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City to buy Louis Building; Orangeburg seeks to redevelop the downtown property
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City to buy Louis Building; Orangeburg seeks to redevelop the downtown property

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Louis Building

Orangeburg City Council has agreed to purchase the Louis Building, which stands next to downtown’s Memorial Plaza.

The City of Orangeburg is in the process of purchasing a historic Middleton Street building with plans to redevelop the property.

The city took the first step toward purchasing 1192 Middleton Street on Tuesday when City Council gave officials the go-ahead to finalize the purchase.

The three-story property, also known as the Louis Building, will be purchased for $75,000. The property is owned by Orangeburg attorney Charles Hiram Williams II through the company Willcreek Enterprises, LLC.

"The plan is to have a developer come in and redevelop the building," Orangeburg City Administrator Sidney Evering said. "We don't know what that would be, but we think it is a nice building and wanted site control over it."

Evering said the purchase is a part of the city's efforts to revitalize the downtown area.

The city has not set a date for the redevelopment.

The Louis Building is located at the corner of Middleton and Russell streets on the edge of Memorial Plaza. It has a cupola, or small dome.

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Williams purchased the property in February 2015, according to Orangeburg County property records. The property was formerly owned by First Baptist Church of Orangeburg.

Williams began to renovate the building about two years ago with a pressure wash and paint job on its exterior.

The Louis Building was constructed in 1901-1902, reportedly by Samuel Dibble in honor of father-in-law Deopold Louis, a prominent businessman who was instrumental in the establishment of Orangeburg as a major business center in the period after the Civil War.

No record has yet been found recording its construction, dedication or first occupancy.

It was the site of three drug stores, including Lowman’s Drug Store, Cherry’s Drug Store and Fischer’s Rexall Pharmacy.

The second and third floors of the building were used as offices for local businessmen such as doctors and lawyers.

The building was damaged in a fire in April 1927, which did considerable damage to the second and third floors, according to records at the Orangeburg County Historical Society.

The Louis Building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1985 as part of the Orangeburg Downtown Historic District.

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