SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT STORES – SMALLER LOCAL STORES

Besides the larger department stores in Southern California there were also smaller stores inside and outside  Los Angeles. These stores carved out specific niches. They are an important part of Southern California retail history.

GOODMAN’S DEPARTMENT STORE – LOS ANGELES

Goodman’s was located at 7th & Hill Streets across from Bullock’s. It was founded by S. Goodman. It was also short-lived, operating from 1922 to 1923 and ending in a public dispute between the founder and the landlord. The building still stands and has been converted into loft apartments. You can still see the remains of the painted sign if you look from Broadway Street down 7th. The store featured four elevators and a food market in the basement.

EASTERN COLUMBIA

One of Los Angeles’ oldest retail stores, Eastern-Columbia was founded in 1892 by Mr. Adolph Sieroty. There were two divisions: Eastern Outfitting Company and Columbia Outfitting Company. The Art Deco styled building was built in 1930 and designed by Claud Beelman.  The building still stands today as a landmark and has been converted into loft apartments. I was never brought to the store in Los Angeles and it closed before I started working in downtown Los Angeles. I had visited the Columbia Outfitters store in San Francisco before it closed.  

Eastern Columbia Stores and Headquarters Broadway Street LA

 

DESMOND’S

The Broadway Street store was opened in 1923. The facade was redone in 1933 in a Beaux Arts style. The first store was opened on Olivera Street in 1862. In 1921, Ralph R. Huesman purchased the store from the Desmond family and led the expansion of the retailer to several locations throughout the Southern California market. Other Desmond stores of architectural importance were built on Wilshire Blvd. and in Hollywood. The downtown Los Angeles building still stands. The first floor is for small retailers. The upper floors are still empty. Desmond’s, under new ownership, merged with Walker-Scott (San Diego) and K. Wolens (a Texas based specialty department store chain) in 1985.

 

MULLEN AND BLUETT

The company was founded by William Mullen and Andrew Bluett in 1889. The first store was located at the Corner of First and Spring streets. In 1910 the store was relocated to the first two floors of the Story building at Broadway and Sixth Streets. Mullen and Bluett was a high-end clothing store with a focus on menswear.

Mullen & Bluett Los Angeles 1911

   

 
 
 
 
 

 

Mullen & Bluett 1920′s

 

          

 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Mullen & Bluett – Hollywood and Vine – Hollywood

 

   

COULTER’S

Founded by Kentucky-born minister and entrepreneur B. F. Coulter in 1878, Coulter Dry Goods Co. was one of the pioneering businesses in downtown Los Angeles. Built on the corner of Temple and Main streets, the original 900-square-foot building contained just $1,000 worth of merchandise that originally was purchased in New York and shipped west.

With a business philosophy of providing exceptional quality items at a fair price, Coulter quickly distinguished his enterprise — which eventually changed names to Coulter’s Department Store — from competitors with his keen attention to customer service. Advertisements described Coulter’s as “the nicest store in Los Angeles.”Over the years, the store was moved several times, finding larger homes on Main, Spring, Broadway and Seventh streets before it relocated for the last time to the Miracle Mile section of Los Angeles.

Eventually, the L.A. business economy and consumer tastes changed and Coulter’s was purchased by The Broadway Department Store chain. The company’s final — and longest-held — location at 5600 Wilshire Blvd. was razed in the 1980s. It was a prime example of modern Art Deco design. Today the location is home to an upscale apartment complex. I did visit the store before it closed. It was not elegant, but it was clean, well merchandised, and had superior customer service…even though I could not afford to buy much.

Coulter’s LA on Broadway Street 1919

Coulter’s Broadway Street Store Tea Room 1920

Coulter’s New Store. Wilshire Blvd. 1950′s

 

BLACKSTONE’S DRY GOODS

Blackstone’s Dry Goods was founded in 1895 by Nathaniel Blackstone. He was the brother-in-law of J. W. Robinson, the founder of J.W. Robinson & Company/The Boston Store, and Blackstone had worked for him. The first store was located on Broadway between Third and Fourth Streets. In 1917 he moved the store to the corner of Broadway and Eighth Streets.

