Macy’s Announces It Will Close Downtown Houston Store

Did you know Macy’s had a store Downtown? Well, not for much longer. Macy’s announced this morning that its 1110 Main St. location will be shuttered this spring. Clearance sales will start January 7 and continue for up to 11 weeks. The store debuted in 1947 as the Foley’s flagship (at right) in a 791,000-sq.-ft. Kenneth Franzheim building. The company will close 5 Macy’s and one Bloomingdale’s in other cities as well.

Photos: jaraylee182004 (Macy’s), Jim Parsons (Foley’s)

39 Comment

  • Sucks. We actually bought our living room furniture from that location. Oh well, guess that’s just not the best place for that type of store.

  • Sad to see it close, but, as a recent series of comments here about paying to park in Houston shows, most people in this area will go to a department store at a mall with lots of free parking.
    Fun fact about the downtown ( Foley’s) Macy’s: the building has no heating, it uses body heat from shoppers and heat from electrical appliances like lighting and escalators to keep the place warm. The lack of windows keeps the heat trapped inside.

  • downtown exodus continues. Too many homeless, white flight, etc….

  • I guess patrons(all two of them) finally have had enough of having to deal with the stains and smell of urine every time they enter this place. A few years ago I drove by at Christmastime with my sister who never visits downtown and she commented that it would be so cool to come down and shop there at night. I think if she actually went there at night she would think otherwise.

  • NOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!

    This the apocalypse which the Mayans predicted come to pass.

  • Cody, I grew up in that store. And when I worked downtown, my go to shopping destination. Of course, it’s still Foley’s to me.

  • that chomping sound you hear is from the mouths of apartment and office developers. the apartment guys, however, are completely subject to the gracious nature of our fair city’s government making it worth their while to build on $150 dirt.

    65,000 sf dirt with zero setback makes for a very efficient floor plan. i would be very excited to see 700+ residents here with adjacent employment rather than the current 50 customers and 100 employees in an ugly building.

    macy’s kept this going longer than i ever expected. time marches on. this means you sears in midtown, garden oaks…

  • When I worked downtown in the mid to late 90s, it was still Foley’s. I whiled away many the lunch hour there. It was never great retail therapy because it was so depressing inside – dark, beige, crowded with mediocre merchandise, and devoid of personnel. But there was A/C and a break from the office and sometimes I would find a deal.

    In the years since, I would (very) occasionally go there on the weekend, since I could usually find street parking, and it was actually more convenient than going all the way to the Galleria, if I just needed some stockings or perfume or something. But I haven’t even done that in several years.

    Wasn’t there a famous sit-in at the lunch counter there in the 60s?

  • It is an impressively ugly structure.

  • I work at 1100 Louisiana, and this place is a hub of activity during lunch. Talk about a black hole. I shop here all the time, especially the day after Thanksgiving.

  • I think this is going to be one of those closings where 1,000 people comment about how sad they are to see this store close, despite the fact that none of them have shopped there in years.

  • “i would be very excited to see 700+ residents here”

    There already is 700+ “residents” there, they are called bums!!

  • It has seen better days, but indeed at lunchtime it’s busy, and there’s no more convenient place for downtown workers to find appropriate clothing for the office. Since fewer and fewer people seem to be wearing suits to work downtown, however, that may not be such an attraction.

  • So is the general feeling that this space/lot will not be vacant for long? I hope the official closing in April will coincide with a redevelopment plan of some kind. Perhaps the Hilcorp rumors are true. It would be depressing to look at this empty building for years to come.

  • We live in Midtown and shop at the Macy’s all the time. I work downtown and shop there during lunch frequently. I guess we can go to the Sears on Wheeler, but at this rate, that one will probably close too. Sometimes I hate corporate america.

  • Sad. I haven’t been there in a long time. But it was THE place to shop when I worked downtown. We were always bothered that it wasn’t connected to the tunnel! Loved Foley’s Red Apple sales!

  • Daughter[home from college for the holidays]:
    “I got it at Macy’s”

    Me: “Which one?”

    Daughter: “the downtown one”

    Me: ! ! !

    How she knew there was a Macy’s downtown is beyond my limited knowledge of the female psyche, but it *might* involve something called “Siri”.

  • When I lived in Montrose, that was the closest Foley’s, I mean Macy’s, plus parking was easy. Once the train went in, I just took it.

  • Back when it was Foley’s, I loved the little deli that was adjacent to the store. I remember it more than the actual department store. Agree that it was fortunate for the folks who did continue to shop there that Macy’s didn’t just shutter it back when Foley’s was absorbed.

    On a related note — what’s the story on the Macy’s at Northwest Mall that never re-opened after Ike? Is it still stocked with 2008 merchandise locked in the store or was it emptied out at some point? Is it going to be demo’d now that the 290 expansion is right at its front door?

  • I can’t help but contrast to the Macy’s in Midtown Manhattan when looking at the tiny little sign that’s on the side of the building. Maybe they just needed a bigger sign?

  • They can’t close this Macy’s down. This Macy’s that use to be foley’s bring back a whole lot of my childhood memories. My family and I would shop here all the time when my father use to own a business in the midtown area. When I started working downtown at El Paso, this Macy’s was my holiday shopping, I could get everyone gifts there even if I left someone out then it would be my last minute shopping. People at downtown Macy’s is more helpful then other Macy’s I been to in Houston.

