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Old Baltimore department stores [Pictures]

Hutzler's started as a small dry goods store which opened Jan. 7, 1858. Moses Hutzler agreed to help his son Abram fund the "One Price House" on Howard and Clay streets. In 1867, Abram and his brother Charles opened a wholesale business on Baltimore Street.
(Courtesy of Jacques Kelly Collection, Handout photo, circa 1910)

Old Baltimore department stores [Pictures]

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Art Deco and Romanesque architecture, glittering window display cases and innovative fashions, lunch counters and tearooms, and bustling city scenes: These are the images from Baltimore's department-store era from the 1840s to 2006. Shoppers flocked to Hutzler's; Hochschild, Kohn; Hecht's; the May Company and Stewart's to browse petticoats, have a luncheon or view elaborate window displays. Check out these 65 retro photos and see what Baltimore's beloved retail palaces looked like in their heyday. --Sarah LaCorte (Sources used: "Baltimore's Bygone Department Stores: Many Happy Returns" by Michael J. Lisicky; Baltimore Sun library and photo archives)
Hutzler Brothers Company
Hutzler's started as a small dry goods store which opened Jan. 7, 1858. Moses Hutzler agreed to help his son Abram fund the "One Price House" on Howard and Clay streets. In 1867, Abram and his brother Charles opened a wholesale business on Baltimore Street.
Hutzler's started as a small dry goods store which opened Jan. 7, 1858. Moses Hutzler agreed to help his son Abram fund the "One Price House" on Howard and Clay streets. In 1867, Abram and his brother Charles opened a wholesale business on Baltimore Street. (Courtesy of Jacques Kelly Collection, Handout photo, circa 1910)
Hutzler Brothers Company
On Sept. 17, 1888, Hutzler's grand retail palace opened with Romanesque architecture designed by Edwin F. Baldwin and Josiah Pennington. Hutzler's quickly gained a reputation as one of Baltimore's most luxurious shops.
On Sept. 17, 1888, Hutzler's grand retail palace opened with Romanesque architecture designed by Edwin F. Baldwin and Josiah Pennington. Hutzler's quickly gained a reputation as one of Baltimore's most luxurious shops. (Jed Kirschbaum, Baltimore Sun photo, 2003)
Hutzler Brothers Company
Hutzler's became known for their elaborate window displays. During WWII, their window displays sold over $2 million in war bonds. Through the years, they featured displays of reproductions of the original 1858 shop, tinseled Christmas displays and themes touching on modern art.
Hutzler's became known for their elaborate window displays. During WWII, their window displays sold over $2 million in war bonds. Through the years, they featured displays of reproductions of the original 1858 shop, tinseled Christmas displays and themes touching on modern art. (Irving Phillips, Baltimore Sun file photo, 1975)
Hutzler Brothers Company
By the post-war years, Hutzler's expanded into the suburbs. In 1952, a Towson store was opened with sprawling parking lots and floor-to-ceiling glass walls. Today, a Barnes and Nobles and Trader Joe's inhabit the former Hutzler building at the Towson circle.
By the post-war years, Hutzler's expanded into the suburbs. In 1952, a Towson store was opened with sprawling parking lots and floor-to-ceiling glass walls. Today, a Barnes and Nobles and Trader Joe's inhabit the former Hutzler building at the Towson circle. (Baltimore Sun file photo, 1955)
Hutzler Brothers Company
In the 1970s, Hutzler's struggled to reconcile its penchant for selling high-end apparel with its dwindling sales and cash-flow problems. Hutzler's made bad inventory decisions, buying in large quantities items that were too expensive for the market.
In the 1970s, Hutzler's struggled to reconcile its penchant for selling high-end apparel with its dwindling sales and cash-flow problems. Hutzler's made bad inventory decisions, buying in large quantities items that were too expensive for the market. (Paul Hutchins, Baltimore Sun file photo, 1985)
Hutzler Brothers Company
After seeking outside help in the 1970s, Hutzler's hired Angelo Arena as president and chief executive officer in 1983. Arena had grand plans of revamping the Hutzler Palace to its former glory. The new and improved Hutzler Palace stayed open from 1985 to 1989.
