Federal Courthouse and Post Office
Rock Hill, SC is home to many federal buildings following the Public Buildings Act of 1926, but the first of these is the Federal Courthouse and Post Office. This historic site is now home to a variety of studios and artists as the Gettys Art Center in "Old Town Rock Hill."
Backstory and Context
Just over the border of South Carolina, Rock Hill, SC is home to many historical sites. "Old Town Rock Hill" is only about 30 minutes from Downtown Charlotte, NC and is home to many Carolina natives. The largest building in Old Town Rock Hill, and with ornate architecture is the Gettys Art Center. This multi-level building is located on Caldwell Street in the heart of Old Town. Although it is currently used for a variety of studios and galleries, the Gettys Art Center is also the historic Federal Courthouse and Post Office. The Federal Courthouse and Post Office is close to 100 years old being built in 1931-1932. It was built with the intention of bringing more federal buildings to the area in South Carolina after the Public Buildings Act of 1926. David R. and Allison Harris Black had the Federal Courthouse and Post Office put on the National Register and in the South Carolina Department of Archives and History. Following an immense amount of paperwork, the Federal Courthouse and Post Office was added to the National Register on January 21, 1988. This is one of the many treasurers of “Old Town” Rock Hill, South Carolina today.
The Federal Courthouse and Post Office is remembered today by its use as the Gettys Art Center. The Art Center still holds the original courtroom, office spaces, and mailboxes of the historic site. However, a larger portion of the building has transformed into a modern home for the Arts. If you follow the grand staircase upstairs, there are multiple vendors are artists that rent out the previous office spaces for clerks and judges as studios for their art. This is also where the Rock Hill Pottery Center is located. Across the hall from the studios and small business spaces is the old courtroom that has remained empty. The Gettys Art Center has been a transformative part of Rock Hill embracing its historical heritage.
The term “Old Town Rock Hill” was first coined in 2001, and has since allowed Rock Hill to connect with its historical roots with a modern appreciation. Old Town outlines the center of Rock Hill’s downtown, the Textile Corridor, and Winthrop University. Art has become a focus throughout the downtown center shops and museums. Rock Hill, SC has shifted into a cultural center with a long heritage that began with the change of the historic Federal Courthouse and Post Office into the Gettys Art Center.
"Arts Council of York County - Who We Are." Arts Council of York County, South Carolina. Accessed February 21, 2019. https://www.yorkcountyarts.org/who-we-are.
SCDAH. Accessed February 21, 2019. http://www.nationalregister.sc.gov/york/S10817746024/index.htm.