Hamlin Drug Store

F. Carter Williams, architect

1964 remodel of ca. 1900 building

Raleigh, Wake County
Street Address:

126 E. Hargett St.






This small retail shop typifies the trends of the 1960s, a period where architects were playing with design to help the larger effort to draw shoppers back into downtown commercial areas as shopping centers were drawing them out to suburban locations. The gold-toned screen that covers much of the façade is a defining feature of this trend and a particularly artful example. Located in a key block of E. Hargett Street, which was renowned as Raleigh’s “Black Main Street,” Hamlin Drug Store was already an institution before the owners commissioned this remodel from Williams. It had opened in 1904 as People’s Drug Store, but was known as Hamlin’s from1907. The business moved to this building in 1964 and celebrated a century in business before closing in 2017. Pharmacist J. M. Johnson ran the store for 50 years. The business was recognized as the oldest African-American pharmacy in the state and the oldest drug store in Raleigh.