Woolworth Photos: The Search Is On!

Exciting news – The Alamo Trust plans to recreate the iconic Woolworth’s lunch counter as part of  the civil rights exhibit housed within the Woolworth Building/Alamo Museum and Visitors Center.   Anyone with interior photos that show the lunch counter is asked to please email pictures to info@thealamo.org.

The Woolworth Building was a key site of the first peaceful and voluntary integration of lunch counters during the 1960s sit-in movement. On March 16, 1960, Woolworth’s and six other downtown lunch counters opened to black and white customers one day before a sit-in demonstration planned by Mary Lillian Andrews and the NAACP.   The short video, “San Antonio, 1960: A Quiet Revolution,” tells more about this story, which made national news.

Join in the search

Did you work at Woolworth’s or snap a picture with friends gathered at the lunch counter?  The Woolworth lunch counter remained in use until 1986 with the store closing in 1997.  Photos of the lunch counter from any era would be helpful!

Where we’ve looked already

Unfortunately, the interior photos taken by the Express-News on March 16, 1960 show the Kress cafeteria.   Confusion initially arose because the photographer’s sheet identified all the photos taken that day as Woolworth’s, but now we know better.  The Kress photos are part of the UTSA Special Collections. JET magazine later photographed Ms. Andrews and a friend being served at Woolworth’s.  However, not much of the lunch counter is visible.

The Houston Street facade of the Woolworth building features a large blade sign with the company name.
Customer’s could enter Woolworth’s restaurant through a separate entrance under the large blade sign.

Center of the Mary Andrews ofrenda features a 3-D version of photo of her that appeared in JET magazine.
Artist Chris King created a three dimensional cut-out of Mary Lillian Andrews and her friend, Della, being served at the Woolworth’s lunch counter after integration. This photo appeared in the March 31, 1960 issue of JET magazine.

This image is copyrighted.