downtown los angeles, historic core

Now Open: Ross Dress for Less Takes Over Historic Woolworth Building in Downtown LA

The new Ross Dress for Less takes over the historic Woolworth Building on Broadway in Downtown LA

The new 39,000 SF Ross Dress for Less takes over the historic Woolworth Building on Broadway in Downtown LA

Ross Dress for Less is now officially open on Broadway near 7th Street in Downtown LA after announcing their arrival back in Jan 2012. A grand opening celebration took place on Saturday morning at 9am. The new 39,000 square foot Ross — with retail space on the first and basement levels — has completely restored the beautiful historic Woolworth Building built in 1920. Part of that restoration includes two historic “grand staircases” that connect the first floor with the basement. The historic staircases consist of original terrazzo floors and wood railings. In addition, a large new mural on the store’s wall by the main grand staircase proudly proclaims the city’s efforts at “Bringing Back Broadway Street” with a historical description of the Woolworth Building, which was the first “five and dime” discount store chain in the country.

Ross Dress for Less on Broadway carries a large selection of merchandise for women, men, and children as well as furnishings for the home. Accessories, jewelry, luggage, and perfume/cologne are located on the first level.

With 120 feet of storefront facing Broadway, the new polished Ross store is a glimpse into the future of what Broadway could be as building by building is restored and activated again with a variety of new businesses. A large vertical neon Ross blade sign was installed last week as well to emulate the original Woolworth sign that was once there.

The new 39,000 SF Ross store is now open inside the historic 1920 Woolworth Building on Broadway

The new 39,000 SF Ross store is now open inside the historic 1920 Woolworth Building on Broadway

A large mural in the Ross store informs customers that the city is "Bringing Back Broadway"

A large mural in the Ross store informs customers that the city is “Bringing Back Broadway”

A historic image of the original Woolworth Building on Broadway

A historic image of the original Woolworth Building on Broadway

A short historical description of the Woolworth Building in Downtown LA

A short historical description of the Woolworth Building in Downtown LA

An original "grand staircase" connecting the first and basement levels is now restored

An original “grand staircase” connecting the first and basement levels was restored

The historic staircase consists of terrazzo floors and wood railings

The historic staircase consists of wood panels on the wall along with terrazzo floors and wood railings

Another historic staircase restored on the other side of the store

Another historic staircase restored on the other side of the store

Ross carries clothing for women and men

Ross carries clothing for women and men

Ross carries clothing for children

Ross carries clothing for children

A view of the first level of the store

A view of the first level of the store

Ross carries hand bags with brands like Michael Kors, DKNY, Calvin Klein, and Juicy Couture

Ross carries hand bags with brands like Michael Kors, DKNY, Calvin Klein, and Juicy Couture

The men's shoe selection in the basement level

The men’s shoe department in the basement level

Ross Now Open in Downtown LA

A store directory mural with an historic photo of the Woolworth Building on Broadway in the 1920s

17 Comments

  1. Rich says

    Well done! Hopefully they maintain the store well so it’s not as big a mess as other Ross stores can be. What was there previously? I remember a big electronics/music store on Broadway that had a basement setup kind of like that.

    My only complaint is “Broadway Street” is like saying ATM machine.

    • Matt says

      Not really. Where the M in ATM means machine, Broadway isn’t even a synonym for street.

      • Rich says

        It’s my understanding (at least according to a DTLA walking tour years and years ago) that Broadway = Broad Way. The “way” taking place of “street.” Could be wrong, though.

        • David Klappholz says

          There are lots of maps on which it’s Broadway Street. I’m not sure that it hasn’t been officially changed to just “Broadway,” but it was “Broadway Street” for quite some time and may still be. (Two native Angeleno friends, both in their 50’s, remember it as “Broadway Street,” as strange as that sounds.

  2. sebastian says

    Bringing back Broadway will be a mixture of discount department stores next to theaters. Nice.

  3. David Klappholz says

    Broadway’s official name is “Broadway Street;” strange, but true.

    • David Klappholz says

      PS The etymology of the word “Broadway” is “broad way,” meaning “broad street,” so…

  4. Alan H says

    Nice job overall, but I wish they had done something more creative with the ceiling. Those drop ceiling panels and fluorescents are never attractive.

  5. David Klappholz says

    Re “In addition, a large new mural on the store’s wall by the main grand staircase proudly proclaims the city’s efforts at “Bringing Back Broadway Street” with a historical description of the Woolworth Building, which was the first “five and dime” discount store in the country:” This suggests that the Broadway LA Woolworth store was the first five and dime in the US; in fact, the Wikipedia article that is linked to indicates that the first Woolworth five and dime was in PA in the 1870’s.

  6. Tom A says

    Pity about the dropped-ceiling…
    Any idea of what’s happening with the second and third floors?

  7. Nice store to have in the neighborhood, but I think it’s ridiculous that a store of that size has no restrooms available to customers. One would think that it would be required for such a large venue. :-(

  8. David Klappholz says

    My guess is that only businesses that serve food are actually required to have restrooms, but it is a shame that they don’t.

    • What puzzles me is that if my memory serves, other Ross stores have customer restrooms. If that’s correct, why treat DTLA differently? Harumph.

      • David Klappholz says

        My initial thought was that the management has a prejudiced view of who’s around DTLA, and that “they” wouldn’t treat restrooms “properly.” But then why open a store there? (Beats me.)

  9. maurin says

    this is so nostalgic i remember the store that was there, it was one of the first stores that my mom took me to visit when i arrived here in usa, NICE JOB!

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