Boston, After a nearly 100-year run, Filene’s Basement in downtown Boston closed its doors on Monday evening for an extensive renovation. The store, a mecca for bargain-hunting locals and tourists, is due to re-open sometime in 2009—the owners are not yet saying exactly when the renovation will be completed and the basement will be back in business.
The store is famous for its twice-a-year "Running of the Brides," where brides-to-be and helpers line up early outside the store. When the doors open, participants race toward racks that are sometimes stripped bare of cut-rate wedding gowns in minutes.
The temporary shutdown of the store's two subterranean floors will accommodate redevelopment of the former Filene's Department Store building above ground in the Downtown Crossing shopping district. A real estate developer plans a $600 million project to build a 38-story tower that will include retail, condominium, hotel and office space.