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Foley's


IronTiger

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Having a been a little late to the mall scene, my favorite defunct store is Foley's, having being absorbed to Macy's. I always thought it was cool, it had a neat exterior (my local store was Post Oak Mall) AND it was the only place for miles around to have ESCALATORS!!

But even in the mid-to-late 1990s, Foley's, from what I remember when my mother dragged me there, had little more than clothing and housewares. But I've heard and learned so much more. I've now learned to identify old Foley's...the 1960s ones (Northwest Mall and Almeda), the 1970s one (Greenspoint, San Jacinto, West Oaks), the 1980s (Post Oak and Padre Staples Mall), and the Sanger Harris ones in Dallas (Six Flags Mall, Valley View, and North Hills, now all closed).

For example, the Greenspoint Foley's once had Nintendo games, a cool kid's department set up like a Star Wars spaceship, and even a restaurant. I've heard wonderful things about Foley's on the HAIF, and have had to defend Foley's on other occasions. Check this out (from a comment on Labelscar)

Am I the only one who likes Macy
Edited by IronTiger
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We used to shop at Foley's in Sharpstown Mall. My uncle worked there, and he passed his employee discount on to us. I still remember the old logo with the asterisk: foley*s. I've read that the Foley's building downtown was the first department store built without windows on the upper floors, setting a precedent in department store design.

Edited by Dan the Man
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We shopped at the Pasadena Foley*s and the Almeda Foley*s.

At the Pasadena store, I remember a bookstore area and some sort of kids play area but i forget the theme - maybe a ship. Seems like there was also a restaurant. It was all in sort of a middle cut through area between the men's dept and the women's dept.

Technically, the San Jacinto Mall Foley's opened in 1981.

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Growing up, we shopped at the Pasadena Foley's. I got my ears pierced at the jewelry counter. The lady just rubbed alcohol on my ear lobes and stuck the gold studs in! Hurt so bad I couldn't hardly walk and almost passed out. They had a record department with LPs, I remember spending what seemed like hours in there while my mom shopped. It was close to or connected to the books. They had a candy counter similar to what Sears used to have in their stores. I loved shopping at Foley's.

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We shopped at the one downtown. My mom use to dress us up, she with her alligator bag and pumps to match, and off we would go to the bus stop for our trip to town. If you did not have the correct change for the bus the driver would give you the change from his little pouch changer hanging from his waist.

We usually went to buy our shoes. It was an experience, the shoe clerk would "fit" you for your new shoes. You got lots of attention. After the shoes, we go to the beauty shop or up to the Terrace restaurant for a meal. On the way out we usually got some candy or a box of pop corn.

A trip like that today would be comparable to a mother packing the kids up in the Expedition and going to a mall, lol.

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It's fummy but Foley's really devolved from a store with every thing to a more clothing and home related store. We bought our first house in 1983 and needed a mower and guess what? We bought it at Almeda Foley's. They were getting out of the hardware business so it was on sale and we were at the right place at the right time. That thing lasted till 1996 when I sold it at a garage sale. Also when I was going through some of my parents old stuff after moving them I found newspapers that had been used to wrap stuff and there was a full page add from the late 60's advertising tires and automotive service at the downtown Foley's. I think that stuff was sold from the parking garage that is still right across the street from the downtown Macy's store.

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I grew up shopping at the Northwest Mall Foley*s, and later at the Greenspoint Mall one, so I'm a bit sad that the future of the Northwest Mall store is looking increasingly uncertain when it's yet to reopen 7 months post-Ike. I think the big ship in the kids' shoe department has been mentioned here on several occasions - that was certainly a landmark in that store.

They had a record department with LPs, I remember spending what seemed like hours in there while my mom shopped. It was close to or connected to the books.

Two things I miss most from department stores, as I probably spent more time browsing books and LPs in those departments than in any others. The book department at the Northwest Mall store was probably as big as a small standalone bookstore would be now.

I also vaguely recall a small display area devoted to official Cub Scout and Boy Scout supplies. Which reminds me of the sporting goods department that used to be upstairs at the Greenspoint Mall store - my wife was pretty surprised when I explained to her that you used to be able to buy not only fishing gear, but rifles, pistols, and hunting knives at a Foley*s.

