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Shopping downtown was an all day experience, walking from store to store along 4th St. complete with lunch at Stewart's or Kaufman's and even a movie afterward. The corner of 4th and Walnut ( now Muhammad Ali Blvd.) was known as the 4 S's Corner for the Seelbach Hotel, Selman's, the Stark's Bldg. and Stewart's.
Of the stores profiled below, only 3 are still in existence - and none
have venues downtown. The buildings of many remain, incorporated into
new uses, while the clothing and hats continue to come out of estates
and turn up in vintage clothing shops. We
hope this compilation perpetuates their memory and helps to identify
the years of the styles you may find. This is a work in progress and it
will be updated as new information is acquired. Special thanks to Elizabeth Schaaf of Elizabeth's Timeless Attire and Gena Lightle and Mike Sullivan of As Time Goes By, both of Louisville, Ky. Holly Jenkins-Evans, www.pastperfectvintage.com all photos copyright Holly Jenkins-Evans 2007, edited 2011
Shopping downtown was an all day experience, walking from store to store along 4th St. complete with lunch at Stewart's or Kaufman's and even a movie afterward. The corner of 4th and Walnut ( now Muhammad Ali Blvd.) was known as the 4 S's Corner for the Seelbach Hotel, Selman's, the Stark's Bldg. and Stewart's. Of the stores profiled below, only 3 are still in existence - and none have venues downtown. The buildings of many remain, incorporated into new uses, while the clothing and hats continue to come out of estates and turn up in vintage clothing shops.
We hope this compilation perpetuates their memory and helps to identify the years of the styles you may find. This is a work in progress and it will be updated as new information is acquired.
Special thanks to Elizabeth Schaaf of Elizabeth's Timeless Attire and Gena Lightle and Mike Sullivan of As Time Goes By, both of Louisville, Ky.
Holly Jenkins-Evans, www.pastperfectvintage.com
all photos copyright Holly Jenkins-Evans 2007, edited 2011
|Appel's - According to the Encyclopedia of Louisville, Appel's was founded in 1883 as Appel's Menswear. Founded by Louis Appel, address is shown at 440 W. Market and then by 1916 at 407 - 411 S. 4th.. and his sons Louis, Joseph A., W.G. and Sidney H. Appel carried on the business and are listed as company officers as early as 1925. Appel’s was listed in Caron's Directory of Louisville as “haberdashers, clothiers, hatters and women's hosiery, shoes and novelties“. In 1925 they had four floors on 4th St. and added women's sportswear in 1929. By 1930, they were located at 425 S. 4th St. In 1932, they sold Wilson Bros. Men’s hose in silk and rayon for .17 cents a pair. Louis Appel died in 1936 Appel’s continued at 425 S. 4th into the 1940s. Appel's closed in 1967. |
Left: from a 1950s suit, right: from a 1950s tie
from a 1960s men's suit
Ben Snyder Dept. Store - 522 W. Market. In 1928: Ben Snyder was President and B.H. Shapero was Secretary. Ben Snyder was born in Russia in 1887, and immigrated to USA in 1891. After coming of age, he worked elsewhere in the South and returned to Louisville in 1907 when he went into business with his father, Marcus Snyder. He branched out on his own after several years. In 1916 he was located at 906 W. Market. Snyder moved the business to 522 W. Market in 1919 when he filled half the building, by 1920 he had taken over the entire building. He opened a Lexington, Ky store in 1835. On Dec. 17, 1948 Ben Snyder offered 100 denier rayon crepe dresses in floral prints at $5.95 in sizes 12 - 20, 18 1/2 - 24 1/2 at their stores in Louisville and Lexington at 113 - 117 E. Main St. 1949 newspaper advertisements offered women's black kid stroller shoes at $13.95 and claim to be " the South's Greatest Cash Department". In 1983, they had stores in Louisville, Lexington, Bowling Green, Paducah and Evansville. According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, the store were renamed Hess’s Feb 1, 1987. The five story Lexington branch at was torn down Sept. 30, 1993.|
Ben Snyder's gift box, courtesy As Time Goes By
