Greater Greater Washington

History


Then and Now: Kresge to Jaleo

S. S. KresgeJaleo

The property located at 712 E Street was originally constructed in 1918 by Frank L. Wagner and designed by A. B. Mullet and Company. It was a two-story concrete framed building with brick and terra-cotta clad facades. While the building exhibited the influence of Chicago school architecture during the early part of the 20th century, its low building height emphasized the horizontal rather than the vertical that was typical of Chicago. The grade level of the facade was later remodeled in the Art Moderne style.

The space was occupied by the S. S. Kresge Co. into the early 1970s when the Historic American Building Survey images were taken. Shortly after the survey, construction began on the Metro underneath Seventh Street. By February 1987, the buildings were empty and included in the Pennsylvania Avenue Development Corporation's plans for revitalizing the area. Developers were required to present plans preserving and restoring the facades of three buildingsthe Eighth Street and E Street sides of Lansburgh's; the Busch building; and the Kresge building.

Today, Jaleo is in the old S. S. Kresge Co. space, and has been since 1993.

Historic images from Historic American Building Survey, Library of Congress.

S. S. Kresge Co.Jaleo
Kent Boese posts items of historic interest primarily within the District. He's worked in libraries since 1994, both federal and law, and currently works on K Street. He lives in the Park View neighborhood, and is the force behind the blog Washington Kaleidoscope

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I think it's pretty cool that the Lansburgh retained a sizable portion of the buildings on that block for their apartments. When I toured a few of them they had retained the internals somewhat as well, at least in terms of windows/floors. There were weird steps up and down in the hallways to accomodate the different floor spacing of the different buildings.

by ah on Jan 29, 2010 4:18 pm • linkreport

Wow, I always figured that was a diner originally.

by Reid on Jan 29, 2010 6:04 pm • linkreport

Before there were pics of the Kresge posted in the CVS, I always figured it was a Woolworth or Kresge because of the red band for the signage.

by Rich on Jan 30, 2010 12:20 am • linkreport

The first pictured is identified as being from the early 70s. But looking closer you can see a USA Today newspaper machine. According to Wikipedia USA Today was founded in 1982.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usa_today

by JeffB on Jan 31, 2010 4:22 pm • linkreport

Jaleo is only on the ground floor of the former Kresge's. Kresge had a stairway facing the corner entrance that went one level below grade; the store also had a second floor, which now houses residential units in The Lansburgh.

Further, these buildings (the two terra cotta additions to the original Lansburgh Department Store buildings on 7th Street, the Busch Building, and Kresge's proposed development plans were included in the Pennsylvania Avenue Plan - 1974 (please note the date) and in Plan amendemtns that predated 1987, so the following sentence is a bit misleading as it gives the impression that these buildings were vacant until 1987 and no earlier plans for them had been made:

"By February 1987, the buildings were empty and included in the Pennsylvania Avenue Development Corporation's plans for revitalizing the area."

PADC owned the Lansburgh Dept. Store for some time and leased it to the DC government, which had to vacate it when the developer, selected via a competition, was nearing time to renovate the terra cotta department store additions on 8th Street, the Busch Building, and Kresge's, and demolish the buildngs south of Jaleo and redevelop the remainder of the site. But for most of the time PADC owned the Lansburgh, it was NOT vacant. Further, Woolly Mammoth performed on the second floor of Kresge's for at least one summer season. Your write up makes it sound as if the plans to include the Lansburgh in the revitalization initiative were formulated around 1987 and that the Lansburgh department store and the other buildings subsequently saved had been vacant for some time by that year.

by Jo-Ann Neuhaus on Feb 28, 2012 10:34 pm • linkreport

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