from the Archives

McCrory’s Department Store

McCrory’s Department Store was located on the southeast corner of Washington Avenue and Espanola Way in Miami Beach. The commercial architect William F. Simpson designed this classic Streamline building in 1938. Across the street one can see the Clay Hotel and in the background is Nelson’s Department Store and Morris Brother’s Department Store.

McCrory Stores or J.G. McCrory’s was a chain of five and dime stores in the United States based in York, Pennsylvania. The stores typically sold shoes, clothing, housewares, fabrics, penny candy, toys, cosmetics, and often included a lunch counter or snack bar. They also exclusively sold Oriole Records, one of the most popular ‘dime store labels’ from 1921 to 1938. 

Downtown Miami McCrory’s was another South Florida location for this store. That venue had a place of real significance when the nation entered the civil right’s era. Many people think that the first sit-in was launched at the Woolworth dime store in Greensboro, North Carolina in 1960. However, the civil right’s activists of the Miami chapter of the Congress of Racial Equality aka CORE had staged sit-ins in downtown Miami a year earlier.  There were actually a series of sit-ins at the downtown McCrory’s in 1959. The McCrory’s ownership, finally caved in and desegregated their lunch counter that same year.

In 1989, thirteen hundred stores were operated by the McCrory company. As the decade turned, its fortunes decreased, and unfortunately by 1992 it filed for bankruptcy. The changing retail landscape included the migration of shoppers from the inner cities to the suburbs. Big box superstores such as Target and Wal-Mart sealed the fate of the once popular Five And Dimes. Several rounds of store closures followed, with one of the biggest coming in 1997, when McCrory’s shuttered 300 of its last 460 stores. 

Shown 1940’s postcard of McCrory’s Department Store, picture of the “McCrory” name displayed in terrazzo floor of the old store entrance and a current day photo of the building on the southeast corner of Washington Avenue and Espanola Way.

“McCrory” name displayed in terrazzo floor of the old store entrance
The building today on the southeast corner of Washington Avenue and Espanola Way
Vintage 1950's postcard of McCrory's Dept. Store

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