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Downtown Foley's was amazing. My mom and I would go downtown on the bus until she learned to drive, then we would park at the automated lift garage catty corner to the store, and after that was gone in the parking garage and go in thru the tunnel.

The basement was cool, with the cafeteria, bargain store, and I think appliances. First floor was jewelery, perfumes, and higher end men and women's fashions, I believe. Second floor men's department, third floor ladies, fourth fabrics, kid's clothing, and a fondly remembered toy store with a hobby section where I bought many models. I believe 5 and six were furniture, drapes, and matresses. I never paid much attention to 7 & 8, (electronics and kitchen?) but the ninth floor was books, records, sporting goods, and even a stamp and coin collector's counter. I know there was a ladies hair salon on one of the floors, the Terrace on 2, and I think there was another grill around somewhere.

And who could forget the Christmas windows which used to start on the southern side of the Main Street entrance and go around the corner all the way down the southern side of the building?

It was the kind of experience you don't get today, with the era of specialized stores.

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I worked in the record shop on the 9th floor during high school in the late 60's for a while. The manager was a total douchebag but it was still sweet working there and getting lp's as soon as they came out. Later I worked in the budget linens department down in the basement. In January they would have their big white sale and sell sheets at huge discounts. I had to truck the sheets out to tables where crazy ladies would assault me trying to get to them. Scariest thing I have ever been through.

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Foley's logo with the asterik? No idea. I thought it was like the most recent one since the early 1970s, before that being this....or was that it? With Foley's once "full line", was it on par with Sears, or a bit more classier than Sears?

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Foley's logo with the asterik? No idea. I thought it was like the most recent one since the early 1970s, before that being this....or was that it? With Foley's once "full line", was it on par with Sears, or a bit more classier than Sears?

Foley's was much like Dillard's, but IMO Foley's was just way cooler. Dillard's always seems stuffy and blah to me. I remember the Foley's junior's dept at Greenspoint had lots of tv's hanging from the ceiling that played cool music videos. I would always buy my Guess Jeans with the triangle on the back pocket and Girbaud Jeans there! There was also cool parquet wood flooring. Not sure if that is still there...haven't been to the Foley's (now Macy's) at Greenspoint in years

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The Foley's at Sharpstown had a budget department in the basement also. The parking lot on the east side of the store sloped down so that customers could enter the store directly into the basement. Later, a big thunderstorm flooded the basement. The entrance was closed off after that and the parking lot raised too prevent this from occurring again.

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Oh you can't forget about the Foley's credit card. It was called a "charge plate" back then and it was made of metal, lol. After you gave it to the clerk, she would swipe it over that old fashioned heavy swiping thing that made a loud noise. Music to the ears...

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Oh you can't forget about the Foley's credit card. It was called a "charge plate" back then and it was made of metal, lol. After you gave it to the clerk, she would swipe it over that old fashioned heavy swiping thing that made a loud noise. Music to the ears...

The "charge plate" pre-dated embossed, magnetic strip and electronic plastic credit cards. It was small, about an inch and a quarter by two inches and was embossed with one's name and address. The back was cardboard with a line for the owner's signature. Its thin edges were extended about an eighth of an inch all around; each store had its own particular pattern of notches that were cut into these edges when one opened an account. In this way, one charge plate could be used at several stores. To record a charge sale, the plate was inserted into a hand press that could accept only those charge plates with the right pattern of notches for that particular store and a sales slip was imprinted - multi-layered with either carbon paper inserts or carbonized paper so the customer's name and address would appear on all copies. Next, the sales clerks filled in everything else on the sales slip by hand, added up the grand total, and presented it to the customer for a signature!

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When I was little, my mother would take me and my sister downtown every Christmas to see the Christmas displays and do a little shopping. We'd go listen to the choir at the bank (National Bank of Commerce, IIRC) and get wassail and gingerbread, and we'd make the rounds of all the stores to see their decorations. Sakowitz had cages of live white doves; Foley's had the Calico Angels.