|Besten and Langan Co. - First found in the City Directory in 1905, as Henry Besten and E.O. Langan, ladies tailors, cloaks and furriers at 538-540 4th St. Henry Besten was a native of Germany and naturalized citizen who immigrated to the USA in 1882 at the age of 20. By 1912, Henry Besten was the President and the business had moved to 424-426 S. 4th. In 1920, Emil Besten is listed as Secretary and the business sells ladies garments at 518 - 520 4th. Henry and Emil Besten continued in these roles until at least 1928. The business remained at the 518 - 520 S. 4th St. location and continued to be listed as ladies ready-to-wear throughout the 1930s - 50s.They also had a beauty salon on the third floor and carried Coro jewelry in the 40s. They advertised extensively in the 1950s. In 1940, James E. Shade was the Superintendent, and in 1946-47, George Meyer was the Superintendent. By 1953, Leonard Meyer was President. The last City Directory listing is in 1962. |
520 S. 4th St today - next to the Seelbach Hotel
|The Bon Ton - ( also the Bon Ton Cloak and Suit Co.) at 322 S. 4th St (4th and NW corner of Liberty) from 1916 - 1961. The founder and president was Joseph H. Greenstein. Located in the Marion E. Taylor Building, The Bon Ton carried women's sportswear. In the 1930s, they had a Downstairs Bargain Shop. Greenstein died in January of 1935. His widow Sara W. Greenstein ran the business as owner and operator for 26 more years. In 1936, blouses were advertsied for $1 and $1.98, twin set sweaters for $2.95. Ladies jackets were $1.39 and wool skirts $1.98. Fur coats including muskrat, broadtail, weasel, seals, fitches, kidskins, lapin, squirrels, inc. swaggers and full-length fitted were regulariyl priced from $129.10 to $225, but were reduced on January to $64.75 to $112.50. During the same sale, the Downstairs Bargain Shop offered winter coats half price for $7.95 and $9.95, sport coats half price $6.95, and silk dresses at $1.95, regularily $3.90.|
Note: Green St. was renamed Liberty St.in 1918.
a Bon Ton Hat box, ca 1940 - 1950
From the 1912 A History of Kentucky and Kentuckians. John Price Starks was born in 1848 and in1876 “moved to Frankfort and formed a partnership with Dallas C. Crutcher, a relative …the firm was incorporated as the Crutcher and Starks Company in 1901, of which Mr. Starks is the president.” They opened in Lexington 1882, and January 1889 bought the Wannemaker and Brown business at corner of 4th and Jefferson Louisville. The Main St. branch in Frankfort and the Lexington branch later closed.
Starks' brother, I.F. Starks was occasionally a stockholder. In 1895, Crutcher sold out to the Starks brothers. In 1905, J.P. Starks was the President and I.F. Starks the Vice President. A 1909 ad lists Brokaw and Winston Full Dress and Tuxedo Suits in a price range from $25 to $50 . In 1911, the Starks brothers sold out completely to stockholders Granville R. Burton, J.W. McGinn and M.H. Moise. By 1918, Burton and his sons, Granville L. and Ferrell Burton, had acquired the corporation outright.
In 1919, Crutcher and Starks had at least 6 delivery trucks and their marquee sign read : "The Store of Standardized Values Crutcher & Starks 4th and Jefferson, Granville R. Burton & Sons". They opened a branch at the Seelbach Hotel by 1923 where they sold men's clothing, furnishings, hats and caps Granville R. Burton was President in 1928, with Ferrell Burton VP. They continued in business until 1940. The business was not listed in 1941 in the City Directory.
|Davidson's - 1937 shows the first listing as Davidson’s Milliners at 531 S. 4th St. Photos in 1942 and 1947 show Davidson's at the corner of 4th and Guthrie in the Speed Building. This was just north of Stewart's and the Seelbach Hotel. In 1957, the officers were Howard J. Bilharz Sr. and Jr., who also ran George Moore. The City Directory continues to show Davidson’ Millinery at 531 S. 4th until at least 1962. Davidson's opened a second location at The Mall St. Matthews in 1962 and was there until at least 1967. |
The Speed Building, built 1913 - 1917 at the corner of 4th and Guthrie Green
DuRand:(DuRand-Perry, Inc.) - This business started out as DuRand-Perry, Inc. in 1917 at 538 S. 4th in the first Prince Wells Building, later to be taken by George Moore. Elden E. DuRand, Sr., a former buyer at Kaufman-Straus, was the first President, with Edwin Perry listed as the Secretary and Treasurer. DuRand-Perry sold ladies ready-to-wear. By 1928 they had added the Beauty Shoppe, run by Mrs. Sallie S. Herr. They refined their store description to an ’exclusive dress shop for women’ by 1932. They also carried hats and furs. The store moved to 313 - 315 W. Walnut by 1940 and the name was just DuRand. By 1946, the officers were Elden DuRand Sr. and Elden DuRand Jr. . In 1953 E. DuRand,Jr. is the President. DuRand continued on at the Walnut location until at least 1958. There is no listing in the 1960 Caron’s Directory.