Blackstone’s Tea Room

HAGGERTY’S

Haggerty’s Downtown Los Angeles

Haggerty’s Pasadena Store

Haggerty’s Beverly Hills – 1957

HARRIS AND FRANK

Harris and Frank -Broadway Street – Los Angeles – 1920

Harris and Frank – Mens Furnishings Department

Harris and Frank – Hosiery and Neckwear Department

Harris and Frank – Youth Clothing Department

Harris and Frank – Youths Hat Department

I. MAGNIN

For more information please see I. Magnin under Department Stores of Northern California.

FEAGENS JEWELRY/BROCK & FEAGANS

 George Feagans and his partner, Mr. Brock founded Brock & Feagans on Broadway Street in Los Angeles. The elegant jewelry store opened its doors in 1882. The partnership dissolved in 1903 and the store closed. George Feagans then opened a new and even more elegant store in the famous Alexandria Hotel at 502 South Spring Street. The store was the gathering place for the richest and most famous. The hotel stands vacant now. The original Brock & Feagans building also still stands on Broadway Street.

Original Brock & Feagans – Broadway Street Los Angeles

Brock & Feagans Interior – Broadway – Los Angeles

Feagans Jewelers -Alexandria Hotel – Los Angeles

Feagans Jewelry at Alexandria Hotel – Los Angeles

Feagans Jewelry – Alexandria Hotel – Los Angeles -Approx 1910

OHRBACH’S

Orbach’s, a well-known retailer of closeouts and seconds operating in New York, opened a Los Angeles office to buy goods for the New York stores as well as operate stores in the greater Los Angeles market. The Los Angeles buying office opened in 1945 and the first store was opened in 1948 on the Miracle Mile part of Wilshire Boulevard on the Mezzanine plus three floors in the Prudential Insurance Building. In 1953, they opened a branch store at Fifth and Broadway in downtown Los Angeles, That location did not do well as that area was starting to decline. The downtown store was closed in 1959. The Miracle Mile store was closed in 1965 and moved to the former Siebu store on Wilshire Boulevard at Fairfax. The company opened other stores in Los Cerritos Center (Cerritos), Del Amo Center (Torrance), La Mirada, and Panorama City. The ownership of Orbach’s transferred from the family to the Brenninkmeyer Company (AMCENA). In 1986, when Brenninkmeyer acquired the Howland Steinbach department store business from Supermarkets General, the decision was made to close the entire Orbach’s business, including the offices and stores in California. The former Siebu store which had been converted to Orbach’s on Wilshire Boulevard now houses the Petersen Automotive Museum.

The problem for Orbach’s was that it lost relevance as off-price stores expanded into the market and the quality of apparel increased at discount retailers. It also had a strange policy in never sharing product margins at the store level. People in the stores never felt engaged with the business.

As a competitor, Orbach’s had a bigger negative impact on May Company and The Broadway than it did on Bullock’s. Its sales really only impacted basic goods.

First LA Store on Wilshire in Prudential Building Across from Coulter’s  New Store on Wilshire in former Siebu Store at Wilshire and Fairfax

BARKER BROTHERS

Barker Brothers was founded by Obadiah J. Barker, Jr. The first store opened in the early 1880’s on Spring Street. Later a major store was built on Broadway Street and it operated until 1927. In 1924, a ten story store was opened at the corner of 7th Street and Figueroa. This store was the largest home furnishings store in the U.S. and was grand in style. The entrance was designed in a Moroccan style. A pipe organ on the Mezzanine floor provided music for the store. There was a huge auditorium for the customers to learn about furniture and decorating. In addition, the restaurant was operated by Mary Louise, a famous tea room operator in Los Angeles. The company was the showcase for major as well as new, upcoming furniture designers. The sales force was known as aggressive in marketing to all the new housing developments. Barker Brothers grew as the population moved to suburbia. The company opened numerous stores all through out Southern California. In 1984, the downtown store closed. In 1992, the entire chain closed. The downtown store now houses a mixture of offices and lofts.

