The State Theatre closed in 1960 around the same time the next-door College Soda Shop closed.
“As a race of people, that is the only thing we have left in Orangeburg,” Green said. “We don’t have Goff Avenue, we don’t have the West End. The only thing we have left is that corner.”
‘Exteriors of buildings mean a lot’
Dr. Barbara W. Jenkins, who is a charter member of the S.C. African American Heritage Commission, spoke before Orangeburg City Council about Railroad Corner.
It was home to several prominent African American businesses that came into being shortly after segregation came into being, she said.
“Exteriors of buildings mean a lot,” Jenkins said.
She noted that federal grants are available to preserve historic buildings through the S.C. Department of Archives and History. She cited the University of South Carolina campus and the historic Horseshoe, saying the buildings were gutted and the exteriors were preserved.
“It is the integrity you want to save,” Jenkins said. “There are a lot of economic advantages on historic designations. Money can be made from history.”
Area resident Geoffrey Fine said he, too, would like to have the buildings preserved. If they are not, he would like for a historical marker placed at the site.