Business

A timeline of the Filene’s site

1851: The first store by W. Filene & Co., a small tailor shop, opens a short distance from the current location in Downtown Crossing.

1890s: The company creates an unprecedented system of employee empowerment, appointing a “welfare director’ to oversee the well being of the work force. A health insurance policy is later instituted.

Advertisement

1909: Filene’s Basement is introduced as “Tunnel Bargain Basement,” named for its proximity to the Washington Street subway tunnel (today’s Orange Line). It’s novelty is the practice of marking down prices 25 percent every six days. After 30 days, the unsold goods are donated to charity.

1912: On Sept. 3, the company holds the grand opening of the flagship Downtown Crossing store. The event draws 235,000 people, representing one third of Boston’s population at the time.

Get Talking Points in your inbox:
An afternoon recap of the day’s most important business news, delivered weekdays.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

1920s: Filene’s rapidly expands , eventually occupying an entire city block.

1973: The final addition to the store is built, a three-story structure at the corner of Franklin and Washington streets that further expands the sales space.

2005: Federated Department Stores Inc. buys the parent company of Filene’s and announces plans to close the Downtown Crossing location and sell the buildings.

Advertisement

2007: Developer’s John B Hynes III and Vornado Realty Trust demolish the 1973 building – as well as part of the original Filene’s store – to make way for a mixed-use tower.

2008: Construction stalls on the tower due to financial problems

2012: Millennium Partners takes control of the project and gets approval for a 625-foot residential tower and the restoration of the 1912 Filene’s building.

Sources: Boston Landmarks Commission, Boston Globe Archives

Loading comments...
Real journalists. Real journalism. Subscribe to The Boston Globe today.
You're reading  1 of 5 free articles.
Get UNLIMITED access for only 99¢ per week Subscribe Now >
You're reading1 of 5 free articles.Keep scrolling to see more articles recomended for you Subscribe now
We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles.
Continue reading by subscribing to Globe.com for just 99¢.
 Already a member? Log in Home
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com