Lichtenstein's Downtown Department Store
Lichtenstiens...well someone burst my bubble as I thought this iconic beautiful buliding was being restored, last time we visited Corpus Christi from Houston looked like being renovated..maybe, maybe not? (2018)
Us rug rats tended to shy away from Lichtenstiens, was too ritzy for us, after all, we lived about mile from there and didn't have any damned money, and stuff in store was way beyond our family's means. My dad who I have written about here was making about $156 week at a American Motors dealership about mile up Chapparal street, but on Water at I-37 at the time. BEFORE that and I emphasize before, when I was itty bitty, my mom worked at Lichtenstiens in the gift wrapping department. The manager used to tell her how creative she was using WASTE other gift wrappers had thrown away, to create beautiful packages.
I do not know why she left, never asked, never found out how much she made either, just know she liked doing the gift wrapping bit. In one photo here was the mezzanine or "second floor" as we used to call it, there was a area with books, a spa sort of area (there seemed to be one on 3rd floor also) but we used to stand there and check people out, the fancy ladies with big ass beehive hairdos like Marge Simpson. Dapper gentlemen walking around in nice suits, how do they keep cool when they get outside in stifling Corpus summer heat? But it was all fun & games to us 'area' kids. You know, we NEVER once got tossed from the store.
Lichenstiens probably had some cheap clothes but we usually went to 'the good side of town' and bought stuff at Woolco on Staples. Ironic that rich store was near us, and cheaper store in better part of town. The ladies always seemed to smile at Lichtenstiens, and as I rememeber they DIDN'T SELL TOYS, (insert "you kids get outta my yard here!) so seeing 2-4 unsupervised kids should have raised the store dick to keep close eyes on us.
Outside were big huge plate glass windows with creepy, but sexy, manniquins.
If you could get past the hundreds of crickets on the ground, the mannequins always wore the nicest, latest fashions, seasonal things, some of the big windows faced Woolsworth, other Chapparal.
Lichenstiens (and I will probably never spell it right) was a dominant building downtown and on par with Neiman Marcus today. Was a neat place to run around as kid, I may add they had free samples of perfume I would ask for tell the lady (my mom upstainrs having her hair done ha ha) but take them home to momma who would use a dab for church at Cathedral on Sunday.
For whatever reason I though Licthensteins had a escalator. But they did have a fance Titanic like staircase, and the sexy ladies ran the elevators, had bell caps or something I remember on head, makeup, and the elevator (Otis ones perhaps?) had a wheel inside like boat they turned, guess to close doors. Memory fades on this but do rememeber much of the srore. They also had a dinar of some sort, 3rd or 4th floor. Like everything else in store, could not affored that either.
At a later date there was ANOTHER Lichtensteins right behind Cathedral corner of Leopard and Carcacuana(sic?) walked past it a lot to go catch bus when I had bus fare. If memory serves me correctly, was not open long.