A Photographic Guide to the Many Faces of Alamo Plaza
In June of 1921, F. W. Woolworth Company opened a new 5, 10, and 15 cent store on the corner of E. Houston and Alamo Streets, where the Maverick Bank Building once stood. The popular national discounter first came to San Antonio in 1912, prospering enough to erect its new three-story building "on San Antonio's most prominent corner" ("F.W. Woolworth Co."). The newspaper ad announcing Woolworth's formal opening boasted that, "We have added a number of features to our service - but the one which you will appreciate most is our soda fountain and lunch counter." This lunch counter later catapulted San Antonio into Civil Rights history. In March of 1960, the Alamo Plaza Woolworth became the first in the South to desegregate its lunch counters ("More Lunch Counters Integrate"). Unlike many other Southern cities, where the African-American quest for equality met with violent resistance, San Antonio integrated peaceably (Mooreland, p. 6-9).

Sources:"F.W. Woolworth Co." San Antonio Light (San Antonio, TX), June 2, 1921.
"More Lunch Counters Integrate." San Antonio Express (San Antonio, TX), October 19, 1960.
Morland, Kenneth. "Special Report – Lunch-Counter Desegregation in Corpus Christi, Galveston, and San Antonio, Texas." May 10, 1960.

About this Image:
1) View of the north facade with orginal signage, facing Houston Street. Woolworth's closed in 1997.

2) Integration of lunch counter at F.W. Woolworth's. Photograph courtesy of the San Antonio Express News & UTSA Special Collections.

Courtesy of San Antonio Conservation Society Foundation
Click to Enlarge
2) ca. 19602) ca. 1960
3) 20123) 2012
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