from a 1940s hat, courtesy As Time Goes By from a 1950s Fur Coat , courtesy Elizabeth's Timeless Attire 1950s newspaper ad, courtesy As Time Goes By
from a 1940s hat, courtesy As Time Goes By
from a 1950s Fur Coat , courtesy Elizabeth's Timeless Attire
1950s newspaper ad, courtesy As Time Goes By
538 S. 4th St. Left: The Prince Wells Building Front, Right: Side view, the Byck's Building can be seen to the right
Fleischer's - Founded by Joseph Fleischer, this Louisville, KY and Syracuse, NY based ladies clothing store's first listing is in 1936 at 529 S. 4th as Joseph Fleischer's, Inc., (later Fleischer's of Ky). They later moved to 521 S. 4th. In 1957, Fleischer opened a branch at Dixie Manor and enlarged the Downtown store.They announced they were starting construction on a branch in The Mall St. Matthews on Shelbyville Rd in 1962. They stayed Downtown until at least 1965. Joseph Fleischer died in January 1, 1967 and was succeeded by his son Lionel. The Dixie Manor store closed in August of 1967.
Madame C. Grunder- This was a fine ladies dressmaking business, founded by Christine Johnson, later Christine Grunder (1846-1920) the by the 1860s. There were several locations: first on Green (now Liberty) Street, then by 1902 at 328 4th Ave, then in 1905 at 341 W. Jefferson, and in 1912 in the Tyler Building, By 1920: Madame Grunder was located in the Bernheim Building at 638-640 S. 4th St. in Suite 305.
In 1863, a Grunder dress with ruffles cost 75 cents. By 1923, the prices ranged from $75 - $300. The business grew to employ a large staff while servicing customers from the social elite as well as mail order customers nationally and overseas. Madame Grunder's trips to purchase fabrics and trims from New York and European houses were covered by the local papers: " Miss Annie McGill, the 4th St. milliner, left Thursday for New York , whence she will sail today for Europe. She will be accompanied by Mme. C. Grunder, the well known modiste" Ky Irish-American of July 19, 1902. From 1923 to 1928, the house was owned and run by Olive G. Todd at the Bernheim Building location. By 1930, there is no listing.
From a ladies wedding suit, dated 1906
640 S 4th St, formerly The Bernheim Building, bulit 1915
|H.P. Selman & Co. ( Selman's) : a high end, one might say exclusive, ladies and children's apparel and accessories in Louisville, Ky. with a fur salon. Founded in 1904 at NW corner of Walnut and 4th St. as Gutman's, a local shoe store, it changed ownership in 1915 and was bought and renamed by Homer P. Selman. It was located in the Atherton Building, since demolished for the Meidinger Tower. In 1928, Caron's Louisville Directory listed H.P. Selman's as a women's outfitters with H. G. Lewis as general manager and F. W. Jutz as credit manager. In 1929, control passed to out of town investors. |
Selman's had a Design Studio for custom made hats from at least the 1930s. They adverstised lower priced merchandise in their "Selman's Subway" department in the 30 - 50s. In 1941, they advertised that Mackey Chenoweth was their Bridal Counselor in the Bride's Shop on the second floor. By WWII, the name was usually shortened in advertising to Selman's. The shortened Selman's label is in use by 1947, but these labels coexisted for a period. As a sample of their prices, in 1949, Selman's chambray and bemberg summer dresses were advertised at $14.99, when Bacon's was advertising similar but simpler dresses at $4.99. In 1953, H.P. Selman's, then owned by Grier Corp., was bought by Thal Bros. Selman's was sold in 1961 for $1 million to Weiss Bros. aka Gus Mayer's (Weiss bought Gus Mayers in 1934). Weiss Bros. didn't change the Selman's name to Gus Mayer's until 1970. Selman's never opened a suburban location.