After seeking outside help in the 1970s, Hutzler's hired Angelo Arena as president and chief executive officer in 1983. Arena had grand plans of revamping the Hutzler Palace to its former glory. The new and improved Hutzler Palace stayed open from 1985 to 1989. (Paul Hutchins, Baltimore Sun file photo, 1985)
Hutzler Brothers Company
Hutzler's attempt at reinventing itself wasn't successful, and in 1987 started closing up the Westview, Harford and Salisbury locations. It all ended in Towson, Hutzler's final store, which began liquidation in 1989. The company never filed for bankruptcy.
Hutzler's attempt at reinventing itself wasn't successful, and in 1987 started closing up the Westview, Harford and Salisbury locations. It all ended in Towson, Hutzler's final store, which began liquidation in 1989. The company never filed for bankruptcy. (Lloyd Pearson, Baltimore Sun file photo, 1984)
Hutzler Brothers Company
Hutzler's Towson store, where this store display was, started the competition for Baltimore department stores to amp up suburban spaces. Hutzler's was an innovator in the retail business. In 1868, they started a one-price system to replace the bargaining system.
Hutzler's Towson store, where this store display was, started the competition for Baltimore department stores to amp up suburban spaces. Hutzler's was an innovator in the retail business. In 1868, they started a one-price system to replace the bargaining system. (Lloyd Pearson, Baltimore Sun file photo, 1984)
Hutzler Brothers Company
Charles G. Hutzler entered the dry goods business in 1867 with brothers Abram and David Hutzler.
Charles G. Hutzler entered the dry goods business in 1867 with brothers Abram and David Hutzler. (Baltimore Sun file photo)
Hutzler Brothers Company
Abram Hutzler started the business that would run for 132 years after his father Moses helped him open the first store in 1858.
Abram Hutzler started the business that would run for 132 years after his father Moses helped him open the first store in 1858. (Baltimore Sun file photo, 1921)
Hutzler Brothers Company
Charles G. Hutzler II took over the company in 1926.
Charles G. Hutzler II took over the company in 1926. (Baltimore Sun file photo, 1951)
Hutzler Brothers Company
Albert David Hutzler Jr. took over for his father, Albert Hutzler Sr., and tried to hold on to the morals of his family's company when Federated Department Stores were finding more successful business models.
Albert David Hutzler Jr. took over for his father, Albert Hutzler Sr., and tried to hold on to the morals of his family's company when Federated Department Stores were finding more successful business models. (Baltimore Sun file photo, 1974)
Hutzler Brothers Company
Pictured is the Hutzlers' lavish home at 1801 Eutaw Place. The department store families were very close. Max Hochschild married Lina Hamburger of Hamburger's department stores, and their daughter, Gretchen, married Albert D. Hutzler in 1911.
Pictured is the Hutzlers' lavish home at 1801 Eutaw Place. The department store families were very close. Max Hochschild married Lina Hamburger of Hamburger's department stores, and their daughter, Gretchen, married Albert D. Hutzler in 1911. (Baltimore Sun file photo)
Hutzler Brothers Company
This advertisement by Hazel Croner appeared for Hutzler's in Vogue Magazine in 1976.
This advertisement by Hazel Croner appeared for Hutzler's in Vogue Magazine in 1976. (Hazel Croner, Baltimore Sun file photo, 1976)
Hutzler Brothers Company
Hazel Croner, a fashion illustrator, drew this Hutzler advertisement for Harper's Bazaar in 1968.
Hazel Croner, a fashion illustrator, drew this Hutzler advertisement for Harper's Bazaar in 1968. (Hazel Croner, Baltimore Sun file photo, 1968)
Hutzler's in Westview
A massive Hutzler's store in Westview opened in 1958. It would close its doors in the late 1980s, and Value City would take over its space.
A massive Hutzler's store in Westview opened in 1958. It would close its doors in the late 1980s, and Value City would take over its space. (Walter McCardell, Baltimore Sun file photo, 1987)
Hutzler's in Towson
The Hutzler's branch in Towson opened in 1952.
