Ratcliffe's Flowers (Charlotte, NC)

Across the street from Charlotte's Bechtler Museum of Modern Art (home of the infamous Disco Chicken ), you'll find a beautiful ol...

Across the street from Charlotte's Bechtler Museum of Modern Art (home of the infamous Disco Chicken), you'll find a beautiful old neon sign touting Ratcliffe's Flowers. But what you won't find is a flower shop. Or any shop, for that matter.

According to the Charlotte Observer, Louis Ratcliffe opened Ratcliffe's Flowers at this location in 1917 and it remained in operation until 1989. In 2000, First Union Bank wanted to build a parking deck close to the building. Faced with either razing the building it or moving it, First Union Bank made the extremely commendable decision to move the 650-ton building one block away. Today, the Ratcliffe's Flowers sign can be found where the building originally stood.

One more cool story about the Ratcliffe's Flowers sign: in the 1950s, Tryon Street businesses agreed to remove the neon signs in front of their buildings as they felt it looked a bit tacky. All removed their signs, except for Ratcliffe.


What To Know Before You Go

GPS Coordinates: (35.224256, -80.847100)
Location: 425 South Tryon Street, Charlotte



Signage 5467350777583318158

Post a Comment

  1. Well, you will still find the original two story building that housed the flower shop. It just no longer sells flowers. The building has hosted several successful restaurants since 1989. Currently, in 2023, Bernadin's restaurant offers a fine dining experience in the building. And the sign was on the chopping block in the 1980s, because the mayor wanted to revitalize downtown Charlotte, and the overhanging sign was deemed tacky. The building is noteworthy architecturally, as it was designed and built by an Englishman named William Peeps, in a Mediterranean Revival style. Louis Tiffany also contributed some stained glass to the original building when he did a "southern tour", in the 1920s. I don't know if that glass is still intact. Building was opened in 1929. Mr Ratcliffe returned from WWI and sold his flowers on the street. He was known as the King of Carnations, growing his flowers in greenhouses in the Derita area.



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Strange Carolinas is the Travelogue Of The Offbeat, a wry look at the interesting, unique, and offbeat roadside attractions, people, music, art, food, and festivals in North and South Carolina.


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