Hofman-Hagman: Henry Hofman and John G.L. Hagman, merchant tailors at 710 W. Market, from a 1925 listing. There is no listing by 1932.
from a 1921 Tuxedo, courtesy As Time Goes By
Hytken's - St. Matthew's, Ky. 1952 - 1998. Hytken's was a exclusive boutique ladies apparel shop with a devoted clientele. Hytken's advertised in Vogue and Harper's Bazaar and presented a full season of trunk shows including Bill Blass Couture,Albert Capraro,St. John Knits, Geoffrey Beene, Count Romi, Halston, Hanae Mori, Alper Schwartz, Albert Nipon, Adele Simpson, Albert Nipon, Helga, Michael Novarese, William Pearson, Rodier of Paris, Adele Simpson, St. John, Mary McFadden, Michaele Volbracht and Louis Feraud.In the early 50s, they carried Lilli Ann as well.
1960 Hytken's ad courtesy of As Time Goes By
1983 Fall Showings, courtesy Shelia Hytken Bialkin
1988 Fall Showings, courtesy Shelia Hytken Bialkin
|Jenny Lind: This was a ladies dress shop named for the popular Swedish singer located on 4th St. from 1915.The founder was Mrs. Edith Norton Menifee. In the 1928 Caron's Directory, it is shown as The Jenny Lind at #402 638 S. 4th St., with Dressmakers Jane L. Lindenbarger and Edith N. Menifee. In the 1946/47 directory, the post-war Jenny Lind had added Jenny Lind Juniors and is listed at 640 S. 4th St. The business was bought from the estate of Edith Menifee in 1958 by Mrs. William Moore and is listed until 1960 at least. This label found in a Jacques Fath for Joseph Halpert ladies suit. |
from a ca. 1950 dress suit by Jacques Fath for Joseph Halpert
from a 1950s dinner dress
|Kaufman-Straus - Kaufman's was a fine Louisville, Ky department store carrying women's clothing, furs, linens and menswear founded by Henry Kaufman in 1879 on Jefferson St. between 7th and 8th. In 1883 Benjamin Straus became a partner and the name was changed to Kaufman-Straus Dry Goods. In 1887, Kaufman -Straus moved to 4th St. By 1891, they were on the east side of 4th St., south of Liberty in a building designed by Henry Wolters. Their six story downtown Louisville location at 427 - 437 S. 4th St. was built in 1903 by local Louisville architect Mason Maury on the site of the original public library. They occupied this store until 1971. By 1901 , Kaufman-Straus & Co. had a location in Lexington, Ky. at 12 East Main St. |
Kaufman-Straus was bought in 1924 by the City Stores Buying Group. In 1925, they completed an extensive interior renovation. As of 1928, the officers were P. J. Sullivan , John Hill, and John H. Sullivan. In addition to clothing, they also sold dry goods, laces, embroideries, millinery, shoes, draperies, corsets, hosiery, china, cut glass, pictures, books, jewelry, stationary, men's wear and house furnishings.The name was shortened in advertising to Kaufman's by 1946, but both names continued to be used into the 1950s. For example, in a 1949 newspaper ad for $2.98 washable linen skirts, both names were used. Occasionally Kaufman's of Kentuckiana was used in advertising.In 1960, Kaufman-Straus officially became Kaufman of Kentucky. However, this was still often shortened to Kaufman's in ads and on labels. The Dixie Manor store opened in 1958. An anchor store in The Mall St. Matthews called Kaufman's of Kentucky opened in 1962. In December of 1969, Kaufman's was sold to Ayres and the name changed yet again. The 4th St. building is now part of 4th St. Live. The heyday for Kaufman's was the 1950s when it were considered one of the city's finest stores.
The Kaufman-Straus Facade, adapted to the Louisville Galleria, now part of 4th Street Live
Kaufman-Straus Gift box and price tag , courtesy of As Time Goes By
Kleinman's NY Furriers - at 654 S. 4th St since 1918. Caron's 1928 Directory lists George Kleinman as a salesman at NY Furriers and Hyman Kleinman, Manager NY Furriers. They were near the Loews Theatre, now the Palace Theatre. Shown in 1937 photos, Kleinman's is listed in 1951 as on 4th between Chestnut and Broadway. They opened a new store at Chestnut and 4th in 1962. Kleinman's is now in the Forum Center on Hurstbourne Pkwy. They were and still are retail furriers as well as makers of Kleinman's Living Shoes, a line of custom made orthopedic shoes for men, women and children.
from a 1950s fur coat, courtesy Elizabeth's Timeless Attire
Levy Bros. - A long lived department store carrying a full line of men's and women's wear including hats, caps, shoes, furnishings, and even a men's and children's barber shop. Henry and Moses Levy started as immigrant German peddlers before the Civil War. The brothers opened their store in 1861 at the NE corner of 3rd St. and Market in a corner room of a 4 story building. They prospered during the Civil War as suppliers and after that war Levy's was nation's largest supplier of Confederate uniforms for reunions and encampments.
