Back in 1917, Louis Ratcliffe started a floral business, appropriately named Ratcliffe’s Flowers, at 431 South Tryon Street. The business operated until 1989 when Carpe Diem moved into that location (who moved to Elizabeth but is now closed due to COVID-19).
Then in 2000, things got interesting. First Union, now Wells Fargo, wanted to build an underground parking deck but the building was in the way. Rather than demolishing the historic building, the bank decided to move it while keeping it intact. The old florist shop was moved half a block over and is still there to this day as Bernardin’s restaurant. The bank completed the underground parking deck and added a park now known as The Green.
The old building may have moved but the old neon sign still stands at 431 S Tryon as a monument. So, next time you park at The Green keep your eyes peeled for this piece of Charlotte history.
For an even more in-depth look at the history of the Ratcliffe building, click here (subscription may be required) to read Maria David’s article at The Charlotte Observer.
Until next week!
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Information taken from:
CharlotteIsCreative.com, "Ratcliffe’s Flowers at The Green," on October 18, 2019.
“We have to do with the past only as we can make it useful to the present and the future.” – Frederick Douglass