A piece of Old Wilmington
Front Street Centre, where Events! On Front calls home, was built by Solomon Bear in 1880 and operated as dry goods store. Years later, it switched ownership to Morris and Bros until 1915. Soon after, F.W. Woolworth bought the property and began to utilize the Italianate-style building as a rental property for various tenants and merchants throughout the Cape Fear area.
In order to make Front Street Centre look similar to other Woolworth Corporation stores across the country, the three-story structure underwent a serious overhaul in 1938. This new Art Modern-design style mimicked the popular architecture elements of other buildings during The Great Depression. Some of the changes included renovations to embrace a stone terra-cotta façade, the specific placements of windows, and changes to the building's cornices. After all was completed, Front Street Centre had now tripled in size and had space for over 70 new employees.
Despite Woolworth’s efforts to keep up with the popularity of suburban shopping malls, the store eventually closed in 1978. Massive renovations were attempted again in 1985, but the building was forced into foreclosure just two years later due to serious structural problems.
The Bullock family, the current owners of Front Street Centre, purchased the building in 1993. Together with a structural engineer and city inspectors, the team was able to repair the three-story complex and occupy it with a mix of retail, restaurant, and office spaces.
Once a restaurant, the family renovated the downstairs 3,000 square foot area that would eventually become the home to Events! On Front.
Since 2012, we have hosted weddings, parties, showers, meetings and much more. We are grateful to the history of this building and are looking forward to all of the memories that we will create here in the future!