Rock Hill to mark pair of historic sites

Some of area's most familiar public figures will gather in downtown Friday to pay homage to two of the most iconic buildings in the city.

Former Mayor John Hardin, U.S. Rep. John Spratt, D-S.C., and Mary Phillips Gettys, the widow of former U.S. Rep. Tom S. Gettys, will be among the speakers when historic markers are unveiled at the Citizens Building and the U.S. Post Office and Court-house. The 11 a.m. ceremony is open to the public.

The two buildings are on opposite sides of the intersection of Main and Caldwell streets in the heart of downtown. Here is a look at what the marker will describe:

U.S. Post Office and Courthouse

This building was described as "handsome in every respect" when it opened in 1932. It replaced a 1906 post office and housed a new district court and federal offices. It served as a post office until 1986 and provided offices and headquarters for several U.S. congressmen, including Tom S. Gettys from 1965 to 1975.

Listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1988, it was renamed in honor of Gettys in 1997.

Citizens Building

This six-story structure was Rock Hill's first high-rise office building. Built in 1924-25, it opened in 1926 with Citizens Bank & Trust on the first floor. The bank closed in 1927. Rock Hill National Bank opened on the first floor in 1941 and remained there until 1976.

WRHI Radio signed on with studios on the second floor in 1944 and broadcast from there until 1977. Civil Defense used an observation deck on the roof during World War II.