Barker Brothers was first incorporated in California but in 1924 it incorporated in Delaware. It was later bought by Gold’s and that family continued to operate the business. They were later acquired by Gamble-Skogmo. In 1960, Gold’s/Barker Brothers was acquired by City Products, an Ohio based ice delivery company on a drive to diversify. In 1965, Household Finance Corporation bought City Products in its attempt to diversify. They later sold Barker Brothers to a Wall Street investment group in 1984. That is when the downtown Los Angeles store was closed. Unfortunately, the company had too much debt to service along with too much competition while lacking management strength. Now, Levitz, Gold Key, and other discount retailers were taking away the mid-market customers and the designers on Robertson Boulevard were capturing the up-scale customers. There was little room for Barker Bros.For a period, Barker Brothers/Gold’s owned and operated the W. & J. Sloane furniture chain. Due to stiff competition they closed the California stores and sold the stores in the East to City Stores.

I visited the downtown Los Angeles several times just to look at the facilities and the merchandise. At the time, I was still living with hand-me-down furnishings so I could not afford to shop there. I did learn home furnishings taste by looking at the designer products. I also shopped the store as a competitor. The smaller suburban stores were not really exciting as they lacked the variety and the designer fashions in the main store. The suburban stores were much more like any upper moderate home furnishing store. 

         

 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Barker Brothers – Broadway Street – 1910

 

          

 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Barker Bros – New Store on 7th Street.

        

 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Barker Bros 7th Street Los Angeles   Barker Bros – 7th Street – Mary Louise Tea Room in Store

 

Barker Bros-Los Angeles-Annual Christmas Decorations

Barker Bros Downtown Los Angeles – Annual Christmas Tree Decor

Barkers Owned W.J. Sloan. This LA store was first closed.

JEVENE COMPANY

The H. Jevene Company was founded by Hans Jevene in1882. It was known as the largest and best grocer in the West. The company operated retail, mail order, and home delivery services. I do not know the first location but the second location opened in 1896 at Spring and 2nd Streets. In 1907, it built its new store at 6th and Broadway Streets. The new store had the finest of grocery products on all six floors. The company reportedly closed in the late 1920’s after the founder died.

      

OVERELL’S

This home furnishings store was founded in 1906 on Main street in Los Angeles in the area known as the furniture district. Next door was another well-known furniture store, Dearden’s Home Furnishings (1909). Others nearby included: Heywood Bros. & Wakefield Company (circa 1899) and Hulse Bradford & Company (1901).

Overell’s Home Furnishings Main Street Los Angeles approx 1910

SIEBU

Tokyo’s Siebu store opened a branch in 1962 in a new and modern design at the corner of Wilshire and Fairfax, across the street from a highly successful May Company store. The store executives were surprised to see the poor quality of Japanese merchandise sold in the U.S. and felt there was an opportunity to expand with an offering of upscale goods. The first day, the store was jammed with 40,000 customers. The restaurant was also a success. Unfortunately, the store was not a long-term success and closed in 1964. Orbach’s took over the store in 1965. I visited the store with friends when I was in college. It was not a warm environment and I did not see anything of interest.

I do not have a postcard of the store when it was Siebu. There is a postcard of when it was Orbach’s. I suggest you look in the Orbach’s collection to see the store.

 

HARTFIELD’S

Hartfield’s was a chain of specialty retail store located in downtown shopping areas primarily in the West. The company was headquartered in downtown Los Angeles. In the late 50′s the company started Zody’s, a discount department store in Southern California. Then, the company was renamed Hartfield-Zody’s and went public in 1961. By 1960, the Hartfield’s chain consisted of over 50 specialty apparel stores (mostly in downtown shopping areas in the West) and 5 Zody’s. As downtown shopping districts declined, Hartfield’s stores closed. Eventually the company only operated Zody’s stores. By the early 80′s Zody’s was closed and the stores sold.

On the personal side, my father-in-law did the audits for Hartfield’s in the 1930′s. He often told me about the commitment the family had towards building a successful business.

I have not been able to find a postcard depicting a Hartsfield’s store.

WALKER SCOTT - SAN DIEGO

The Walker Scott Department Store was founded in downtown San Diego in 1935. The store’s original owner, Ralf M. Walker, who already owned and ran Walker’s Department Store in Los Angeles, passed away in New York six weeks before the San Diego store’s opening. A former stock boy at the Los Angeles store, George A Scott, whom Mr. Walker had sent to the New York University of Retailing (1930), opened the San Diego store with Mr. Walker’s widow, Eliza Fitzgerald Walker. Eliza Walker became president of the company while Scott held the title of vice president. Walker’s Downtown store opened on October 3, 1935, situated on 5th and Broadway. It eventually expanded to eight stories, and held San Diego County’s first escalators.

