Built St. Louis > > Recalled to Life || Midtown > > Woolworth Building

Above: A vintage photograph, from a marketing publication of builder H.B. Deal, shows off the cool elegance that the building's designers intended.

Circa 1993. The building was closed at this point, though the Woolworth's sign has not yet been removed.

Circa 2002.

Circa 2004. The window boardups have been removed as part of the abortive renovation.

March 2007. A banner proclaims the coming of the Big Brothers Big Sisters program to the building.

The Woolworth Building is part of a fantastic line-up of buildings, most still awaiting restoration as of 2007.

The Woolworth Building
The Woolworth Building was originally the Grand and Olive Building, named for the Midtown intersection where it sits sandwiched with the Continental Building on one side and the Fox Theater on the other. In spite of such august company, it was vacant for well over a decade after Woolworth's closed.

The building is classic Streamline Deco, with a curving corner and long ribbons of windows. It replaced a 5-story Victorian confection of a building, the Beers Hotel, that burned in 1931. The new building was originally intended to function as the base of a tower; the additional construction never materialized, however. It opened with a Liggett's, and housed a Woolworth's five and dime store for many years.

At least two major changes have been wrought over the years: a third story, set back from the lower facade, has been added; and the dark two-story entryway on Olive Street, intended for the eventual skycraper tower, has been removed.

More Woolworths > > >