The Hutzler's branch in Towson opened in 1952. (Lloyd Pearson, Baltimore Sun file photo, 1978)
Hutzler's at Howard Street
The attractive Hutzler's branch downtown at Howard Street.
The attractive Hutzler's branch downtown at Howard Street. (Perry Thorsvik, Baltimore Sun file photo, 1987)
Hutzler's on Howard
Hutzler Brothers' downtown branch on Howard Street.
Hutzler Brothers' downtown branch on Howard Street. (Baltimore Sun file photo, 1987)
Hochschild, Kohn Company
Mobs of people cross at the intersection of Lexington and Howard streets days before Christmas of 1947. Hochschild, Kohn sits on the corner.
Mobs of people cross at the intersection of Lexington and Howard streets days before Christmas of 1947. Hochschild, Kohn sits on the corner. (Robert Mottar, Baltimore Sun file photo, 1947)
Hochschild, Kohn Company
In 1877, Max Hochschild, 21, opened a dry goods store on Gay Street, but wanted to increase sales space. He bumped into Louis and Benno Kohn, who had chosen the same location for their store. In 1897, the Hochschild, Kohn Company opened its doors.
In 1877, Max Hochschild, 21, opened a dry goods store on Gay Street, but wanted to increase sales space. He bumped into Louis and Benno Kohn, who had chosen the same location for their store. In 1897, the Hochschild, Kohn Company opened its doors. (George H. Cook, Baltimore Sun file photo, 1976)
Hochschild, Kohn Company
Hochschild, Kohn outgrew their retail palace and looked into an expansion project that would cost $4 million to build. Kohn and Hochschild could not come to an agreement about the large financial commitment. Max Hochschild retired in 1927 but visited the store every day until his death in 1957.
Hochschild, Kohn outgrew their retail palace and looked into an expansion project that would cost $4 million to build. Kohn and Hochschild could not come to an agreement about the large financial commitment. Max Hochschild retired in 1927 but visited the store every day until his death in 1957. (Baltimore Sun file photo, 1977)
Hochschild, Kohn Company
The Kohn family regrouped after Hochschild's departure. It became the first Baltimore store to branch out, opening a location in the Edmondson Village Shopping center in 1947. By 1958, Hochschild, Kohn had expanded existing buildings and operated four branches.
The Kohn family regrouped after Hochschild's departure. It became the first Baltimore store to branch out, opening a location in the Edmondson Village Shopping center in 1947. By 1958, Hochschild, Kohn had expanded existing buildings and operated four branches. (George H. Cook, Baltimore Sun file photo, 1976)
Hochschild, Kohn Company
At Hochschild's, Hutzler's, Stewart's and Hecht-May, black shoppers were not welcome. In the 1960s, Hochschild's cousin, Walter Sondheim, became active in the business and said it was time for racial integration. Hochschild's became the first non-segregated department store in Baltimore.
At Hochschild's, Hutzler's, Stewart's and Hecht-May, black shoppers were not welcome. In the 1960s, Hochschild's cousin, Walter Sondheim, became active in the business and said it was time for racial integration. Hochschild's became the first non-segregated department store in Baltimore. (William G. Hotz, Baltimore Sun file photo, 1977)
Hochschild, Kohn Company
Hochschild's progressiveness boosted sales throughout the '60s, catching the eye of one Warren Buffett, who purchased Hochschild, Kohn in 1966. Despite Buffett's support and two new branches in Columbia and York, Pa., Hochschild's sales slumped in 1969 and Buffett quickly looked to liquidate.
Hochschild's progressiveness boosted sales throughout the '60s, catching the eye of one Warren Buffett, who purchased Hochschild, Kohn in 1966. Despite Buffett's support and two new branches in Columbia and York, Pa., Hochschild's sales slumped in 1969 and Buffett quickly looked to liquidate. (George H. Cook, Baltimore Sun file photo, 1976)
Hochschild, Kohn Company
By the beginning of the 1970s, Hochschild's learned it had to continue to grow and compete, or it would die. In a twist, Hochschild's ended up impeding on its own territory after its Security Square Mall location opened in 1972, causing a drop in sales at the Edmondson location.