The company merged with Desmond’s (Los Angeles) in 1985 which formed Wolens-Desmonds which operated Desmonds (Los Angeles), Walker-Scott ( San Diego), and K.Wolens (Texas).

Walker’s Later Walker Scott – San Diego

               

 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Walker’s Long Beach

 

               

 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Paris Walker New Store Los Angeles 1920′s

 

             

 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Paris Walker – Downtown Los Angeles on Broadway – 1920′s

 BUFFUM’S – LONG BEACH

Buffum’s was a chain of Long Beach, California based department stores founded in 1904 and for years owned and operated by the Buffum family. It grew slowly over the years to a total of 16 stores throughout Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties. (Dorothy Chandler was a member of the Buffum family.)

Over the years, the stores gained a reputation as the “Grand Dame” of department stores in the area. The stores interiors were known for large chandeliers and other upscale touches. The chain marketed itself as “Buffum’s Specialty Store,” in attempt to differentiate itself from other local chains including The Broadway, Bullock’s, Robinson’s, and the May Company.. It’s most famous advertising line “I’ve been to Buffum’s” was used in their advertising.

Like other local department stores of the era, Buffum’s was challenged by old-fashioned business models, changing consumer, tastes and the arrival of Nordstrom. The chain was bought in the 1970s by the Australia-based Adelaide Steamship Company, which looked to sell the struggling chain in the 1980s. AdSteam never found a buyer and liquidated the chain in March 1991.

The original downtown Long Beach building was replaced in the 1980′s. Unfortunately, the new store did not make much of a difference as downtown Long Beach had seriously declined. The newer store has since been demolished but downtown Long Beach has made a significant comeback and is considered one of the desirable parts of Southern California

 

               

 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Buffum’s Santa Ana Store

HENSHEY’S – SANTA MONICA

The company was founded in 1925 at the corner of Santa Monica Blvd and 3rd Street. It was the first store in the West side of the L.A. basin. The store always appealed to the value-oriented customer. The building was damaged in the Northridge earthquake. It closed in the 1980’s. Much of the building currently houses a Toys R Us store. A new shopping center was located nearby which ended the reign of Henshey’s.

MARSTON’S - SAN DIEGO

Marston was a department store based in San Diego founded by George Marston.  The store was founded in 1878, and moved several times before moving into its longtime flagship store on C Street, between Fifth and Sixth in downtown San Diego.  In 1960, Marston was acquired by Broadway-Hale. The flagship store was demolished. George Marston’s success was his ability to develop strong relationships with key vendors so he had the merchandise on an exclusive basis. For example, Marston’s was the key retailer for Gustov Stickley furniture. Mr. Marston was a politician and a philanthropist. His home is now a museum in San Diego with an incredible collection of Gustov Stickley furniture. The store Marston’s downtown store has since been demolished with the building of Horton Plaza.

 

                

 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Marston’s – San Diego Downtown Store – 1920′s

FEDWAY – CALIFORNIA

Federated Department Stores started a new division in the 1960’s to capture small markets. The company saw the opportunity to become the dominant player in small cities (under 100,000) by acquiring local department stores and folding them into this new chain with merchandising and operating strengths. A management team was installed at the new headquarters in California and Federated started acquiring chains such as Halliburton’s in Oklahoma City, Levy’s in Tucson (1960) and others. It quickly realized that this new division was not providing the returns of the growth divisions. Plus, the settlement with the Justice Department after the acquisition of Bullocks-Magnin curtailed Federated’s ability to acquire more department store chains. The division was closed, a smart move as the department store chains they were targeting were downtown stores. Even in small cities, the retail centers were moving outside of downtown. Individual stores were sold to Dillard’s in 1971. (Keep in mind, at this time J.C. Penney, Sears Roebuck, and Monkey Wards which all had stores in downtown markets, were developing strategies to close these downtown stores and locate them in suburban strip centers and malls.)

