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cityboi

Historic Kress buildings of the South

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here are some photos of the Kress Building in Greensboro. Its located in the heart of Old Greensborough (downtown historic district) along Elm Street. The 1930 Art Deco building was recently renovated and today the building has areas for dinner rehearsal, business events and wedding receptions. Offices occupy some of the upper floors and there is a rooftop terrace overlooking downtown that has many large social functions such as the "Fridays at Five" event which has live music and food.

The banquet hall is 2,250 sq feet. The rooftop terrace is 4,500 sq feet. The rooftop can even be tented for inclimate weather. Many people have had weddings on the roof top. Condos are also being planned for some of the upper floors. The Kress Building is very huge when you enter the building. It literaly took my breath away when i first entered.

KT_Kress_Bldg_Sign.jpg

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Fri@5underflagpole.jpg

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NIGHT TIME DANCE PERFORMANCE ON THE ROOF! The Kress Building is located less than a block away from TRIAD STAGE (The Triad's regional drama theater) and chakras spa. The Kress Building is located right across the street from another building that use to be a department store. That building was turned into the Elm Steet Entertainment center and has a very large elegant ballroom, comedy club and a micro brewery may be in the works! The old Woolworth store is also located nearby. That building is currently being renovated and turned into the International Civil Rights Museum. (the birthplace of the lunch counter sitin movement.)

Ballet.jpg

kresstop.jpg

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here is the one in downtown Asheville. It was converted to condos

kress1.jpg

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The Kress store in Asheville has been renovated and reopened as the Kress Emporium, an art market featuring the works of mountain-area artists, with three floors of luxury condoes above.

Here's a look at the original Kress variety store. This picture was taken sometime in the "early 20th Century."

kressemporium1.jpg

And a view of the building today. An article about Asheville that appeared in the Boston Globe made note of the ceramic tile decorations around the windows, saying, "You only see that kind of thing in Florence." Four reproduction ceramic tiles, featuring the building's distinctive blue and gold floral motif are embedded in the sidewalk in front of the building, one on each corner of the grate that protects the roots of one of the trees growing along the street. The tree, by the way, is the smallest one in the picture, right in front of the doors.

kress_2919_550wm.jpg

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The Kress building in downtown Tuscaloosa is just down the block from City Hall,

and for as long as I can remember has been a local furniture store:

TuscaloosaKress.jpg

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The thing I like about the Kress Buildings is that they are unique to each city that has one. They are not carbon copies like today's store chains.

Here is the Kress Building in Savannah, GA. Its currently under restoration

Savannah_Kress.jpg

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Wonder how long ago that photo was taken in Memphis or is it current? The wonderful building is all boarded up.

It was probably taken yesterday afternoon. I'm unaware of any immediate plans to redo the building, though the block south of there is undergoing extensive renovation work, as well as a 16 story apt. building. At least it won't be torn down and I would suspect that once the apt. building goes up, a use will be found for Kress.

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Lakeland, FL

Exploration's V Childrens Museum (Formerly Kress)

DX-9A_large.jpg

Tampa, FL

Vacant Kress Building on Franklin Street

858franklin-street.jpg

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Kress in South Carolina : http://www.sandlapper.org/kress.htm

http://www.nbm.org/blueprints/90s/summer90...ts/contents.htm

"Eventually Kress had over 300 stores in thirty states in the southern half of the United States."

Kress was before my time, but my mother remembers the store in Tuscaloosa very well. She said she thinks it closed sometime in the 1950s.

As in many cities, a Woolworth store was located on the next block.

The Woolworth here didn't close until just a few years ago - I hated to see it go.

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I find it facinating that many cities have preservered these old buildings. Each one is so distinct and the facades on these buildings are architecurally intreging. These are not like your todays' Eckerd Drug Stores which all look alike. The Kress Buildings have architectural character.

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In Asheville, the Woolworth's was located just a couple of blocks away from Kress, and it's been restored just as lovingly as the Kress building -- and for the same purpose, too! Woolworth Walk is an art market featuring the works of more than 150 artists.

Here's a link to a pretty good picture and some info about the Woolworth Building.

http://www.geocities.com/ashevilleskyscrapers/woolworth.html

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