A Myrtle Beach landmark property has been purchased by Myrtle Beach Mayor Brenda Bethune and her husband Brown Bethune for $1.35 million.
The Cozy Corner has been a staple in Myrtle Beach since the 1940’s. BJAOCHoldings, LLC purchased the property from Ed Jackson. BJAOCHoldings, LLC is a limited liability corporation owned by the Mayor and her husband.
The property is located on Nance Plaza
THE HISTORY OF NANCE PLAZA AND THE COZY CORNER
Daniel Wayne Nance served on the committee to incorporate Myrtle Beach as a town in 1938. He was also a master builder responsible for, as the dedication reads, “many downtown buildings near this plaza, as well as historic homes on North Ocean Boulevard and in the Withers Swash neighborhood.”
Across Kings Highway, where the pavilion once stood and the zipline and ropes course are now, was initially the municipal heart of Myrtle Beach. The first fire station was located where the ticket booth building is now. Nearby, was the first police station, city hall, and several businesses. They included Coastal Federal Savings and Loan which moved to the corner of Oak Street and 27th Avenue North decades later. It became BB&T and is now known as Truist. If you are facing Truist, the bank to the left of it is almost hiding a secret from that original municipal enclave. Look through the drive-through, under the tree canopy, and you will see the façade of an elegant little building with white columns. It is attached to a modern office building designed to compliment the original structure’s architecture. The vintage sign that hangs between those columns reveals that those are the offices of the H.B. Spring’s Company which has been providing real estate and insurance services since 1928. That smaller building had previously stood across from today’s Nance Plaza and later joined Coastal Federal on Oak Street to once again be its neighbor.
Writes Kathryn Hedgepath: What I find even more interesting in Mr. Nance’s resume is that he built what are now historic homes on North Ocean Boulevard and in the Withers Swash neighborhood. Those who know me know that I love a historic house. With the myriad of residential designs on display within our city limits including, Mid-Century Modern, Lowcountry or Myrtle-terranean, long-time natives are particularly fond of the style we dub “Old Myrtle Beach.” The few examples that are left can often be identified by their windows. They are the ones with the wooden awnings with the scalloped edges. In some cases, the houses that Mr. Nance built are still here, but they have been remodeled and the awnings have been removed, so you can’t tell their historic significance.
The location that is now Nance Plaza has undergone its own transformation. In the beginning, it wasn’t a plaza. It was a small thoroughfare called George Cox Street, named for the town’s first train stationmaster. Between it and Kings Highway a triangular lot was created on which a triangular-shaped office building stood. It was called the Flatiron Building. Like New York City’s Flatiron Building, the 22-story landmark, it was named for its shape that rather resembles the appliance that tackles your clothing’s wrinkles.
Ours only had three stories. I entered the upper office areas for the first time when I was in high school doing volunteer work for a charity that was headquartered there. That was in the early Eighties and the venue was past its prime. The most intriguing nameplate on one of the few remaining offices was that for our local field office of the FBI. The ground floor space was dedicated to a bank. I loved to join my mother on errands there when I was little because I was fascinated by the triangular lobby. I didn’t know in my formative years that an interior space could be anything but square.
It’s hard to find a photo of our Flatiron Building, but local historian and photographer, Jack Thompson, would be a good source. His temporary gallery is located at the junction of Highway 501 and Broadway Street. If you go on Facebook and search pages like Myrtle Beach History or my Myrtle Beach History Tours, you’ll see a photo of it that he took.
IN OTHER NEWS
The 34th Annual Run to the Sun Car and Truck Show is happening this weekend. The event is currently in progress at the old Myrtle Beach Square Mall vacant lot. The show features Pre-1989 Cars and Trucks and runs through March 18th.
With the mating season for alligators just around the corner, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources is reminding people to be mindful of alligators that may be seen soaking up the sun. Russell Cavender is known as “The Snake Chaser” . He is a Nuisance Wildlife Control Specialist, and he says he’s gearing up for a steep increase in calls for alligator sightings. “Once we get into next month, it’s like a bomb goes off,” said Cavender. Feeding alligators is what usually gets people in trouble. Cavendar said sightings ramp up in April and May, with mating season around late May to early June, but according to SCDNR alligator project manager Morgan Hart, ‘just because you don’t see them doesn’t mean they’re not there.’
The City of Myrtle Beach will head to Federal Court in Florence this coming Monday for what looks to be an extended trial relating to the take-over of the former Myrtle Beach Superblock. Court officials say the trial could run as long as 10 days. The city is the defendant in the case. Former downtown merchants in the Superblock say they were harassed by the city, city police, and city services. They alledge that they were forced to sell their properties to a city related straw buyer under duress. The city has already lost a similar case tried in the 15th circuit.
Research conducted by Family Destinations Guide analyzed Google search data for more than 100 tourist attractions in the US, as well as terms related to visiting each attraction, to determine which is the most Googled in each state. Myrtle Beach is listed as among the top domestic attractions tourists most want to visit in 2023.
Get out the sunscreen… After a brief freeze in overnight temperatures this coming weekend, the beaches are expected to see a return to Spring-like weather next week.