By the beginning of the 1970s, Hochschild's learned it had to continue to grow and compete, or it would die. In a twist, Hochschild's ended up impeding on its own territory after its Security Square Mall location opened in 1972, causing a drop in sales at the Edmondson location. (Weyman Swagger, Baltimore Sun file photo, 1977)
Hochschild, Kohn Company
In 1974, city officials proposed a study to redevelop, possibly with new housing, the intersection of Howard and Lexington streets. City Council president Walter S. Orlinsky suggested possibly tearing down old department store buildings and erecting new ones.
In 1974, city officials proposed a study to redevelop, possibly with new housing, the intersection of Howard and Lexington streets. City Council president Walter S. Orlinsky suggested possibly tearing down old department store buildings and erecting new ones. (Lloyd Pearson, Baltimore Sun file photo, 1974)
Hochschild, Kohn Company
After several failed attempts to modernize and hold the market's attention, Hochschild starting selling off its various branches to companies like The Bon-Ton. In 1977, Hochschild, Kohn announced it would close its downtown store permanently.
After several failed attempts to modernize and hold the market's attention, Hochschild starting selling off its various branches to companies like The Bon-Ton. In 1977, Hochschild, Kohn announced it would close its downtown store permanently. (Weyman Swagger, Baltimore Sun file photo, 1977)
Hochschild, Kohn Company
In 1983, the same year the company finally went out of business, a 10-alarm fire burned Hochschild, Kohn's neoclassic palace to the ground.
In 1983, the same year the company finally went out of business, a 10-alarm fire burned Hochschild, Kohn's neoclassic palace to the ground. (Albert D. Cochran, Baltimore Sun file photo, 1956)
Howard and Lexington streets
A street view of the stores along Howard Street at Lexington Street, looking north. Officer Lee Wooden, at right, wipes his brow in the sweltering heat.
A street view of the stores along Howard Street at Lexington Street, looking north. Officer Lee Wooden, at right, wipes his brow in the sweltering heat. (Frank A. Miller, Baltimore Sun file photo, 1952)
Hecht's and Hochschild, Kohn
A street scene on Howard Street, looking north near Lexington Street. Hecht's is at left, with Hochschild, Kohn just behind it.
A street scene on Howard Street, looking north near Lexington Street. Hecht's is at left, with Hochschild, Kohn just behind it. (Baltimore Sun file photo, 1964)
Hecht's
Hecht's has its origins in a rivalry between two German immigrants, Simeon Hecht and his younger brother Samuel Hecht. Although many people believe Samuel Hecht came first, it was actually Simeon who had come to Baltimore from Bavaria in 1844. Simeon opened the first Baltimore store in 1848.
Hecht's has its origins in a rivalry between two German immigrants, Simeon Hecht and his younger brother Samuel Hecht. Although many people believe Samuel Hecht came first, it was actually Simeon who had come to Baltimore from Bavaria in 1844. Simeon opened the first Baltimore store in 1848. (Baltimore Sun file photo)
Hecht's
After the business proved successful, Samuel Hecht came to Baltimore in 1851 and started managing one of Simeon's eight businesses. To the chagrin of Simeon, in 1857, Samuel started his own secondhand furniture business that flourished into a large furniture and home goods store.
After the business proved successful, Samuel Hecht came to Baltimore in 1851 and started managing one of Simeon's eight businesses. To the chagrin of Simeon, in 1857, Samuel started his own secondhand furniture business that flourished into a large furniture and home goods store. (Richard Childress, Baltimore Sun file photo, 1978)
Hecht's
The company was passed on to Samuel's son, Moses, who opened The Hub franchise in 1897. It relocated to Baltimore and Charles streets after the original location burned in the 1904 Great Fire.
The company was passed on to Samuel's son, Moses, who opened The Hub franchise in 1897. It relocated to Baltimore and Charles streets after the original location burned in the 1904 Great Fire. (Joseph A. DiPaola, Baltimore Sun file photo, 1982)
Hecht's
The May Company purchased the Hecht Company in 1959. The Hecht Company finally dissolved in 2006 when stores like Macy's and Bloomingdale's cornered the market and Federal Department Stores bought the May Company.
