September 22, 2023

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Wilbar’s Shoes, Main Street, Worcester

This Main Street spot, viewed from in front of Worcester City Hall, was a retail destination for many years. The John C. MacInnes Department Store took up much of the space. It was later home to smaller specialty stores including Wilbar's Shoes. The building at left was once home to an S.S. Kresge, a discount retailer.

This Principal Avenue place, considered from in front of Worcester City Corridor, was a retail destination for many decades. The John C. MacInnes Office Retail store took up a great deal of the place. It was later property to scaled-down specialty outlets like Wilbar’s Shoes. The constructing at still left was when house to an S.S. Kresge, a discount retailer.

Wilbar's Shoes occupied this spot on Worcester's Main Street for about a decade. The small street next to the store is Barton Place. It remains. Wilbar's was in the news in October 1960 when management lobbied city officials to relocate a bus stop from in front of the store. The waiting travelers blocked customer access to Wilbar's, the store argued.

Wilbar’s Sneakers occupied this spot on Worcester’s Principal Street for about a decade. The compact avenue upcoming to the retailer is Barton Area. It remains. Wilbar’s was in the information in Oct 1960 when management lobbied city officers to relocate a bus quit from in front of the retail outlet. The waiting travelers blocked purchaser obtain to Wilbar’s, the retail store argued.

This lengthy-absent Wilbar’s Footwear was situated in the MacInnes Making in downtown Worcester.

Of training course, that may well prompt one more query: The MacInnes Building?

It was at the corner of Most important Street and Barton Put. Barton Location?

The appear of downtown Worcester underwent a extremely recognizable alter in the late 1960s with the leveling of the block throughout from City Corridor.

These times, the location holds a 24-story building, initially Worcester Plaza, now called 446 Key St., but usually referred to as the glass tower.

For the latter 50 percent of the 1800s and the 1st 50 % of the 1900s, the 400 block of Main Avenue was comparable to other components of downtown. A lot of retail, with specialty stores lining the sidewalk.

The John C. MacInnes Office Retail store, like its neighbor, Denholm & McKay, experienced a number of flooring of clothing and wares. John Comrie MacInnes, born in Scotland, was a dry-items service provider who settled in Worcester by the 1870s soon after working a small business in Providence.

He established up store in the former Gross & Strauss Developing at 462 Principal St.

With Town Corridor throughout the street, MacInnes remained fast paced for the 1st 50 percent of the century. But by the 1950s, the store began to battle. It closed in 1958, with some of the building subdivided and taken more than by scaled-down tenants.

Wilbar’s Footwear, a Boston-centered chain, moved into a storefront at Key Road and Barton Place about 1960.

Barton Position is a shorter dead-stop off Most important Street. It remains, whilst it could be mistaken for a driveway. It runs in between the outdated MacInnes home and the aged S.S. Kresge Co. division shop. The previous Kresge developing remains.

Wilbar’s, which specialized in women’s footwear, had been situated in nearby Harrington Corner.

In the reworked MacInnes developing, its neighbors integrated Kay Jewelers and Girl Oris Hosiery.

After about a decade at Main Street and Barton Position, Wilbar’s house owners signed on to a new undertaking two blocks absent: Worcester Middle Galleria.

Like the MacInnes setting up, absent from the block are the Lerner Shops shop and the stately headquarters of Worcester County Believe in Co.

The block took on a whole new glance when Worcester County National Lender bought and razed numerous of the properties. By 1974, a 288-foot glass-lined setting up shadowed — and mirrored — the quite a few more mature buildings that stuffed downtown Worcester.

This report originally appeared on Telegram & Gazette: Then & Now: Wilbar’s Footwear, Major Road, Worcester