Houstonians reflect on history of old downtown Foley’s turned Macy’s

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by KHOU.com staff

khou.com

Posted on September 20, 2013 at 7:28 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 1 at 1:12 PM

HOUSTON—In two days another piece of Houston history will be turned to rubble as the old Foley’s turned Macy’s building is imploded to make way for new development.

And when it goes, so will a time many Houstonians fondly remember.

When the old Foley’s building on Main Street opened in 1947, it was an instant hit.

“Oh my gosh, Christmas, the windows in the front on Main street … thousands would come just to see the windows,” said Kathy Knott, a former Foley’s employee.

That was before malls and before Houston sprouted suburbs.

“When the downtown store was founded, it was the first moving escalator in the city of Houston, and so everybody rushed downtown to get on the escalator,” she said.

Knott said she found a career and a husband at Foley’s. She started as a member of Foley’s College Board while at U.T., selling clothes to other college students.

It was the same job KHOU Sports Anchor Bob Allen had in the summer 1969.

“I got to work at the downtown store, advising kids on what people are wearing to go back to college—and it was a blast,” he said.

It was the start of a love affair between a store and its city—an affair that soured when customers fell in love with malls.

Today the glory days are nothing but a memory, and the building is on its last leg.

The demolition is scheduled for 7:20 Sunday morning.

Fannin and Milam will be closed between McKinney and Polk, creating a blast zone of nine blocks. 

 

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