Woolworth Department Store
Address: 802 Broad Street
Owner: Privately Owned
History and Significance:
The Woolworth Building located at the corner of Broad and Seventh Streets was built in 1939 and was one of America’s best known retailers. Three storefronts have been combined over time into the one current façade. In 1960, the lunch counter was the site of a Civil Rights era sit-in demonstration by a group of Paine College students. The nearly 46,000 square foot department store closed its doors in 1991 and has sat vacant since then. With a number of other large former retail buildings vacant and in need of rehabilitation up and down Broad Street, the Woolworth Building is unique because of it Art Deco architectural features including the storefront, second story metal windows, and geometric parapet wall. Historic Augusta is hopeful that the current owners will follow through with proposed plans for rehabilitation and place the building back into service. Corner buildings are anchors for the downtown community and there is great potential for the future of the Woolworth Building.
Threat: Vacant, deferred maintenance resulting in roof leaks and other condition issues
Potential Uses: Ideal for retail space, restaurant, or offices. Space could also be developed into loft apartments
Preservation Tools: (1) A contributing resource in the Augusta Downtown Historic District, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and is therefore eligible for all programs of the National Register, which include available grant funds and tax incentives for certified rehabilitations; (2) located in the Augusta Downtown Local Historic District which means that any alteration to the exterior, including demolition, should be approved by the Augusta Richmond County Historic Preservation Commission