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I remember as a boy in the 1950's going with my whole family to the downtown Foley's for shopping on a Saturday. It was an "event", many floors of shopping, multiple restaurants, events for the kids, great window displays, etc.....

Remember going shopping just for Easter or school clothes and shoes?

And Christmas shopping...seeing Santa...wow!

Yeah, shopping downtown in those days was fun. All stores had big display windows and after the stores closed for the day - usually 5:30 - people would stroll around and "window-shop" to see the latest merchandise. Houston was something of a backwater when it came to fashions, furniture, appliances, etc. New styles would often take months to trickle into town.

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Foley's logo with the asterik? No idea. I thought it was like the most recent one since the early 1970s, before that being this....or was that it? With Foley's once "full line", was it on par with Sears, or a bit more classier than Sears?

I heard that Foley's started out as a budget store and then glammed up over time.

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I only remember the turquoise colored logo...those waxy brown (faintly striped) flat paper bags w/ turquoise symbol. My only experience w/ downtown Foley's was driving by at Christmas-time, w/ my grandmother, at night, looking at the neat moving displays. I was very small. We shopped at the Pasadena location, then Almeda. Foley's was the "fanciest" store I ever shopped at, as a kid. Saks & Joske's, out of the question. :o:lol:

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I only remember the turquoise colored logo...those waxy brown (faintly striped) flat paper bags w/ turquoise symbol. My only experience w/ downtown Foley's was driving by at Christmas-time, w/ my grandmother, at night, looking at the neat moving displays. I was very small. We shopped at the Pasadena location, then Almeda. Foley's was the "fanciest" store I ever shopped at, as a kid. Saks & Joske's, out of the question. :o:lol:

I have an old VHS tape (somewhere) that my parents transferred some old home movies to.

One portion has my mom and my sister walking in front of the downtown Foley*s christmas window displays around 1957.

Very elaborate window displays!

Boy I need to find that tape.

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I only remember the turquoise colored logo...those waxy brown (faintly striped) flat paper bags w/ turquoise symbol. My only experience w/ downtown Foley's was driving by at Christmas-time, w/ my grandmother, at night, looking at the neat moving displays. I was very small. We shopped at the Pasadena location, then Almeda. Foley's was the "fanciest" store I ever shopped at, as a kid. Saks & Joske's, out of the question. :o:lol:

I didn't ever shop at Foley's until I was earning my own money. Even Foley's was out of the question for us when we were kids. I also thought that I was shopping at a fancy store when I would go to Foley's, even if I had to shop in the budget department. I have fond memories of that store. I used to love to buy perfume and makeup there. I don't think anybody has mentioned this, does anyone remember the pharmacy at Foley's Pasadena? I still have some type of Dr Scholl's item that I purchased there years ago and it still has a Foley's price sticker on it. (don't know why I'm hanging on to it) Didn't they also cash personal checks for you in the customer service dept. on the second floor? When I was a teenager I lived at Depelchin Faith Home for a few years. They used to take us to Foley's downtown once a year to buy shoes. I forgot about that, so I guess I did go to Foley's prior to earning my own money.

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I didn't ever shop at Foley's until I was earning my own money. Even Foley's was out of the question for us when we were kids. I also thought that I was shopping at a fancy store when I would go to Foley's, even if I had to shop in the budget department. I have fond memories of that store. I used to love to buy perfume and makeup there. I don't think anybody has mentioned this, does anyone remember the pharmacy at Foley's Pasadena? I still have some type of Dr Scholl's item that I purchased there years ago and it still has a Foley's price sticker on it. (don't know why I'm hanging on to it) Didn't they also cash personal checks for you in the customer service dept. on the second floor? When I was a teenager I lived at Depelchin Faith Home for a few years. They used to take us to Foley's downtown once a year to buy shoes. I forgot about that, so I guess I did go to Foley's prior to earning my own money.

Don't remember the pharmacy, but if I saw a picture of it, I probably would. Where exactly in the store was it? I just always think of the "Peanuts" character items they had. That was in the early 70's.

