Sunday, July 06, 2008

A Day in the Life of Belk & Ivey's, 1966

Belk, downtown Charlotte, North Carolina. View of columns and display windows, 1966. (courtesy Pat Richardson)

Belk, downtown Charlotte, North Carolina. Aerial view of exterior fa├žade on Tryon Street with wall sign on former Efird's building, 1966. (courtesy Pat Richardson)

J.B. Ivey & Company, downtown Charlotte, North Carolina. View of main floor, 1966. (courtesy Pat Richardson)

J.B. Ivey & Company, downtown Charlotte, North Carolina. View of "Meditation Room," 1966. It opened in 1955 and measured 8'X 9'. It could seat 12 people in six small pews that all faced the altar -- the stained glass was imported from Holland. (courtesy Pat Richardson)

Previously on LiveMalls
The Belk Archive
The Ivey's Archive


  1. 3 things strike me about these pictures--

    1- The columns in front of the Belk store are very, very cool.

    2- Ivey's was a fairly deep store.

    3- The aerial picture shows how "cobbled-together" the Belk store really was.

  2. Great, classy views where black and white is a definite plus.

    The chapel is definitely a throwback to an earlier era. A number of businesses incorporated them, especially in the South, including several Holiday Inns.

  3. Yes -- Ivey's is a very deep space, and, for people who've never been there, not too much wider than that picture. Every time I walk in there it amazes me how narrow the building is -- but they went deep and 6 floors up, so...

    Man, I wish we still had scenes like that. I was fortunate to experience a downtown store only thee times in my life (Rich's Atlanta, Davison's Atlanta, Strawbridge's Philly) and do so long for that different, special feeling you get in one of those.

    (Of course, those three stores closed about four months after each of my visits, so if you have a favorite you want to stay open, let me know to stay away! :) )

    Was there a chapel in the other Ivey's stores, or just the downtown one?

    Awesome pics. I love this site!

  4. Pat: 1) The expansion to Belk was built was built at a time of extreme optimism. They thought the store would be there forever, so they planned it in that way, sung the best materials, thous the really cool columns. 2) Not only was it deep, they were able to cram a lot of stuff into a main floor. There's at least five departments in this picture. 3) I think if Belk had kept the downtown store, there would have been a rebuilding of some of the older portions to even out the floor levels and eliminate some of the common walls.

    Dave: I agree, the black and white is a plus. I've never seen an in-store chapel before.

    Matt: Thanks for your continued support. I agree, the downtown stores were something special. I've been to all the big New York stores, Lazarus in Columbus, and Field's in Chicago, along with several more local ones that are long gone.