HARRIS – SAN BERNARDINO

The Harris Company was a retail corporation, based in San Bernardino that operated stores named Harris’.  Brothers Philip, Arthur, and Herman Harris started the company with a small dry goods store in 1905, and the company eventually grew to nine large department stores, with stores in San Bernardino, Riverside and Kern counties.

The chain was acquired by Gottschalks in 1998. After the acquisition, some of the stores continued to operate under the name Harris Gottschalks. In January, 2009, Gottschalks filed for bankruptcy, and on March 31 announced they were liquidating all stores. All of the original Harris stores were finally closed in July, 2009.

 

                 

 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Harris Company – San Bernardino – 1935

 

                 

 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Harris Company – San Bernardino – 1944

 

                 

 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Harris Company – Riverside – 1960′s

ROUSES – RIVERSIDE

Rouses was founded by Gaylord Rouse in 1895, after first owning stores in Philadelphia, Santa Barbara, and Antioch. He opened his first store in Riverside which targeted a broad audience. Mr. Rouse died in 1923.  In 1925 the store was expanded and remodeled. The store continued in operation until 1964 when the company closed in bankruptcy. Competition from other major department stores became too great. By then Harris’, The Broadway, and May Company Southern California had moved into the market.

 

Rouses – Riverside, Ca – 1948

Rouses – Riverside, Ca – 1935 – Main Aisle

Rouses – Riverside, Ca – 1935 – Men’s Clothing/Furnishings

GEORGE W. REYNOLDS DEPARTMENT STORE

George W. Reynolds Department Store – Riverside, Ca – 1925

* * * * *

YAMATO – LOS ANGELES

Yamato Store – Broadway Street – Los Angeles – 1911

Yamato – Los Angeles – Tea Garden – 1911

INNES SHOE – LOS ANGELES

Innes Shoe – Downtown Los Angeles

CALIFORNIA FURNITURE COMPANY – LOS ANGELES

California Furniture Company – Los Angeles – approx 1900

WOOD BROS – LOS ANGELES

Wood Bros Spring Street Los Angeles approx 1900

Mosgroves Los Angeles Spring Street approx 1900

 MYER SIEGEL

The company operated stores in Los Angeles on Wilshire Blvd, in Pasadena, Hollywood, and in Fresno, California. These stores offered better women’s apparel. The company closed in the late 1950′s.

Wilshire Boulevard – Los Angeles – 1952

Wilshire Blvd – Los Angeles – 1952

Fresno, Ca Store, 1937

Myer Siegel 1926

Myer Siegel 1926

FOSGATE’S

Fosgate’s Fountain and Confectionery Broadway Street LA approx 1910

Fosgate’s Fountain 4th and Broadway Los Angeles approx 1910

METROPOLITAN BARBER SHOP – LOS ANGELES

Metropolitan Barber Shop Spring near Broadway Los Angeles approx 1910

CHRISTOPHER’S CONFECTIONERY AND FOUNTAIN

Christopher’s on Broadway near 7th Los Angeles approx 1920′s

REDLICK’S DEPARTMENT STORE – BAKERSFIELD

Redlick’s Department Store Bakersfield, Ca 1919

BROCK’S DEPARTMENT STORE – BAKERSFIELD

Brock’s Department Store Bakersfield, Ca. 1950′s

DONAVAN & SEAMANS – JEWELERS- LOS ANGELES

Donovan & Seamans Jewelers Broadway Street Los Angles approx 1920

J. JESSOP & SONS JEWELERS – SAN DIEGO

This wonderful jeweler was later sold to Dayton Hudson Jewelers.

Jessop & Sons Jewelers – San Diego

THE ERNSTING COMPANY – JEWELERS – SAN DIEGO

Ernsting Jewelers Downtown San Diego

THE ELITE – CATERERS AND CONFECTIONERS – LOS ANGELES

The Elite Caterers and Confectioners – Broadway – Los Angeles – 1926

PARMELEE COMPANY – GAS AND ELECTRIC FIXTURES – LOS ANGELES

Z.L.PARMELEE COMPANY 2nd & Broadway Los Angeles approx 1900

THE GREAT WARDROBE – SANTA BARBARA

The Wardrobe Company Santa Barbara approx 1910

 

 

EASTERN STORE (LEFT) BAKERSFIELD, CALIFORNIA APPROX 1954

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21 Responses to “SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT STORES – SMALLER LOCAL STORES”

  1. jim walters says:

    nice wrap-up of department stores. when i grew up in ohio, we’d plan for weeks to visit lazarus in columbus.

    i now live in long beach. the old walker’s is now a loft building:
    http://www.highrises.com/long-beach/walker-building-lofts/

    for more info on parmelee-dohrmann, see my site:
    http://thefamilyparmelee.com/f-features-old1.html

  2. Sarah S says:

    first visit and just wanted to stop by and say hi!!

