F. W. Woolworth Building (Wilmington, Delaware)

F. W. Woolworth Company Building

Facing the corner with Market Street to the left and 9th to the right.
Location 839 N. Market St., Wilmington, Delaware
Coordinates 39°44′41″N 75°32′55″W / 39.744644°N 75.548589°W / 39.744644; -75.548589Coordinates: 39°44′41″N 75°32′55″W / 39.744644°N 75.548589°W / 39.744644; -75.548589
Area 0.3 acres (0.12 ha)
Built 1940 (1940)
Architect Stakes, H.W.
Architectural style Art Deco
MPS Market Street MRA
NRHP Reference # 86003755[1]
Added to NRHP January 2, 1987

The F. W. Woolworth Company Building is a historic department store building located in downtown Wilmington, Delaware.


From 1940 to 1997, the F. W. Woolworth Company operated the store, this location being one of the last to close. The building then housed a Happy Harry's drug store and pharmacy for several years until that company was purchased by Walgreens in 2007. Walgreens continues to operate the acquired Happy Harry's stores, including the Market Street store, under the Happy Harry's name.[2] The building was purchased by a subsidiary of BPG Property Group in 2008 who now leases the location back to Walgreens.


The Woolworth's in downtown Seattle used similar architectural elements.

Designed by company architect H. W. Stakes, the art deco building uses steel frame construction with a masonry curtain wall. The facade on the 2nd and 3rd stories displays alternating peach and cream vertical stripes of terra cotta tile with lotus motifs.[3] The building has a grey medallion with a raised "W" on the chamfered corner on 9th and Market.[4]

When a Woolworth's store, the interior had two sales floors, the current ground floor and the bargain basement. The escalators to the basement floor are still visible in the store.

In 1959, Woolworth added a third story which appeared in the original blue prints. BPG has plans to renovate the building's upper floors and to add an additional two stories to the building for use as apartments.


The building stands at the shopping intersection of 9th and Market streets a block off Rodney Square at the heart of the central business district. Woolworths also operated another store four blocks away at 504 Market Street. That second location now houses the Delaware History Museum.[5]

See also


  1. National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  2. "Happy Harry's Store Locator". Walgreens. Archived from the original on May 16, 2008. Retrieved 2009-03-09.
  3. "Market Street Cultural Resources Inventory" (PDF). DelDOT. May 2003. Retrieved 2009-03-21.
  4. Chandler, Susan (October 1986). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form: F.W. Woolworth Company Building" (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved 2009-05-27.
  5. "Delaware Historical Society". Brandywine Treasures. Retrieved 2009-03-09.
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