CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A block of Charleston's famed King Street now has a new name to honor a longtime retailer's family.
Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg and members of Charleston City Council dedicated the Sokol Family Block at 510 King Street was dedicated Monday morning.
Morris Sokol Furniture was a longtime landmark along Upper King Street. Sokol opened the business in 1929 and later passed it on to his son, Joe.
Tecklenburg said one of his first jobs for the City of Charleston involved talking to merchants along Upper King Street in the 1990s to ask them to pay more taxes to help improve that portion of the downtown area.
"Joe not only said yes, but he helped lead the way to urge other property owners and store owners up here to join the effort and keep a focus on King Street to, I guess you would say, it's former glory as a renowned shopping district and central business district," Tecklenburg said. "When many stores were closing, it was always worth your while to come to Sokol Furniture. And you kept hope alive, you kept the flame alive, Joe, and your family."
Joe Sokol's grandson, Ross Appel, was one of the speakers at the dedication.
"The Sokol Family Block represents a torch, forever signaling to the entire world, the Sokol story and their legacy to King Street and the City of Charleston," Appel said.
Joe Sokol, before speaking, tried his old key to the building's front door and received laughs from the audience when he said it no longer fit the lock.
"After 65 years, the key doesn't fit," he said. "I guess it really is true, it's not my building anymore."
Sokol received a framed portion of his office door that read, "Joseph H. Sokol, President."
"I'm glad I'm here, I'm glad you're all here, and thank you so much for being part of it," he said.
The store closed in 2015 after 94 years in business.