  3. Sarah S says:

    This is my first visit and I just wanted to stop by to say Hi Everyone!

  4. Steve K says:

    Great site! I stumbled on it by searching for photos of W&J Sloane’s Beverly Hills store’s television set department. I am working on two documentaries about the culture of the television set (see demo reel at http://www.TVMan.tv and looking for photos of television sets in department stores. Do you have any to share?

    If you haven’t published a book based on your website, you might contact Angel City Press in Santa Monica. The publisher loves books about Southern California history and she may be interested.

    Good luck!

    Steve

  5. If New York is the Big Apple, then I’ve reasoned that Los Angeles should be the “Big Orange”. Citrus production was for a long time the mainstay of Southern California’s economy.

  6. Jack says:

    My mother, when she was first in Los Angeles from another country, worked at Donovan & Seaman’s Jewlery.

    She told me how much she needed the job & that one of the owners himself told her that if she could memorize all the patterns in silver in three days, he’d hire her. She did, he did.

    Those days became a fond memory of hers.

    If any relative of the owners reads this, feel free to contact me. Your relative essentially kept my mother from the poverty at that point of her life. She had no relatives in LA and no contacts. She was on her own in a new country. Thank you.

  7. Vicki Deveraux says:

    Your site is lovely. It’s such fun reading your descriptions and seeing the photos/scans. All the hard work you put into the site is worth it after you read such a dear comment from the above gentleman named Jack.

    Jack, your comment was a lovely tribute to your dear mother. I’m sure you made her quite proud.

    Smile,
    Vicki

  8. MM says:

    Jack-
    While the store has since sold, your note about D&S strikes a cord as I am the granddaughter of the last owner. I hope that all is well with you and your family.

  9. jplummer says:

    Donovan & Seaman’s was a fine store, even to the end. You must be proud! and should be! John

  10. LA.B 24 JOE says:

    THANK GOD FOR THE GREAT PEOPLE WHO CREATE THESE SITES & HAVE REMEMBERED YESTERYEAR. SO MANY BEAUTIFUL BUILDINGS HAVE BEEN DEMOLISHED FROM OUR PAST THAT ALL IS LEFT IS NEW BUILDINGS THAT HAVE NO CLASS TO THEM AS & IS AN INSULT TO OUR PRESENT DAY WHICH TO ME ARE EYE POLLUTION. IMAGINE IF ALL THE OLD BUILDINGS WERE RESTORED & PEOPLE RAN THEIR BUSINESSES IN THEM, A WALK INTO THE PAST YET IN A PRESENT TIME. IT MAKES ME SAD TO THINK OF ALL THOSE GREAT BUILDINGS BUILT WITH SUCH PRIDE & CARE, DEMOLISHED & BROUGHT TO A DUMP SITE SOMEWHERE.

  11. neumann tlm says:

    Hi, this is a great blog!

  12. Mike Nelson says:

    I certainly enjoyed reading about these Southern California department stores. Some I knew about and some that I didn’t. Thanks for the memories.

    I worked for Walker Scott from 1979 to 1989 (the year that it closed its retail doors). Your article stated that it had 8 locations. In the mid-1980s, it actually had 13 locations in San Diego County and 1 in Palm Springs. 2 locations in San Diego and 1 in Orange County had already closed in the 1970s.

