The Book House: Shop in Historic House Gets Eviction Notice, Storage Site in the Works

michelle barron fp.jpg
Jennifer Silverberg for RFT
Michelle Barron at the Book House.
That was quick.

On Monday we reported that the Book House, a beloved local shop, could soon be homeless as developers and the city of Rock Hill explore the possibility of demolishing the historic property to make way for a large storage facility. The out-of-state developer Great Northern Development LLC and Rock Hill officials both told us that talks are very preliminary at this point.

Two days later owner Michelle Barron received her formal eviction notice.

"For the first time, I actually broke down crying," she tells Daily RFT. "The time I've been dreading...has happened."

See also:
- Book House: Will Developers Demolish Historic Rock Hill Site For Storage Facility?

The notice says that Barron and her shop have 90 days before the lease is officially terminated, which means she has to be out by the end of July.

She does not own the two-story Gothic Revival house that dates back to 1853, but the Book House has had a lease in the space for decades.

the book house image 1.jpg
The Book House.

"We've got to get concentrated on moving," says Barron, who has gotten a lot of press attention this week since news broke of the possible demolition. "I'm trying to find a space."

The developers have a purchase agreement with the landlord, Rex Stahl, but have not yet submitted a formal application to the city and thus have not yet gotten any approvals for the possible "EZ Storage" project on the site off of Manchester Road.

Regardless, Stahl is ending Barron's lease.

"He is just exercising his rights under the lease," David Waltrip, an attorney representing Stahl, tells Daily RFT. (Stahl did not respond to a request for comment.)

Barron's attorney and the landlord agreed to the current lease and an addendum with the 90-day stipulation, Stahl notes.

Waltrip also says that Barron had an opportunity to purchase the house -- but backed out.

Continue for more on the future of the Book House and for more photos.

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My Voice Nation Help

Once upon a time there was a charming historic house, home to a popular bookstore providing rare books, popular  books, reference books, childrens' books, etc. just as a library does.   People loved it.  It was unique.  It was a small, helpful business.  It was an aesthetic addition to the community.  But, it was not owned by the operator.
The owner, a businessman, had opportunity to make more money selling the whole parcel of land rather than just the part the charming house was on.  The bookstore owner could not purchase the whole parcel.  But, a large company did have enough money.  They wanted to build a  high end storage unit on the whole parcel.
Even though the community and the public loved the charming Book House, business dictates that money fuels society.
So the public must learn to adapt to the aesthetics of business.  They must learn to appreciate the beauty, nostalgia, and aesthetics of a high end storage unit over a charming, historic Book House.   That's progress.

Marita Donalds
Marita Donalds

Such a shame! Not only the loss of the charming store, but the loss of a historical building!

Scott Neale
Scott Neale

Yay lets strip whatever little History Rock Hill has left and put in a characterless place for hoarders to store their crap. Great move Rock Hill!

Casey Kohler
Casey Kohler

Because storage units are always more productive than libraries in todays society.

Matt Irwin
Matt Irwin

Ppl in the know already know Michelle will "hire volunteers" to get her stuff moved. she does everything on the cheap...

Angela Weakley Hill
Angela Weakley Hill

Breaks my heart. I was a regular there when I lived in St. Louis and liked to haunt the haunted room.


A storage facility will be a great boon to Rock Hill, I'm sure. Who doesn't love storage? I often drive out to the storage facility in St. Charles just to spend the day browsing. Hey Rock Hill. Once you've turned all your property into high-rent, shitty chain retail spaces, what's the encore? Gonna turn the schools into Walgreens? Maybe sell naming rights to Manchester Road?

Somebody should tell you that the "City Coffers" aren't the same thing as "The City."

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