Court Street

Court St. in the late 50s, just a few years before Urban Renewal. You could get anything you wanted here: Ribs, Booze, Prostitutes. And few thought anything wrong with that. "Fry's Alley" was probably the most famous Street in this area,  and I can remember prostitutes hanging off the upstairs porches, or ground floor windows when I was a kid.  After all,  I only lived 2 blocks from here.  Many Whites from all over the area came here to get Ribs,  usually cooked in a house where you passed your money through a window.  Possibly the first drive-inn take out fast food!


Below is Court & Dryden Street in the mid 50s.

Below is the same scene a few years later

Court Street

You can see the trolly and train bridges in the background crossing the Elk River


There's one thing that many people dont know about the Triangle District:  It was a home to  people who knew and watched out for each other.  While many outsiders considered it a slum (which it may have been in parts) it was the place that the residents called their own.  Once scattered all over town in new accommodations,  the neighborhood feeling disappeared forever.

This quote is from Kai Haynes.. locally famous Bass player and state tax audit clerk that appeared in the Charleston Gazette July 14, 2014:

“I grew up in the Triangle District. My dad was a mailman. Haynes Park is named after him. It’s a children’s park up on Piedmont Road, maybe the first black park in Charleston.

“The Triangle District was very cool. This guy would put his jukebox on the street and had like a horn on top of it, and he would be like the DJ of the street, and there would be good music all day long.

“When I went down to Capitol Street and didn’t hear music, I wondered, ‘What’s wrong with this place? No music? It’s not colorful.’ We would have block parties and everybody knew everybody. You couldn’t do anything wrong because somebody’s mom would tell your mom or take care of you themselves. I had a very fun childhood."