at what the city’s doing.”
While phase one of the project is underway right now, the city said it expects that to take about another six weeks before phase two begins.
The site was also awarded a state historical marker. Goings said a lot of work went into the wording and fact-finding to add to the history of it, but it was worth the wait.
“We got the wording, kind of the history of the place, a little bit about Mr. Charlie and Ms. Sarah, and we edited a little bit,” said Goings. “It’s great. I mean, it’s just remarkable because this area, (this) particular spot, deserves that recognition,” James said.
Weather has been a little bit of a factor, but other than that, Goings said the project has moved along very well.
"It brings back a good feeling to know that at this time you had a lot of people that came to the area - black and white - that came to the area and had a great time. So that is something that makes me smile,” said James.