Downtown Schenectady had plenty of choices for shopping during the 1950s and ’60s.
The H.S. Barney Co., Breslaw’s, the Carl Co., Woolworth’s and Wallace’s, among other stores, received visitors every day. People shopped for baseballs, beach balls, ties, table cloths, blankets, blouses and doll houses. And hundreds of other items.
Wallace’s was one of the veteran stores. It first appeared in Schenectady in 1909, and for many years was located at 415-417 State St. By 1911, the store had elevators — Wallace executives wanted to make sure shoppers got to see goods on all floors.
There was a 25-year-club for employees and a luncheonette for the public that opened in 1961.
The boom times didn’t last forever. Historians say downtown shopping declined throughout the country during the ’60s. Schenectady was affected, and Wallace’s closed in 1973.