For folks who have lived in Greensboro for a while, a step inside 203 South Elm Street is a trip down nostalgia lane. Above, we see the central staircase of the Elm Street building that was constructed in 1949 for Ellis-Stone, a locally-owned department store. After about eight years (in 1957), Ellis-Stone sold the building to Talheimer's Department Store. Talheimer's also opened a location in Friendly Center, in 1958, and by 1975, the department store era ended downtown and other businesses occupied this building. Now, Elm Street Center is owned by investors who have converted the space into two ballrooms.
Recently, an arts and crafts market was held here and we had a chance to photograph the interior. It looked especially festive with the chandeliers polished, poinsettias well-placed, and the brass railings and marble staircase shiny and polished. Somehow, ascending a staircase seems so uplifting and hopeful. As convenient as it is to shop the new malls, the old ones have so much character. With the success of Elm Street Center, this piece of Greensboro history remains a vibrant and dynamic place- open to the public. If we could gift wrap memories, we would give them for Christmas presents.