The May Company purchased the Hecht Company in 1959. The Hecht Company finally dissolved in 2006 when stores like Macy's and Bloomingdale's cornered the market and Federal Department Stores bought the May Company. (Baltimore Sun file photo, 1975)
Hecht's
When Hecht's combined with the Hub, it became the second largest retailer in Baltimore, including this Howard Street location.
When Hecht's combined with the Hub, it became the second largest retailer in Baltimore, including this Howard Street location. (Baltimore Sun file photo, 1989)
Hecht's
The beauty counter in Hecht's store at Security Mall represented what was attractive about the company. It offered well-liked brands for good prices without being too haughty about it.
The beauty counter in Hecht's store at Security Mall represented what was attractive about the company. It offered well-liked brands for good prices without being too haughty about it. (Joseph A. DiPaola, Baltimore Sun file photo, 1979)
Hecht's
The Hecht Company on Howard Street.
The Hecht Company on Howard Street. (Irving Phillips, Baltimore Sun file photo, 1970)
Hecht's
The Jewelry Department at Hecht's on Howard Street appealed to middle-class shoppers.
The Jewelry Department at Hecht's on Howard Street appealed to middle-class shoppers. (Weyman Swagger, Baltimore Sun file photo, 1982)
Hecht's
Hecht's also had a Gaithersburg location.
Hecht's also had a Gaithersburg location. (Ralph Robinson, Baltimore Sun file photo, 1978)
Hecht's
Hecht's Columbia location opened in August of 1975 and was 152,000 square feet.
Hecht's Columbia location opened in August of 1975 and was 152,000 square feet. (Baltimore Sun file photo, 1975)
Hecht's
Hecht's wanted the Columbia branch to be a "quality store with timeliness."
Hecht's wanted the Columbia branch to be a "quality store with timeliness." (Baltimore Sun file photo, 1975)
Hecht's
The Hecht Company opened a Towson branch, hoping to rival Hutzler's.
The Hecht Company opened a Towson branch, hoping to rival Hutzler's. (William H. Mortimer, Baltimore Sun file photo, 1982)
Hecht's
The Hecht Company started as a lower-end store but progressed into a more mainstream outlet.
The Hecht Company started as a lower-end store but progressed into a more mainstream outlet. (Lloyd Pearson, Baltimore Sun file photo, 1981)
Hecht's
Hecht's was the last Baltimore department store to survive, finally closing on September 9, 2006.
Hecht's was the last Baltimore department store to survive, finally closing on September 9, 2006. (Irving Phillips, Baltimore Sun file photo, 1983)
Stewart's
Faced with financial trouble, Samuel Posner sought a buyer for his department store in H.B. Clafin & Company. The man who negotiated the deal was Louis Stewart, a Louisville man who had bought a New York department store.
Faced with financial trouble, Samuel Posner sought a buyer for his department store in H.B. Clafin & Company. The man who negotiated the deal was Louis Stewart, a Louisville man who had bought a New York department store. (William Hotz, Baltimore Sun file photo, 1982)
Stewart's
In 1902, Stewart's was born: a store that offered New York style in Baltimore. Baltimoreans complained that Stewart's could not understand Baltimore aesthetics. Stewart's looked to increase customer service in other ways, becoming the first department store here to be air-conditioned.
In 1902, Stewart's was born: a store that offered New York style in Baltimore. Baltimoreans complained that Stewart's could not understand Baltimore aesthetics. Stewart's looked to increase customer service in other ways, becoming the first department store here to be air-conditioned. (William H. Mortimer, Baltimore Sun file photo, 1979)
Stewart's
While Stewart himself might not have been from Baltimore, by 1937 Stewart and Co. employed over 2,000 Baltimoreans.
While Stewart himself might not have been from Baltimore, by 1937 Stewart and Co. employed over 2,000 Baltimoreans. (Irving H. Phillips, Baltimore Sun file photo, 1978)
Stewart's
Stewart's followed in the footsteps of the other big department stores and saw that by the 1950s, it was time to move the market to the suburbs. Its first branch store opened in 1955 on York Road. Seven years later, they opened a location at the Reisterstown Road Plaza.