  13. jplummer says:

    Thank you for the update on the number of stores. I had only been in the stores in Palm Springs, Orange County, and Downtown San Diego. John

  14. THOMAS O'CONNELL says:

    GREAT SITE…NATIVE OF LOS ANGELES …GREAT MEMORIES,,,OPENING OF SEIBU…TEA COFFEE DESSERT &LUNCH AT ALL THE GREAT STORES!
    FAVORITE BULLOCK’S WILSHIRE ..I MAGNIN MID WILSHIRE…BEVERY HILLS KERR SPORTING GOODS…BULLOCKS PSADENA AND WESTWOOD..GREAT..
    .ALSO JW ROBINSONS BEVERLY HILLS AND DOWNTOWN STORE A CHRISTMAS FAIRYLAND …HUGE STORE WITH GREAT WIDE AISLES AND GOURMET FOOD DEPARTMENT..STORE 5 STORIES AND ALMOST ENTIRE BLOCK!

    EASTERN COLUMDIA HAS IMPRESSIVE BUILDING STILL INTACT ON PACIFIC BLVD IN HUNTINGTON PARK AS DID MULLIN AND BLUETT,DESMONDS .SILVERWOODS.HARRIS AND FRANK …STREETCAR RAN UP PACIFIC BLVD AND YOU HAD TEA AT ROBINSONS (5 STORIES) BULLOCKS WITH WOODED ESCALATORS OR ST VINCENTS COURT IN ALLEY ON SIDE OF BULLOCKS…GUMPS IN BEVERLY HILLS WAS NEVER LIKE SAN FRANCISCO STORE..BORING! ..
    JOSEPH MAGNIN WAS ULTRA COOL MODERN 70S STORE IN FASHION SQUARE LA HARBRA WITH BEAUTIFUL 3 STORY BULLOCKS AS ONE IN LAKEWOOD ,SANTA ANA DEL AMO, ,,THINK ALL TORN DOWN TYPICALLY REPLACED BY HOME DEPOTS OR BIX BOX TRASH…
    STILL 60S STORES NOTHING LIKE WELTON BECKET DESIGNED PASADENA AND WESTWOOD STORES..SO ELEGANT ! HAGERTYS DOWNTON FABULOUS AND TEAROOM FABULOUS! BEST OF ALL ,,BULLOCK”S WILSHIRE MAIN 1929 STORE…IN ELEGANT DESIGN & DETAILS AS WELL AS QUALITY OF PRODUCTS AND SERVICE (ALWAYS SALES ASSOCIATES ACTED A PROFESSIONAL AND NICE ,,WOULD WRITE NOTES AND CALL MY MOM WHEN ITEMS OF INTEREST ARRIVED..THANK YOU NOTES HANDWRITTEN AFTER PURCHASE! OF COURSE DAD AND I WOULD BE SEATED WHILE DRESS WAS BEING MODELED WHILE HAVING COOKIES OR PASTRY AND A BEVERAGE)..I NEVER COULD HAVE ENOGH OF EVERY ASPECT OF DESIGH ELEMENTS OF ..”THE CATHEDRAL OF COMMERCE”! RESTAURANT TEA ROOM ON 5TH FLOOR AMAZING !
    WHOLE OF BULLCOK’S WILSHIRE ARCHITECURAL DETAIL FABULOUS BOTH INSIDE AND EXTERIOR! AS KID AND ALWAYS WILL LOVE THE OSTRICH FEATHER CHRISTMAS TREE ON MAIN FLOOR BY ELEVATORS AND FABULOUS MARBLE PERFUME DEPARTMENT
    …PALM SPRING BULLOCKS WILSHIRE WAS ALSO FABULOUS WIT ITS STREAMLINE MODERN DETAIL INSIDE AND OUT!
    I MAGNIN NEAR BULLOCK’S WILSHIRE VERY CLASSSY WHITE MARBLE..GRAND PORTE COCHERE AND A WONERFUL BLUMMS ICE CREAM SHOPPE FOR DESSERTS AND LUNCH…SIMILAR TO WIL WRIGHTS…CARNATION ON MIRACLE MILE WAS FUN FOR ICE CREAM SUNDAYS IN BOTTOM OF CARNATION HEADQUARTERS BLDG.
    BROADWAY AND MAY COMPAY DOWNTOWN WERE NOT THAT GREAT IN THE 60S AND LATE 50S. FAIRFAX WILSIRE MAY WAS GREAT STREAMLINE MODERN THREATENED WITH DEMOLITION MANY TIME ..GREAT RESTAURANT ON ROOF…THANK GOD LA COUNTY MUSEUM OF ART SAVED THE BUILDING AND SIGNATURE HAND MADE GOLD TILE AND ALL!
    J.W.ROBINSON’S BEVERLY HILLS STORE ON WILSHIRE AND THE J.W.ROBINSON’S ON COLORADO IN PASADENA WERE WONDERFUL STORES! THERE WAS EVEN A NEWER ROBINSONS AND BUFFUMS IN WELTON BECKETS FASHION ISLAND IN NEWPORT BEACH IN EARLY 70S AS WAS A ROBINSONS OFF 5 FREEWAY IN ANAHEIM. SANTA ANA HAD A GREAT WELTON BECKET DESIGNED BULLOCKS AS DID LAKEWWOD ..BOTH 3 STORIES AND QUALITY INSIDE AND OUT!
    BOND WAS ANOTHER NATIONAL CLOTHIER ALL OVER SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA INCLUDING BIGGEST STORE DOWNTOWN AND MIRACLE MILE. BROOKS BROTHERS ALSO HAD A MAJOR STORE NEXT TO ROBINSONS ON 7TH DOWNTOWN LA. FOR HIGHER END MENS CLOTHING AS WAS THE OVIATT BLDG ON OLIVE STREET SOUTH OF THE BILTMORE HOTEL HAD ANOTHER QUALITY MENS STORE…..
    SO SORRY TO HAVE GONE ON AND ON ..BUT FINDING THIS SITE AND OLD PHOTOS BROUGHT BACK SO MANY WONDERFUL MEMORIES OF MY LOS ANGELES AND SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA…I AM SO FORTUNATE TO HAVE GROWN UP DURING WHAT I WOULD CONSIDER THE BEST TIME IN RETAIL DEPATMENT STORES AND SMALLER RETAILERS THAT WILL NEVER SEE THE LIKES OF AGAIN!
    THANKS IF YOU WANT MORE INFO AND PHOTOS FOR SITE LET ME KNOW!