  • mayor parker’s legacy will be driving business out of downtown/houston. first continental, then exxon, and now macy’s. she is in way over her head.

  • @Bill,

    I hate to generalize about bums, because I’ve never been stabbed by one, and generally ignoring them works well at getting them to stop talking at you. Do not worry, the building might be vacant for years to come, but it won’t be empty. Every time I am on the rail riding by in the evening, there are 3-4 bums sleeping in the entryway. Once it’s vacant, they’ll just move in. In 5 years, they’ll own the building outright thanks to squatters rights and set up the worlds largest $7 a night cot hotel.

  • I shopped here because I live nearby. There is a lot of activity. I know this isn’t what anyone wants to hear but honestly there are too many aggressive panhandlers and other homeless people for this to be attractive to retail shoppers. I avoid this place and the area by the Tipping Point because when I walk my dog at night there are people sleeping, drinking and all sorts of other activities. The downtown space needs to be made attractive and a good place to live and shop.

  • While sad to see it finally go, it isn’t the best use of space. The store is simply too big for its location. My guess is the Hilcorp leaks were real.

  • Like many older residents, I have fond memories of the old downtown Foley’s. Every Saturday, my family used to drive from East Houston to the one store that had 9 floors of everything-I mean, as a nerd kid who collected stamps, there was a full stamp and coin department next to the book department that I could have spend hours at! The electronics department was a pre-internet geek’s dream with tables of the latest calculators. I even saw Santa down in the basement (As did my future wife, on the same year, according to the photgraphic evidence.) But the greatest joy as a kid was just riding those nine floors of escalators and being on a different world with each one. Houston has always been a car-centric city, and eventually the convenience of malls eclipsed the Foley’s with it’s parking garage and tight corkscrew ramps leading up and out. For a kid, though, it was a weekly adventure that will always be a fond memory.

  • When the original Foley’s opened in ’47 it made national news. The New Yorker did a very cool piece on it. Still makes for a good read.

  • The first photo is of the side of the building. It looks a little nicer from the front.

    I don’t understand why all the downtown boosters didn’t target this place for improvement. Most great American downtowns have traditionally had a great department store. This one admittedly had some cards stacked against it in the aesthetic department – it has no windows, after all – but windows could have been punched into the side and rear walls while leaving the classic early modernist front facade intact. This place was an architectural landmark when it opened, embodying the city’s futuristic spirit, and any place that was a landmark once can be one again with the right TLC.

    Just as a city like Chicago would NEVER allow its Macy’s (fmr. Marshall Field’s) to be neglected, an active mayor should have made sure this place was improved rather than abandoned.

  • From Houston Architecture: “The building was originally just six stories tall, but was expanded to ten in 1957.” I think it was better-proportioned prior to the expansion:

    http://departmentstoremuseum.blogspot.com/2010/05/foley-brothers-dry-goods-co-houston.html

    Perhaps they can lop off 6 or 7 floors and repurpose it in a new role? Or keep the exterior and convert it into a parking garage?

  • I am definitely sad to see Macy’s close. I shopped there quite often actually, most recently last month… had to stop in and get some suspenders.

    As a Montrose resident, this store is a life-saver for me. Sometimes you simply have to buy decent clothes, and you don’t have the budget for Jos. A. Bank or Men’s Wearhouse.

    I sincerely hope that another significant retailer takes its place. Just when downtown is starting to feel “livable”, this will be quite a blow.

  • And, who can ever forget the “Foley’s Thanksgiving Day Parade”……..complete with the arrival of Santa at the end?

  • Heck, they had a commemorative plate from when the store opened.

    http://pics.lockerz.com/s/274281860

  • So, is Macy’s going to move into the old Books-A-Million space or what? They complained that this current location is too big for them and how convenient that space opens up nearby for them.

  • I like Macy’s and enjoyed shopping at this location. The salespeople are friendly and I wish them the best in getting relocated. The stock here was geared to the professional and I will miss it. The elevator in their parking garage was a minus, but I can hold my breath for a floor or two! Sad day for inner loop retail.

  • Oh come on….this is hardly Annise’s fault. I’m no fan of hers but this store was in decline when I worked there in the corporate buying offices in the late 80′s to mid 90′s. At that time, Sharpstown and Memorial City did double the sales volume and that stench of urine and those bums were camped out around the building then. Keep in mind, Downtown had housed an entire workforce of corporate employees and they all went away when Foley’s became Macy’s and the exodus of that staff dealt a big blow to the store volume. There is nothing and I mean nothing of aesthetic interest let alone architectural significance inside that building. If you want to lay blame, look to Macy’s corporate–they sold the building to the holding company. Things change–maybe a smaller more modern Macy’s will emerge elsewhere in Downtown.

  • I worked at Foley’s in the late 60s to early 70s. It was an exciting place at that time. Nine floors and the basement full of wonderful merchandise. Wonderful restaurants. I worked on the 9th floor, as a secretary in the Credit office. At Christmas time the window displays were great! Like Macy’s New York. The basement sales fantastic! A time when downtown was the place to shop, with Sakowitz and Neiman Marcus across the street. Wonderful memories!

  • Those who say there is no cool things in Macy’s have not seen the Gold Dragon Lamps.

  • Macys will go the way of Woolworths. I dont want to see historic buildings torn down but this building is truly an eye sore.