1940’s Postcard of McCrory’s Department Store 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 you 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.
There was also a downtown Miami McCrory’s that had a place of real significance when the nation entered the civil right’s era. Many people think of the sit-ins in Greensboro, North Carolina in 1960 as the first ones of their kind in America. 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. However, as the decade turned, its fortunes decreased, and 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.
Picture of the “McCrory” name displayed in terrazzo floor of the old store entrance and the building today on the southeast corner of Washington Avenue and Espanola Way.