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409 South Main Events

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409 South Main Events

The building has done more than stand the test of time. It’s lived the times.

Our history runs as deep as 409 South Main's foundation.

Built in 1912, it originally housed the White Wilson Drew Company, wholesale grocers and distributors of Puck Brand Goods. (Look up and you’ll see the well-preserved ceramic panel of the Puck Brand Goods logo featuring Puck himself from A Midsummer’s Night Dream.)

In the 1930s, Lucky Heart Cosmetics, one of the first companies to cater to the African-American–women market, moved into the building. Described as a “mini-Avon,” Lucky Heart once employed more than 12,000 sales representatives around the country.

Paul Shapiro, the founder’s son, was one of the original advocates for establishing the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel. Located only a few blocks from 409 South Main, the Lorraine Motel was the site of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s 1968 assassination.

As the railroad system dwindled in the 1950s and after the riots following the King assassination, the South Main district became abandoned and littered with boarded-up buildings. But thanks to area artists and others who kick-started a South Main resurgence by seeking out a new vibe (and reasonable rents), the area began thriving once again. Now, restaurants, boutique shops, artists’ spaces and galleries, museums and festivals, including the nationally renowned RiverArtsFest (which last year drew 85,000 visitors) grace its streets.

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