This is the road to Capitol Hill.  I walked or rode up this street a thousand times both as a kid and adult. . The building in the background has an interesting history, and continues to this day.  Let's get "the rest of the story"....


As long as I can remember, there was always a gas station here.  But what I didn't know at the time was that there were secret passageways, and unusual nooks and crannies built into this little complex of buildings.  Few people did, until the complex started to be remodeled a few years ago.  Frankie Veltri bought the complex and actually lived in the gas station for awhile, later moving into the building before his death.  Mayor Danny Jones lived for a time in that building,  as did some of my childhood friends back in the 50s. 

See that railing where the clothes are hanging?  Let's take a closer look:



Italians built this little building in 1937.  That's why you see an unusual assortment of brick and stone,  along with the arched windows and doors.  Many materials were salvaged, like the railing above.  And where did that railing come from?  From here.....


.....the very first South Side Bridge circa 1891



As I mentioned earlier, the building was built by an Italian.... Christopher "Tony" and Josephine Iacona to be exact.  He worked at the Pure Oil refinery that once operated at the mouth of Cabin Creek.


This inlaid floor was uncovered during the current remodeling effort.  You would think that it's part of the dance floor of the old "Lido Club" which was a very popular nightspot in it's day.  My Aunt visited this club in the mid 40s, and I've talked to several others who were there at one time or another.  This was at one time a very legitimate and popular club as noted in the Gazette article from 1938 below....


But back to the star: The fact is that this star was on the top floor... the living quarters of the Iacona's.  The Lido Club was on the second floor,  while a grocery store operated for a time on the first floor. The Lido club was also the Club Mecca and the Knothole Club in its lifetime.



Another interesting tidbit.... Octopus theft?

I'm not sure which is stranger:  Owning an octopus or stealing one, back in 1938.



Another interesting tidbit:  This appears to be the very first mention of pizza in a Charleston newspaper Ad, 1947




As the gas station was being removed, (along with other parts of the complex that had been added onto over the years) it was discovered that a passageway was found that few knew anything about. That's part of it in the lower right hand corner.  At one time before it was sealed up, you could travel from near the back of the gas station all the way to the apartment building without coming outside.  But the real interest to me is how they added rooms over the years in such a tiny space:  Look at all those steps.  See the pink tile?  That's the bathroom area. And most of the steps are outside steps, not inside, that I believe were enclosed at some point.  Now let's see what this area looks like today....

Slack Street

This is the exact same scene after the remodeling



The entire complex is being remodeled into a home by the owner of Bossie Electric.


Another recent shot.



Slack Street



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