Sale prices at Levy Bros. in 1936 ran in the $2.95 -$3.95 for trousers on the 4th floor with suits, and coats, regularly $25 - 50.00, reduced to $19.85 to $38.85. They started carrying womenswear in 1940s. In 1948, prices had crept up to $12.50 to $14.95. In 1955, Levy's opened a store in the Shelbyville Rd Plaza. The Levy family closed the Third and Market store on Oct. 10, 1980, ending 119 years in downtown Louisville. The Shelbyville Road Plaza, Bashford Manor Mall and Dixie Manor stores were sold in September 1979. In 1984 they closed their Greentree Mall, Jefferson Mall and Southland Terrace branches. Bashford Manor was the last store and closed in 1987. The last family president was Henry Levy.
Levy Bros. Letterhead from 1910 with Landmark store
left " Levy Brothers Good Clothes for Men and Boys" and right "Levy Bros.", both painted on the downtown location
According to Lee
L. Grossman, his grandfather Lee Loevenhart: "...was born in 1844 in
Wolfenhausen, Nassau Germany. He migrated to the United States in 1851 at age 7
with his mother who died soon after their arrival at Cincinnati, Ohio.; In
addition to his grandfather and his mother there were two brothers. He
spent the next 5 years in the care of his uncle in Nashville Tennessee. Lee later was engaged in selling jewelry through Mississippi. In 1867 he
joined his brother Henry in opening a men's clothing store---Loevenhart's in
Lexington, Ky…He died at the age of 82 years old on March 30, 1926 on the very
same day the store opened in 1898.”
In the Fall and Winter of 1899 to 1900, Loevenhart’s advertised men’s suits from $5
and $7.50 and suits and overcoats up to $25. Loevenhart’s was extensively
remodeled in 1924, reopening a gala April event with Schilling’s Orchestra in
attendance.Lee Loevenhart was the President, and was followed into the business by his sons:
Jesse M., Percy J., and Edgar C. Loevenhart. Edgar was president from 1946 to
his death in 1961, when his sister Pauline L. Grossman took over until her
death in 1963. At that time, her son, Lee Loevenhart Grossman, took over.
Loevenhart’s operated their downtown location for 73 years from March, 1898 until January of 1971, when they moved to the new Oxmoor Center on Shelbyville Rd.They opened there with the Center on February
8,1971. Loevenhart’s carried Society
Brand, Custom Designs by J Schoeneman, Cricketeer by Joseph and Feiss, Stetson
and Arrow. After opening at Oxmoor in 1971, they added fashions by
LeBaron, Canali, and Tallia International Fashion. Additional labels
were Florsheim and Bally shoes, and the London Fog, Jhane
Barnes, and St. Croix lines. A women’s department - Lady L -
was added in 1979 under the supervision of buyer Carolyn Grossman. This
department opened with tailored apparel by J. Schoenman and carried tailored
business apparel for women for years.
From Lee L. Grossman: “Loevenhart’s had several firsts in Louisville:first delivery of merchandise by air, August 29, at 3pm, year of flight estimated to be 1917 or 1918, first men’s store in Louisville to have central air conditioning, and the first store in Louisville to have a neon sign, installed by Federal Sign Company in 1927.”
In 1991, Lee Grossman was Chairman and CEO,while Kenneth
Grossman became President, making four generations in the family business.
Coming to the business in 1982 after a banking career, Ken Grossman had already
served in sales, management, and as both sportswear buyer and men’s clothing
buyer prior to 1991. The Lion’s head logo (Loevenhart translates from the
German as “Lion hearted”) and block letter font were introduced in 1991 with
their International Fashions merchandising effort.
