Sunday, June 22, 2008

former Hecht's (now Terrell Place), 7th and F Streets NW, Washington, DC. Exterior view, June 21, 2008.

The Hecht Company moved its Washington location to this grand glass and marble store at the corner of 7th and F Streets Northwest in November 1925.

Hecht's was the first store in Washington to offer national brands. It also boasted the first parking garage and first elevator. Its relatively open policies made it popular among African-Americans as well as the white populace.

A tour of Norman Rockwell's Four Freedoms paintings, intended to rally support for the Allied cause in World War II and the purchase of war bonds, premiered at the store in 1943.

In July 1951, a mixed race group began to picket outside the store, protesting racial segregation in the store's cafeteria. The offending policy was changed in January of the following year.

Hecht's vacated this store in 1986 in favor of a new location at the corner of 12th and G Streets NW (built in 1985 and renovated in 2003). Now a Macy's location as of September 2006, the building has a direct entrance to the Metro Center station of the Washington Metro.

The vacated Hecht Company building, now across from the Verizon Center, was extensively renovated and reopened in 2003 as Terrell Place, honoring Mary Church Terrell's role in desegregating that and other public accommodations in Washington.

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