Created By: Preservation Greensboro
Mrs. Sol. Weill purchased the site of 314 South Elm Street in July of 1898 with the intention of building a sizeable structure to house the Simpson-Shields Shoe Company. The English-born contractor and stonemason Thomas Woodroffe worked on an aggressive schedule to complete the building by December 1st of that year. Three months later, she acquired the lot at 316 South Elm Street, and began planning a larger building.
In October 1898, the Greensboro Telegram reported "Mrs. Sol. Weill has decided upon the plan of the building she will erect by the side of the one being built for the Simpson-Shields Shoe Co., and it will be a credit to the city. It will be the largest business house in Greensboro being 150 feet long by 31 ½ feet wide and five stories high, with a cellar in the rear, making this part six stories. The building has already been leased for a term of five years to the Merchants’ Grocery Company who will move into it as soon as completed. This building is to be fifty feet longer and six feet wider than the Simpson Shields Shoe Company’s, though otherwise the plans of each building will be the same. The front of both will be entirely of granite cut in different shapes making a lovely front. The Merchants’ Grocery Co., and the Simpson-Shields Shoe Co. are two of the largest and busiest wholesale houses and have come to stay and grow. The congratulate both of them together with Mrs. Weill."
Mrs. Weill was Ella Fishblate Weill, daughter of Solomon H. Fishblate, Mayor of Wilmington, NC. Ella married Solomon Cohen Weill of Wilimgton in 1887. Sol. Weill was a notable figure, graduating from UNC in 1885 and moving to New York City in 1896 where he was elected to the state legislature there as one of the Tammany candidates. Only 34 years old, Weill died on April 28th, 1898. His widow moved to Greensboro to be with her family, and it was in the Gate City that she embarked on her real estate ventures. Later occupants included Scott Seed Company, and recently Miller Furniture.
Style: Renaissance Revival. Listed to the National Register of Historic Places April1980 as part of the Downtown Greensboro Historic District.
This point of interest is part of the tour: Center City Greensboro Historic Architecture