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I only remember the turquoise colored logo...those waxy brown (faintly striped) flat paper bags w/ turquoise symbol. My only experience w/ downtown Foley's was driving by at Christmas-time, w/ my grandmother, at night, looking at the neat moving displays. I was very small. We shopped at the Pasadena location, then Almeda. Foley's was the "fanciest" store I ever shopped at, as a kid. Saks & Joske's, out of the question. :o:lol:
Me too, Nena. But rremember, Foley's had a "budget" department, too.

Wow, I can't believe you remember the bags! That's awesome! smileythumbu1.gif

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Me too, Nena. But rremember, Foley's had a "budget" department, too.

Wow, I can't believe you remember the bags! That's awesome! smileythumbu1.gif

Oh Yeah, I always headed upstairs...I can really appreciate shopping downstairs, now. But I still love a bargain. I like "high quality" most of all, in clothes, shoes & houses... :wub: .

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Don't remember the pharmacy, but if I saw a picture of it, I probably would. Where exactly in the store was it? I just always think of the "Peanuts" character items they had. That was in the early 70's.

I think it was across from the beauty shop or maybe just a little to the right when you came out of the beauty shop.

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I think it was across from the beauty shop or maybe just a little to the right when you came out of the beauty shop.

I don't know where that would have been...BTW- What did the Pasadena Foley's look like, originally? It always had those palms and arches when I went there, like the one at Almeda. Like I said, it was very late '60's, more likely early 70's when I shopped there. The store had actually been there for quite a while, I was surprised to find out.

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I don't know where that would have been...BTW- What did the Pasadena Foley's look like, originally? It always had those palms and arches when I went there, like the one at Almeda. Like I said, it was very late '60's, more likely early 70's when I shopped there. The store had actually been there for quite a while, I was surprised to find out.

The mall opened in 1982, before that if I remember right the back of the store looked like the front that faces Southmore, the sides remained the same they just attached a mall to the back of the store.

joe

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The mall opened in 1982, before that if I remember right the back of the store looked like the front that faces Southmore, the sides remained the same they just attached a mall to the back of the store.

joe

I didn't use the back entrance much, so I don't remember what it looked like. You are right about them attaching a mall to the back. I can't remember if an entrance existed already or if they knocked out a wall. There was another entrance in the back, where the budget department was and I think there was a public street by the back parking lot. It seems like they took part of that street and put the mall on it. Maybe there was more than 1 street involved. My memory just isn't that clear about the streets. I can't remember the details of what the front entrance looked like when it opened, I was too young. I do know this, somebody told me that Foley's Pasadena had shopping carts when they first opened. When I think of shopping carts I think of Walmart and Target.

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I didn't use the back entrance much, so I don't remember what it looked like. You are right about them attaching a mall to the back. I can't remember if an entrance existed already or if they knocked out a wall. There was another entrance in the back, where the budget department was and I think there was a public street by the back parking lot. It seems like they took part of that street and put the mall on it. Maybe there was more than 1 street involved. My memory just isn't that clear about the streets. I can't remember the details of what the front entrance looked like when it opened, I was too young. I do know this, somebody told me that Foley's Pasadena had shopping carts when they first opened. When I think of shopping carts I think of Walmart and Target.

I posted some pics of the ground-breaking ceremonies, but you couldn't see the bldg. Arches were featured on the billboard, so it may have always had that style. But it looks very 1960's to me, the pics look more like the 1950's. There was a neighborhood originally where the bldg. was constructed. I can remember when the back (North) entrance had a huge parking lot & empty field behind it.

http://www.houstonarchitecture.info/haif/i...mp;#entry312148

see post #34, Bob Bailey pics

I remember on the back street there was some of those barrack-looking houses, looked like military houses, stood for many yrs. before being removed.

Edited by NenaE
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I posted some pics of the ground-breaking ceremonies, but you couldn't see the bldg. Arches were featured on the billboard, so it may have always had that style. But it looks very 1960's to me, the pics look more like the 1950's. There was a neighborhood originally where the bldg. was constructed. I can remember when the back (North) entrance had a huge parking lot & empty field behind it.

http://www.houstonarchitecture.info/haif/i...mp;#entry312148

see post #34, Bob Bailey pics

I remember on the back street there was some of those barrack-looking houses, looked like military houses, stood for many yrs. before being removed.

