Springfield, MO It's not the oldest building on the square. Nor is it the biggest building on the square. But, the old Woolworth store was, until recently, the largest storefront on the Park Central Square not yet redeveloped.
"The Woolworth building has been part of the square since the 1950s," explained Rusty Worley, Executive Director of the Downtown Springfield Association. He added, "This represents the more mid-modern time frame when downtown was really in its heyday in the 1950s and 60s."
The Downtown Springfield Association is one of the new tenants, having moved in earlier this month. The top floors are already filled with offices.
Worley said the move to the new building will provide a more visible, flexible space for the organization.
"We are excited about the new offices," Worley stated. He went on to explain, "We are getting down to where there are just a handful of buildings left, which is really amazing and a testament to the development community we have had here."
Now, there is one remaining space left for lease.
"We are hoping for some neighbors to come down here and share this cool spot with us," said Mike Shepherd, Shop Manager at Anvil, a custom leather shop located on the east side of the building facing the square. He added, "We chose this location because of the iconic square down there and the history the building does have."
Old timers remember Woolworth. But, 'younger' old timers remember it as Mister Furniture, which took the place of Woolworth and operated until just a few years ago.
"People come in off Artwalk and they want to sing the 'Mister Furniture [song]," Mike laughed.
Now, there are new businesses and a bright outlook for the old building.
"People say, 'Where do you work?' You can tell them, 'I work on the square. Down there where all the cool stuff is," Mike said.