Loevenhart’s closed Dec 24, 1995. Lee Grossman retired at that time. Since 1996, Kenneth Grossman has continued the family tradition with Executive Image Custom Clothing, offering custom men’s clothing,
shirts and accessories with the same attention to service and quality that
marked the 98 years of Loevenhart’s.
left to right: from a 1940s tie, a 1950s Dinner Jacket and a 1950s tie, all courtesy As Time Goes By 1991-95 logo and script, courtesy of Lee L. Grossman
left to right: from a 1940s tie, a 1950s Dinner Jacket and a 1950s tie, all courtesy As Time Goes By
1991-95 logo and script, courtesy of Lee L. Grossman
Long and Evans - Merchant Tailors. This company advertised in a 1918 Camp Zachary Taylor Souvenir Book: " Merchant Tailors, Speed Building, Main, 460, 4th & Guthrie. Military Outfitters.” In 1921, the company is headed by P. Adelbert Evans and has moved to 203 Speed Building. In 1928, the principals are P.A. Evans and O.C. Kendall, at 203 Speed Bldg. off 4th St. Long and Evans stayed there until at least 1940. By 1949, they had relocated to 606 S. 4th, then by 1957 they were shown at 200 Francis Building, and in 1960 at 712 S. 3rd St. There are no listings in 1961 or 1962.
label from a 1947 tuxedo
Martin's: This was a menswear clothier form 1929 - 1997. Founded by Charles and Ruth Martin as the Brown Hotel Men's Shop, Martin’s moved to the Commonwealth Building at 684 S. 4th St. on Broadway in 1936. In 1951, they advertised men’s silk ties at $2.50. The Martin family sold the business in 1971 to a group of investors including Dale McDonald, who then bought out the additional partners later. Martin's closed their downtown store in 1977/8 and did business at Oxmoor Mall from 1971 - 1992. From 1992 Martin's operated at the Forum on Hurstbourne Lane. They closed this last location in January of 1997. Martin's Master Tailor was Salvatori "Sam" DiGiovanni, a native of Sicily, who marked his 33rd year with the company in October of 1997. They carried Burberry, Aquasqutum, and Oxfordd suits, Arrow and Hathaway shirts, Nettleton shoes, and Martin ties.
from a 1940s tie and a 1950s tie, both courtesy of As Time Goes By
Martin's clothing box, courtesy As Time Goes By
from a 1980s knit sport shirt
McGill - Malise: A millinery and dress business that grew out of Annie McGill’s millinery shop. By 1902 A. McGill & Co. was a well known millinery business catering to the carriage trade with Annie McGill and Mary Buchel at 325 S. 4th. By 1912, McGill had moved to 606 S. 4th and stayed there until at least 1925. From 1930-33 the company changed hands to N.T. Yager, Jr. and moved to 672 S. 4th ,but the name remained. In 1934, Caron’s listed the company as A. McGill and Co., Mary J. Kaye and Mrs. Lipscomb Williams, milliners, at 300 W. Broadway. The name was changed in 1935 to A. McGill-Malise milliners, with the same owners. In 1940, it is listed as A. McGill-Malise & Co., Inc., Elise L Williams, President, women’s clothing, 300 W. Broadway. By 1946, they had moved to 664 S. 3rd St and there is a 1951 listing. By 1957, the company is no longer listed. In 1957, there is a possibly related Malise Shop shown in the City Directory at 1412 Willow Ave. Apt 24. There is no listing at all in 1962.
from an early 1950s dress, courtesy of Elzabeth's Timeless Attire
|George Moore: Caron’s City Directory lists them from at least 1946. There are no listing in the 1930s. They were located at 640 S. 4th St from the 1946. By 1955 , they are shown at 630 S. 4th. Howard J. Bilharz was President in 1959, and H. J. Bilharz, Jr. was Vice -President. The Bilharz family also operated Davidson’s in the late 1950s. Between 1963 and 1965 they moved to 538 - 540 S. 4th St . They also had a suburban branch at 3710 Lexington Rd. from 1963 - 1965. By 1967 they are only listed on 4th and were open for business there until at least 1970. This label is from a Zelinka-Matlink suit. |
from a 1950s ladies suit.