The houses themselves I don't remember, but I remember the streets and some foundations were back there for years. It was very eery back there!

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I don't know where that would have been...BTW- What did the Pasadena Foley's look like, originally? It always had those palms and arches when I went there, like the one at Almeda. Like I said, it was very late '60's, more likely early 70's when I shopped there. The store had actually been there for quite a while, I was surprised to find out.

I'm quite positive that the front of the store looked nothing like the Almeda store at first. I probably would have gone there with my parents before Almeda opened. As I remember, it was single-story, and the Foley's name was spelled out in block letters, possibly lit red at night. The font was very similar to the one seen in the Bob Bailey pictures.

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I'm quite positive that the front of the store looked nothing like the Almeda store at first. I probably would have gone there with my parents before Almeda opened. As I remember, it was single-story, and the Foley's name was spelled out in block letters, possibly lit red at night. The font was very similar to the one seen in the Bob Bailey pictures.

That's what my hunch was, knew the Almeda store was not built 'til the 1960's. And the two designs (Pasadena & Almeda) are the same, so I would have thought the original Pasadena bldg. would have looked different, in the beginning, because I recently found out it's older. The people in the dedication ceremonies (in the Bob Bailey link) look to be from the 1950's, from the way they are dressed. Those arches on the billboard are what have been throwing me off, they look "very 1960's", in the Bailey pics...hmmmm, would like to see a pic of the original bldg. Had no idea that Foley's had been there that long. Too bad we can't see that picture more clearly. The design is on that billboard. You just can't see it very well.

IronTiger, the link doesn't work.

Edited by NenaE
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Thnx, that one works.

I have a yahoo group called foleysofcourse. It has links to Foley's TV commercials and photos of various stores. I have some discussion in the group on the many departements and restaurants that were at the downtown and branch stores. Please join the group. It would be great to see more discussion and additions to what is already there.

hydeaway

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My grandmother worked in the china department from about 1941 till 1965. She lived on montrose, just north of richmond in an apt building that has since become a minimall. Later, we lived in the southwest, and she would take the bus-we had to drive to bellaire to catch it. My earliest memories of a big city were going on the segregated bus to Foleys with my grandmother.

I remember Foleys as the central attraction of downtown, and it defined christmas. Wasnt it Foleys that sponsored the Christmas/thanksgiving parade? And we would see Santa at foleys. I remember being impressed by the sparkly sidewalks as we walked around the first floor christmas exhibits. Before the sears catelog took over, our toys came from foleys.

In the early 1990s I shopped for clothes at the foleys in Austin. I typically bought hawaiian style shirts, though the themes were more sedate. I still have one of them. I really felt like something was lost when Foleys dissapeared.

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like many, i remember we would go to the downtown store at christmas time and stand mesmerized in front of the windows. our foley*s of choice was sharpstown. remember the bargain basement, the toy store, the camera department, the record department, they even had a pharmacy there. i remember my dad would go to the TV department while my mom would take us shopping. they had all types of major appliances there. come to think about it, it was a lot like sears; but nicer.

not sure i remember this right, but i think the sharpstown store was originally 2 stories and they added the third floor later.

the sharpstown store was the first department store outside downtown. it still saddens me the way sharpstown has deteriorated. i am not sure it will ever come back.

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  • 2 weeks later...
What's the downtown Macy's like today? Any architectural "treats" left behind by bygone eras?

I would love to view the digital photo archives with University of Houston that was donated from Foley's after their demise. However, their system will only allow me to view the first 20 or so pages of several hundred. Do you have that problem as well?

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However, their system will only allow me to view the first 20 or so pages of several hundred. Do you have that problem as well?

I assume you're talking about the Bob Bailey photos at the Center for American History. If so, they only received enough funding to digitize a small portion of the collection.

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  • The title was changed to Foley's

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