If you blinked you might have missed the Washington Business Journal article packed with interesting retail news about Hamilton Square at the corner of 14th and F Streets NW (right side of the above historic photo). Although nothing was absolutely confirmed, it mentioned the prospect of a T.J. Maxx discount clothing retailer taking some or all of the space now occupied by Border’s bookstore. It also provided an update on Roberto Donna’s Galileo III restaurant which should open in January 2010 before Valentine’s Day along the 14th Street side of the building where Butterfield 9 used to be.
The article didn’t give the historical nod owed this building so we thought we would do so here. The whole building used to be the flagship store of Garfinckel’s, an original Washington grown department store, built in 1929. The company was founded circa 1900 and grew through mergers and acquisitions until missteps in a competitive retail landscape brought it to bankruptcy and liquidation in 1990. Garfinckel’s has a fond place in the heart of many native Washingtonians over the age of 30 as the store you went to when you wanted to find a really special or nice gift. (You paid a little more too!) Although not updated recently, a Garfinckels.com tribute website is still running and gives you a further peek into the company and its past. Who knows…maybe the ghost of Julius Garfinckel is still alive and well at 14th and F!
Garfinckel’s, Gone With the Linen; The Pearl of F Street, Where Shopping Had a Touch of Class [WaPo archive]
Photo Credit: DDOT photo archive