    WHA

  15. jplummer says:

    Well….you sure know the stores of Los Angeles. Yes, I would love additional postcards to post on the blog. Please send me an email to jplummer@plummersearch.com and I will let you know an address to send the pictures. And, if you know stories about the store I will post those.

    I am glad I helped your remember more about these grand dames.

    John

  16. Lety says:

    Do you have any info on Wineman’s department stores. They were a california chain

  17. John Taylor says:

    This in reference to Walker Scott Department stores.

    I was quite fascinated to learn that this store held San Diego County’s first escalators.

    The first and only time I rode these escalators was 1970. I was seven. I recall asking my mom if they were actually escalators, because they looked quite different from the escalators I’d been used to seeing. She assured me that they were.

    These escalators were quite long, quite steep, and very narrow. They had coiled, metal handrails called Bellows handrails. Their balustrades pointed upward and over, and they made a peculiar, intermittent wheezing sound.

    I was also very fascinated with my first encounter with elevator operators. My sister and I had a ball watching the elevators transition from floor to floor, as the number of each upcoming floor would appear on the wall of the shaft.

    The building that housed the flagship Walker Scott still exists in Downtown San Diego. This Walker Scott location closed in early 1987. The building now houses several businesses and possibly lofts, as does the building that housed the flagship ‘Walker’ Department Store in Downtown Long Beach. The Walker Scott stores only existed in San Diego and Palm Springs.

  18. Sherri McMillian says:

    I have an original Hartfields ring box if that helps. It is from the Anaheim store.

  19. RScotSanders says:

    Harris’ stores where located in San Bernardino and Riverside. In the late 1970′s the family sold their holdings to a Spanish based department store El Cortez Inglais. They continued to operate and expand the chain by opening stores in Bakersfield Redlands, Indio, Victorville, Hemet, and finally their Swan Song Moreno Valley.
    El Cortez Inglais finally sold their inerests to Gottschalks a Central California Chain of stores that wound up another victim of the downfall of the Original Department Store!

  20. linda snyder says:

    where did Donavan & Seaman’s jewelry store go when they left miracle mile, los angeles? I remember when I was growing up they were on the miracle mile near Desmond’ s Department store somewhere between Hauser Blvd & La brea Avenue.

  21. jplummer says:

    I enjoy your memories. These were great times for retailing in Southern California. John

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