Dime store deco : the architecture and adaptive reuse of depression era S.H. Kress 5 & 10 cent stores
Chastine, Robert Kevin
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In 1880, Frank Winfield Woolworth opened the world’s first 5 & 10 Cent Store. With the success of the F. W. Woolworth Company numerous other five and ten cent stores developed at the end of the 19 th century. One of these was the S. H. Kress Company that was started in 1896 by Samuel Henry Kress. Even though Samuel Kress utilized the identical business principles as all other five and ten cent stores, his company differed in the fact they employed an in house architectural firm to design new stores. The Kress architectural division reached its zenith during the Great Depression of the 1930’s, under the supervision of Edward F. Sibbert. These depression era stores became instant landmarks in cities across America, because of their modern art deco designs with regionally and locally influenced ornamentation. These buildings represent an important part of America’s commercial architectural history and the development of Main Streets. Many cities have realized the significance of these buildings and have rehabilitated them so that they may continue to contribute to the economic viability of the community.