Sixth Naval District Training Aids Library

National Register Listing
Street Address:
1056 King Street, Charleston, SC (Charleston County)
Alternate Name:
Big Bertha, Edens Food Store

NRHP Nomination

Record Number:
Description and Narrative:
The Sixth Naval District Training Aids Library is a two-story steel and concrete building designed with Art Moderne architectural details. It was designed by Charleston architect Augustus Constantine (1898-1976). The building is significant at the local level of significance under Criterion A: Military as a physical representation of the rapid mobilization of the United States Navy in Charleston, South Carolina from 1943 to 1946. It was also listed at the local level under Criterion A: Commerce for its strong association with Charleston’s civic commitment to economic rebirth and development immediately following federal demobilization in the post-war period. Completed in 1942, the building was originally designed as a theater, though it never served that purpose. Instead, it was commandeered by the United States Navy and served as the training headquarters for the Sixth Naval District from 1942 until 1946. After the war, the Navy vacated the building and it was repurposed for use by the Edens Food grocery store. Edens, a family-run grocery founded in 1929 in Columbia, South Carolina, had “30 modern stores” across South Carolina in 1949, including those in Columbia, Georgetown, Orangeburg, Aiken, Newberry, Myrtle Beach and Charleston. The store serviced the upper King Street population from 1949 to 1955, during which period the sales of Edens Food Stores more than quadrupled. In 1955, however, the entire Edens Food Store chain was sold to Winn & Lovett, known today as Winn Dixie, and 1056 King Street was among 38 stores to permanently close. In 1955, the second story space was leased to Skipper’s Skateland and by 1958, it became Skateland Skating Rink, which claimed to be “South Carolina’s largest skating rink.” Skateland occupied the second-story until 1980. Listed in the National Register October 17, 2017.
Period of Significance:
1943 – 1955
Level of Significance:
Area of Significance:
National Register Determination:
Date of Certification:
October 17 2017