MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - The city of Myrtle Beach is restoring a historical landmark along Carver Street, Charlie’s Place.
Charlie Fitzgerald brought entertainment from all over the world to Carver Street in Myrtle Beach and brought people together during a time of segregation.
During phase one of the restoration process, the city restored Fitzgerald’s home and it will be used as a community center and event space.
But the area was truly known for the nightclub. Though it’s not there anymore, the nightclub was known as Whispering Pines, and entertainers like Little Richard, Billie Holiday and Ray Charles performed there.
“When you come on Charlie’s street, even today, it brings tears to your eyes. You go back and remember that Charlie’s Place was really the place for blacks and whites in the 1950s,” said longtime resident Mickey James.
A place where people weren't separated by their color and came together through entertainment.
Fitzgerald gave African Americans a place to find joy when the rest of the world cut them out.
“This is a significant part of our musical history but also our cultural history, even though it’s late 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, it’s definitely something was a part of the early days of Myrtle Beach and something worth preserving,” Myrtle Beach city spokesman Mark Kruea said.
The city of Myrtle Beach just began Phase two of the project of restoring Charlie’s Place. Phase two will focus on restoring and reconstructing the old motel beside Fitzgerald’s home.
A few of the rooms will be kept as a museum to the era.
“We wanna give some economic benefit back to the community," Kruea said. “It was a thriving part of the Booker T. Washington community and we’d like to have some resemblance of that economic activity continue as we rework the old hotel spaces."
Grand Strand Builders was awarded the $448,000 contract to complete the nearly four-month-long project.
This little slice of pure bliss will leave a mark on those who knew it forever.
And the festivities will continue this weekend at Myrtle Beach Jazz Festival to reminisce on the good times people felt in the area all those years ago.