Some cool how to attract customers images:
This is how Japanese bars attract foreign customers: through flattery! Somewhere near Ueno station.
Charleston, King Street
Charleston, SC. King Street retail corridor at Fulton Street. looking south toward Broad Street. Set backs show gradual widening of streets/sidewalks over timePhoto taken in 2004.
Louis Schwartz, a well known photographer for the local newspapers and contributer to the HABS photo collections, had a studio in the building immediately to the left just beyond view in this image. Rugheimer’s haberdashery was next door, just to the right, in the yellow brick building. Generations of men had tailored suits made to order by the German clothier. Military uniforms were a specialty from the 1880’s until the 1950’s before the business followed the demise of its customer base.
While it lasted, Rugheimer’s and others like him, had a good business. They were located on King Street at the heart of a city that had grown comfortable and dependent on huge government payrolls associated with the US Navy base for almost 100 years and the Confederate veterans that needed new uniforms for each reunion they attended until the last one was staged in the 1930’s. Never mind the US Navy’s presence in Charleston was the logical transition from a Union occupation at the end of the Civil War until the last salvos of the Cold War.
King Street today follows the route known as the King’s Highway or the Broad Path. It was the road out of the port city leading into the back country. The wagon trade thrived along this street from the 1680’s until wagons were replaced by trucks and automobiles in the early 1900’s. Street frontage was highly valued. Each building, with its shop below and merchant’s home above, was typically 25 to 30 feet wide. That’s still the typical width of rentable commercial retail space, be it in downtown Charleston on in a modern shopping center in the suburbs. Somethings in the marketplace remain constant even as technology changes.
In 1838 a destructive fire destroyed a large portion of the city. As it swept from the eastern neighborhoods moving to the west, it burned several blocks of the city’s commercial district. In this photograph the viewer can see the southern limits of the destruction. The older buildings, predating the fire, were placed closer the public right of way. By the early 19th century there were complaints that King Street was too narrow to support the commercial traffic it generated. The discussions went so far as to propose widening the street by tearing down buildings to accommodate the traffic. One proposal was to extend the newly constructed into the center of the city. There was little explanation of how much traffic would be generated after only half the number of buildings were left.
The fire did not deter the commercial advantage of locating retail and commercial businesses on King Street. It also didn’t facilitate the dream of some to turn much of King Street into a railyard. The fire did, however, allow for a new zero-lot line to be established. New buildings constructed immediately after the 1838 fire were set back a mere five feet to allow for construction of a pedestrian friendly sidewalk. Vehicle traffic remained in the same path, but sidewalks could be significantly improved to encourage more foot traffic as stores evolved to include display windows to attract customers.
Today, some urban planners only know how to repeat what they are told. Set backs are bad. Zero lot lines are good. Unfortunately too many modern urban planning officials don’t know how to use their imaginations as the private developers and city bureaucrats did in 1839. When the fire took out a stretch of the narrow and over crowed street, they simply established a new zero lot line, set slightly back from the original one established when the city was little more than a village at the edge of an empire.
Today King Street moving north and west away from the oldest parts of the city expands like a telescope as it moves from where it began in the 1680’s to where it exits in the modern city today, a wider tree-lined boulevard leading to and past the 20th century suburb on its way to the rest of the country.
Photo and Text Posted: February 2008
Text Revised: 14 July 2011
Copyrights Reserved: hdescopeland
Hop This Way!
How is this to attract (young) customers… To see what you hop up to, see next pic.