Building Description Woolworth Store Building, Clarksdale Mississippi
The Woolworth Building is located in the heart of downtown Clarksdale, on the corner of Yazoo Avenue and East Second Street. Built in 1955, the Woolworth building, along with the J.C. Penney building across the street, anchored Yazoo Avenue as downtown's "Main Street" for department and clothing stores. The building has had no renovations or modifications to it since it was constructed in 1955. There are, however, some original fixtures that are missing or have been removed due to damage or deterioration.
The Woolworth Building is a two-story buff (blond) brick and masonry structure with pre-cast coping, a reinforced concrete foundation, flat composition roof on metal decking, and a 75-foot glass and aluminum mill-finish storefront on the front, east-facing facade. There are red brick accents at the base of the front entrance as well as on the base and some sidewalls at the side, north-facing entrance. Terrazzo entrances at the front and side entrances are embedded with the Woolworth's logo. The front facade has two exterior aluminum mill-finish columns and a cantilevered metal-frame awning, which originally had a roll-up canopy that dropped down and hung vertically, but is now missing. The soffit under the awning has five recessed lights in a plaster ceiling, and on top of it are non-functioning floodlights that were used to light the F.W. WOOLWORTH CO. signage on the upper wall of the facade, which is now missing.
On the side, north-facing facade, there are three steel windows with pre-cast concrete jams that are missing their original metal awnings. The second story front and side facades feature steel windows with a double horizontal sash—one fixed sash and one awning sash. The alley elevation is red brick.
The first-floor interior consists of an open sales floor with a drop-plaster ceiling with fluorescent ceiling lights running parallel with the side of the building. An enclosed stairway, immediately to the left of the front entrance leads to the second floor, and mop/electrical room is enclosed at the rear. Access to the alley is at the rear along with a stairway and conveyor. Ten metal structural columns are painted in various colors. The floor is concrete slab topped with heavily damaged vinyl tile, much of which is missing. The first-floor walls are exposed concrete where it had previously been covered by casework and store shelving, and plaster approximately seven feet from the floor up to the ceiling.
The second floor interior consists of payroll and manager's offices, a lady's break room and restroom and a men's bathroom. The walls are exposed concrete with exposed concrete floors (with remnants of vinyl tile) in the office area and exposed concrete in the stock area. In the rear is an open storage area used as an inventory stockroom, measuring 40 feet by 140 feet. On the sides, along the north elevation on the second floor in the stockroom, there were different block partitions and closets for mechanical units, men's and women's bathrooms for stock employees and a janitorial closet.
The twenty-seven-stool lunch counter that was located along the interior wall on the north side of the building toward the front of the store was removed on May 25, 1963. The display racks around the outer walls, the checkout booths in the front of the store and the turnstiles at both entrances were removed when Woolworth closed the store on January 27, 1991.