I.C. Levy’s was a grand department store in Holly Springs which served the local community for over 100 years. In the 1850s a two-story wood frame hotel stood on this spot, on the southeast corner of the square. During General Van Dorn’s raid in Holly Springs, on December 20, 1862, the entire east side of the square was burned to the ground. In 1865, two brick buildings were built on the site. The northernmost building housed Compton and Oliver Drug Store, while the building at the corner of Market and Van Dorn Avenue was occupied by the Sam Frank Dry Goods Store. On the second floor above the dry goods store was the law office of G. Wiley Wells, a northern carpetbagger who eventually fled Holly Springs after the end of Reconstruction. Sam Frank’s store closed in 1877.
In 1879, after the Yellow Fever Epidemic, both buildings were bought by I.C. Levy, a French-Jewish immigrant who opened his first department store on the other side of the square, in 1858. Levy was one of several prominent Jewish families in Holly Springs. During the Civil War, Levy fought for the Confederacy, and was a member of the Holly Springs Military Band.
After buying the buildings, Levy combined the first floors of both buildings into one large commercial space and reopened his department store here. The men’s department was located upstairs, while the women’s department was on the ground floor. Shoes were sold at the back of the store.
I.C. Levy’s lasted for over a century. During World War II, the local United Service Organization (USO) was held upstairs to entertain military from nearby bases. In the 1970s the Levy family, along with nearly all the other remaining Jewish families in Holly Springs, left the town and Levys was closed. In the late 1970s, local businessman Graham Miller opened the store as Linwoods, another upscale department store. Linwoods lasted until 2007, when the store closed.
The Levy building remained empty for eight years, until a trio of local entrepreneurs, Angie Vanzant, Anita Gresham Barnett and Kathy Elgin, bought the building in 2015 and reopened the building as a locally-owned department and antique store.
The I.C. Levy Building contains elements of High Victorian Italianate and Renaissance Revival commercial architecture. The exterior is stuccoed-brick, with numerous second-floor windows with stamped-metal floriated window cornices. The north-most windows is a semicircular arch above the stairs to the second floor. Behind this semicircular arch window is a gorgeous yellow brick vault. Below the main entrance is a green and white tiled entryway, and there is amazing detailed woodwork throughout the front of the store.