The Binghamton Boscov's department store opened thirty years ago today.

A framed copy of the front page of The Evening Press from August 13, 1984, reporting the opening of the Binghamton Boscov's department store is displayed today in the manager's office. BOB JOSEPH/WNBF NEWS

Several thousand people gathered outside the main entrance of the building at Court and Water streets on the morning of August 13, 1984.

Three decades later, the store continues to serve as an anchor of the city's downtown business district.

On the 30th anniversary of the store opening, company chairman and chief executive officer Albert Boscov recalled the successful efforts of then-mayor Juanita Crabb to persuade the Pennsylvania department store chain to look at the vacant building.

Speaking on WNBF Radio's Binghamton Now program, Boscov said Crabb was "clever and resourceful" in her campaign to find a new occupant after Fowler's closed its Binghamton store.

Boscov remembered the mayor's team came up with "all types of crazy ideas to entice us to come up and look." He recalled receiving something in the mail "almost every day" from Binghamton.

Ultimately, Boscov's and the city reached agreement that provided incentives to the company to open at the downtown location.

Boscov said the store continues to do well, in large part, because of a loyal customer base.

A remodeling project at the Binghamton store is nearing completion. Boscov said plans are being finalized for another "grand opening" in September to mark the 30th anniversary of the store.

Boscov said: "Binghamton has been very good to us." He expects to be on hand for next month's celebration of three decades of operating in the city.

Speaking earlier on today's Binghamton Now program, Juanita Crabb said the closing of the Fowler's store had left a "big hole in the heart of downtown." That's why she made filling the building a top priority when she took office in 1982.

Crabb said: "Boscov's coming in was grand." And thousands of people showed up to celebrate the opening.

A headline on the front page of The Evening Press newspaper that afternoon described the development as a "Miracle on Court Street."