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The Mike Vance Collection, no. 2 - Demolition of Woolworth Store in Downtown Houston

Mike Vance

Silent | c. 1980s

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    This film from the Mike Vance Collection captures the demolition of a Woolworth department store in downtown Houston. The F. W. Woolworth Company was a five-and-dime retail chain with stores all across the United States and abroad. The store seen here was located at Main Street and Capitol Avenue. It was originally constructed in the 1910s as the Queen Theatre, becoming a Woolworth’s in 1935. The F. W. Woolworth Company sold the property in the early 1950s, opening another location just down the street at the corner of Main Street and McKinney Avenue in 1949. (The largest Woolworth’s ever constructed at that time, the new store cost $8 million and boasted more than a mile of counters.) Camera footage alternates between close up shots of the rubble and views of the neighboring skyscrapers, including the J.P. Morgan Chase Tower, currently the tallest building in Texas.