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Face the State Flashback: A Legendary Department Store Closes its Doors

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There was nothing like it in Connecticut then, and there is certainly nothing like it now. We’re talking about the legendary G. Fox department store in downtown Hartford, that closed its doors for good twenty years ago this week.

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In our Face the State Flashback this past Sunday, we aired two reports from our archives that aired on Eyewitness News on January 22, 1993. Our then WFSB business reporter Jim Vicevich was inside the G. Fox on its final day as bargain hunters looked for deals and souvenirs.

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My former co-anchor Virginia Cha was also in the building as the iconic art deco doors were locked for the last time. It was an emotional scene as store workers embraced, and shoppers teared up knowing a chapter of Connecticut history was ending, likely never to be repeated.

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I apologize for some of the audio glitches in this old videotape. You can watch the entire flashback, right here at this link: http://www.wfsb.com/video?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=8212047

You can also watch another G. Fox flashback filed in 2011 that focuses on the the announcement in 1992 that G. Fox was closing. Here’s the link to that: https://dennishouse.tv/2011/12/21/face-the-state-flashback-the-g-fox-era-comes-to-an-end/

Plus, remember the Hartford skyscraper boom that never happened? https://dennishouse.tv/2012/01/24/what-hartford-might-have-bee/

About the author: https://dennishouse.tv/2012/05/22/marking-20-years-at-wfsb/

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19 replies »

  1. Remember the excitement of driving to Hartford to buy my first formal dress for Homecoming, 1973. Knew we’d find something special and we did! Still remember that dress!

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  2. There is one memory every child who grew up in those years has about G Fox- the Christmas winter wonder land you walked through to go see Santa. Once you were done seeing Santa- there was a small door to a kid’s store, where you would go shopping for mom and dad. It was amazing.

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  3. Oh wow so true so many wonderful memories of G Fox… It was a once a month Saturday treat with my aunt she would take my sister and I to ‘Foxes’ and we would spend the day shopping and having lunch in the Connecticut Room! It was so awesome and at Christmas time it was visiting the Winter Wonderland and Santa and then spend some time shopping for our mom and dad! It was a special with a great lady in a most wonderful department store!

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  4. I remember shopping at G Fox on Nov 22, 1963 and everyone was crying and I asked what happened and was told that JFK had been shot and I went to the 11th flr and watched TV with others watching the news. It was horrific! Also remember in the 50’s being a regular on the Brad Davis Show, dancing and having a great time and when the taping was done, all of us running to G Fox to watch ourselves on TV!

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  5. When I was young my mom took me there to get a picture of Santa and me.(over 60 years ago) Then I would take my kids on the train so they could see Santa and walk through the winter wonderland so they can shop in the kids store.great memory.

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  6. Christmas at G. Fox. My brother and I would go with my Aunt every year. Foxes had a children’s section for the kids to shop in. The most expensive present in there was $5.00. We still have an angel candle holder that goes around when the candles are lit. Great memories of G. Fox. Also the Carole Sings in front of The Hartford Times building.

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  7. Have to a agree with the memory of the Christmas Wonderland. I’ll also add the memory of the blue G. Fox & Co. truck making deliveries to our house. It was always fun to see what they would bring.

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  8. The Connecticut room ….cream cheese on date nut bread…and as a young child having to get dressed up to go to Foxes,to have lunch and shop. As an older person I was delighted to have Foxes home delivery, even on Christmas eve.They we so dependable. Santa always arrived with the children’s gifts all wrapped. What a joy…..As a child I also did some modeling for G.Fox but that memory is a little vague.. I do remembering having to wear gloves and a dressy hat. Those were the days when children learned to be well mannered, and little girls acted like little ladys.

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  9. Taking the bus into Hartford from NewBritain
    With my Mom was big. Entering G.Fox thru revolving doors, escalators, mezzanine and elevators with white gloved doormen made me feel so special. When we had lunch I thought I was in another world. How do you explain this wonderful experience to others? I loved downtown G. Fox & Co.

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  10. I remember going up to G. Fox with my Dad when I was preparing to graduate from college. We went up there to purchase a briefcase for my upcoming job interviews. I can still remember standing there with Dad, watching as the craftsman took out a sheet of gold leaf and then stamped my initals into the side of the case. I felt so grown up – and so special! I still have the briefcase!

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  11. A group of my friends and I went on Saturdays to Sentinel Hill Teen Club at G. Fox . It was about 1955 or 1956. We had teas and fashion shows and etiquette lessons, and tours of the behind the scenes workings of a department store. Beatrice was there with us. We took the bus from Old Main Street in South Windsor.
    A favorite memory is buying my wedding dress there and picking out silver and china patterns.
    The Christmas season was always special with the marquee village and decorated windows and the decorations inside on every floor.

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  12. Didn’t they use the old G Fox building for something Christmas related after it closed? I remember going there where every floor was filled with Christmas decorations, I think every floor was a different theme? Anyone remember this?

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  13. When I was about 4 years old, my picture was in their newsletter. My mother was shopping and I was looking very bored (I still have the article). As I got older I loved that store it was so big and had everything you could think of. Loved shopping at Christmas time with all the hustle and bustle on Main St.

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