Stewart's followed in the footsteps of the other big department stores and saw that by the 1950s, it was time to move the market to the suburbs. Its first branch store opened in 1955 on York Road. Seven years later, they opened a location at the Reisterstown Road Plaza. (William Mortimer, Baltimore Sun file photo, 1979)
Stewart's
Despite the promising growth, some problems were brewing for Stewart's. The company was considered stuffy rather than youthful, garnering further criticism that it was not right for Baltimore. Stewart's also experienced poor management decisions in the new branches, leading poor sales.
Despite the promising growth, some problems were brewing for Stewart's. The company was considered stuffy rather than youthful, garnering further criticism that it was not right for Baltimore. Stewart's also experienced poor management decisions in the new branches, leading poor sales. (Baltimore Sun file photo, 1979)
Stewart's
Despite Stewart's reputation as an outsider, shoppers embraced the fresh New York perspective during their close-out sales.
Despite Stewart's reputation as an outsider, shoppers embraced the fresh New York perspective during their close-out sales. (Walter M. McCardell, Baltimore Sun file photo, 1979)
Stewart's
All smiles, Roberta Mason walks along Howard Street lugging the bounty purchased at the closing sale for Stewart's department store.
All smiles, Roberta Mason walks along Howard Street lugging the bounty purchased at the closing sale for Stewart's department store. (Walter M. McCardell, Baltimore Sun file photo, 1979)
The May Company
The May Company's history began in 1923 with the Bernheimer-Leader company, which was a merging of two lower-grade bargain stores: Bernheimer Brothers and Leader department stores. The merged company was unable to handle the financial burden of a larger space.
The May Company's history began in 1923 with the Bernheimer-Leader company, which was a merging of two lower-grade bargain stores: Bernheimer Brothers and Leader department stores. The merged company was unable to handle the financial burden of a larger space. (Baltimore Sun file photo, 1925)
The May Company
Because the May Company did not have generations of family in Baltimore, it was viewed as an outsider. In 1947, fires mysteriously broke out on the 5th floor and became a 9-alarm fire, the worst blaze since 1904. The May Company bought Hecht Company in 1959 and folded into the ranks of beloved Baltimore stores.
Because the May Company did not have generations of family in Baltimore, it was viewed as an outsider. In 1947, fires mysteriously broke out on the 5th floor and became a 9-alarm fire, the worst blaze since 1904. The May Company bought Hecht Company in 1959 and folded into the ranks of beloved Baltimore stores. (Aubrey Bodine, Baltimore Sun file photo, 1947)
Read Drug and Chemical Company
Although Read's was a drugstore and soda fountain, it became one of Baltimore's most beloved shopping destinations on Howard and Lexington streets. William H. Read opened the store in 1889, but for some reason, sold the business to competitor Arthur Nattans.
Although Read's was a drugstore and soda fountain, it became one of Baltimore's most beloved shopping destinations on Howard and Lexington streets. William H. Read opened the store in 1889, but for some reason, sold the business to competitor Arthur Nattans. (Baltimore Sun file photo)
Read's
An early picture of Read's Drug Store, at the corner of Lexington and Howard streets.
An early picture of Read's Drug Store, at the corner of Lexington and Howard streets. (Baltimore Sun file photo, 1910)
Read's
People cross the street, across from Read's Drug Store, at Howard and Lexington streets, in the mid-1940s.
People cross the street, across from Read's Drug Store, at Howard and Lexington streets, in the mid-1940s. (Albert D. Cochran, Baltimore Sun file photo, 1946)
Read's
Although Read's expanded in later years, it never left Maryland. By 1958, there were 58 Read's stores around Baltimore and the Eastern Shore. When Arthur Nattans died, there was not enough family interest to keep the business going. Rite Aid bought Read's Drug store in 1977.
