Thursday, May 28, 2015

TBT: When Downtown Washington DC Had Department Stores

While going through the many papers and photos that are involved in genealogy, lots of memories come up. Thank god for the internet so I can just google a place or a thing until I get a good answer or a good enough one. Sometimes, that can also show that my memory is skewed.

Woodward and Lothrop was a wonderful department store, in two buildings i.e. almost two full city blocks. MY memory told me that next to Woodies, as it was commonly known, was Hahn's Shoe Store. I had to go there all the time when we moved to Maryland because I had very narrow feet and my school uniform required brown lace up oxfords. I was always fascinated with the x-ray machine and if my mother was getting shoes, I would go and x-ray my feet. It's no wonder I have weak ankles! I probably fried them.

But, in googling images of Woodies, here is a photo that shows the North Building with, no not Hahn's next to it, but Rich's Shoe Store. Rich's is now Madame Tussards and Hahn's I realize is where I 'graduated' to when I could wear more fashionable shoes in high school. No not to school; that required brown and white saddle shoes.  Pretty shoes for weekends and dates eventually. Things like Capezio flats. Hahn's also has fallen victim to the riots of 1968, urban flight to the suburbs, the construction of the Metro etc. Businesses that were once stalwarts of the city are now just memories.

But Rich's ...I don't know what we would have done without you. You were the only game in town for my feet which have served me well over 70 years. I'm sure those well fitting brown oxfords helped!

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