Although Read's expanded in later years, it never left Maryland. By 1958, there were 58 Read's stores around Baltimore and the Eastern Shore. When Arthur Nattans died, there was not enough family interest to keep the business going. Rite Aid bought Read's Drug store in 1977. (Baltimore Sun file photo, 1934)
Read's
In 1955, Read's was the site of one of the country's first civil rights sit-ins. The half-hour-long sit-in was conducted by civil rights icon Dr. Helena Hicks and a group of Morgan State College students.
In 1955, Read's was the site of one of the country's first civil rights sit-ins. The half-hour-long sit-in was conducted by civil rights icon Dr. Helena Hicks and a group of Morgan State College students. (Edward Nolan, Baltimore Sun file photo, 1957)
Joel Gutman, Julius Gutman, Brager-Gutman stores
After coming from Baden, Germany, Joel Gutman founded the very first fully developed department store on Eutaw Street in 1852, and opened the first department store "palace" in 1886. The Depression and competition from Hutzler's palace ended the Joel Gutman Company in 1929.
After coming from Baden, Germany, Joel Gutman founded the very first fully developed department store on Eutaw Street in 1852, and opened the first department store "palace" in 1886. The Depression and competition from Hutzler's palace ended the Joel Gutman Company in 1929. (Baltimore Sun file photo, 1942)
Epstein's
Jacob Epstein came from Lithuania to the U.S. in 1879 and opened his first store in Baltimore in 1881. Epstein's sold wholesale goods to merchants in the southern U.S. It grew into a multimillion-dollar business known as the Baltimore Bargain House and later the American Wholesale Corporation.
Jacob Epstein came from Lithuania to the U.S. in 1879 and opened his first store in Baltimore in 1881. Epstein's sold wholesale goods to merchants in the southern U.S. It grew into a multimillion-dollar business known as the Baltimore Bargain House and later the American Wholesale Corporation. (Baltimore Sun file photo, 1991)
Epstein's
Epstein's thrived in an era when women did not work on Monday, but instead had time to stand in line to shop for products they saw in ads in the old Sunday News American. But the boon of shopping malls in the early '90s pushed Epstein's out of the market. The Highlandtown location closed in 1991.
Epstein's thrived in an era when women did not work on Monday, but instead had time to stand in line to shop for products they saw in ads in the old Sunday News American. But the boon of shopping malls in the early '90s pushed Epstein's out of the market. The Highlandtown location closed in 1991. (Baltimore Sun file photo)
Epstein's
Epstein's moved into former Brager-Gutman buildings for a brief period before Epstein's themselves closed in January of 1991 due to the economy.
Epstein's moved into former Brager-Gutman buildings for a brief period before Epstein's themselves closed in January of 1991 due to the economy. (Irving H. Phillips, Baltimore Sun file photo, 1991)
O'Neill's
Thomas O'Neill set up O'Neill's department store on Charles Street in 1882. According to The Sun in 1954, O'Neill took action during the 1904 Great Fire when dynamiters needed to level his store to slow the fire. O'Neill drove to the Carmelite Convent, woke the nuns and begged them to pray. When he returned, the wind had shifted the fire away.
Thomas O'Neill set up O'Neill's department store on Charles Street in 1882. According to The Sun in 1954, O'Neill took action during the 1904 Great Fire when dynamiters needed to level his store to slow the fire. O'Neill drove to the Carmelite Convent, woke the nuns and begged them to pray. When he returned, the wind had shifted the fire away. (Baltimore Sun file photo)
O'Neill's department store
When O'Neill died in 1919, he donated $5 million for the creation of the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen on North Charles Street. He left the business to his employees. In 1928, the company stocks were sold to Hahn department store, which kept O'Neill's as it appeared. O'Neill's closed in December of 1954 to make way for the Charles Center development. The Gold Metallic Shoes with Beads from 1890 pictured above were sold at O'Neill's department store.
When O'Neill died in 1919, he donated $5 million for the creation of the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen on North Charles Street. He left the business to his employees. In 1928, the company stocks were sold to Hahn department store, which kept O'Neill's as it appeared. O'Neill's closed in December of 1954 to make way for the Charles Center development. The Gold Metallic Shoes with Beads from 1890 pictured above were sold at O'Neill's department store. (Jeff Goldman, Maryland Historical Society Handout)
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