Moseson and King: 433 Walnut ( now Muhammad Ali Blvd.) A menswear store in operation from 1919 - 1982 and founded by Harry R. Moseson and Arthur A. King. Mr. King sold out after 1928. Louis Moseson joined in 1947, then he sold out to Paul Eitel 1978. They carried J. Schoeneman's suits, sport jackets and slacks under the Doncaster label as well as Arrow and Enro shirts, Zero King outerwear, Interwoven socks, Beau Brummel neckwear (including hand painted ties by Beau Brummel for $3 in 1951) and Stetson and Disney hats. Moseson and King did a large business in hats, and was one of the first stores in downtown Louisville where black and white customers tried on hats along side each other.
from a 1950s tie, courtesy of As Time goes By
Moseson and King Logo, courtesy Louis Moseson
Rebecca's: First Listing in 1946 as Rebecca and Mary Millinery and Dress Shoppe at 339 W. Broadway. By 1949, the name is just Rebecca’s. From 1953 - 967, Rebecca’s is shown at 673 or 675 4th St. (The Brown Hotel). There is no listing in 1970.
from a ca. 1958 Ladies dress
|Rodes-Rapier: A fine mens clothing store located originally in the Starks Bldg on 4th St in Louisville Ky. Founded in 1914 by John Price Starks, William Rapier and John Starks Rodes as the Starks Company, they had to change the name to Rodes-Rapier due to legal complications and a suit by the existing menswear business Crutcher & Starks, another top men's quality clothing store. In 1928, W. Read Embry was president (since 1914), W.H. Rapier was 1st VP, Joseph B. Rodes 2nd VP, F.F. Starks Secretary and John S. Rodes Treasurer. Rodes occupied 2 floors downtown in the Starks Building, with an extensive choice of business, sport and dress attire. The name was changed on store advertising to Rodes on the retirement of William Rapier. As late as 1951, the company used both Rodes and Rodes-Rapier in an ad for Swank cufflinks and tie bars priced from $7.50 - $10. Local ownership continued until 1983. Rodes added women's wear by the 1990s. Rodes has continued to provide top quality men's and later women's wear with high levels of service. Additional Rodes locations included Oxmoor Mall in St. Matthews which closed in 2003 and stores in TN and IN. The main location moved in 2003 from 4th St. to Brownsboro Rd. in Louisville. Rodes also owned Schupp and Snyder, another Louisville menswear store. They were known for their bank and insurance clientele. Lines carried: among others: Hickey-Freeman, Hart Schaffner & Marx, Burberrys, After Six. For more information see: www.rodes.com
1918 Ad, listing lyrics of Popular Songs for the Troops
Rodes former downtown location in the Starks Building, 2008
Rodes interior signage in the Starks Building, 2008
|Shenley-Gordon - located at 514 S. 4th Ave. This business started as Shenley’s Inc. in 1919 and became Shenley-Gordon by 1933. This was a milliner’s and ladies hat shop into the 1960s. The long time manager was Jacob Gallin. In 1956 , the owners are shown as Mrs. Ruth L. Gallin and Jacob Gallin. In the 1950s and 1960s, this shop advertised Ruth Gallin Exclusives and featured Mrs. Gallin’s photo on their hatboxes. The last Directory listing shown was in 1966. They carried the New York Creations line, Dobbs 5th Ave. Oleg Cassini and others. By the 1960s, the label credited: “Ruth Gallin Millinery Shenley -Gordon 518 S. 4th Louisville, KY”.
|Simmonds - a downtown store from 1934. The business directory lists Alis Simmonds Shop, Inc., ladies ready-to-wear at 542 S. 4th St. In 1945, they were advertising the 4th St. location, then they relocated in 1946 to 2120 Bardstown Rd. at the Douglass Loop. In 1956, Albert I. Straus was president. Still listed at Bardstown Rd in 1970. The label did not change as late as 1967. They closed by the 1980s.|
Stewart Dry Goods ( Stewart's) - A Louisville department store that dominated Louisville retail trade for years. Stewart's became the premier department store in Louisville, and was one of the largest in the south. They always advertised to appeal to the carriage trade without pushing the middle class away.
Stewart's was founded in 1846 at 3rd and Market St.( later the site of Levy Bros. Building) as Durkee & Heath's New York Store, by Benjamin Durkee and James Heath. Durkee was the NY based buyer while Heath ran the operation in Louisville. The store moved to 4th and Jefferson in 1853, where it stayed with many expansions, becoming the S. Barker Co. in 1862. In the later 1860s they advertised rich failles and lesser silkalines for "the economically inclined". In the 1870s, they did not yet have show windows, but sold yard goods with sidewalk tables. Jesse Middleton, a long time employee, and Augustus Sharpe bought and renamed the company in 1880, then they sold to in 1892, when it was renamed Fessenden & Stewart Co.'s The New York Store Finally, when Louis Stewart gained sole control in 1893, it was known as Stewart Dry Goods. Louis Stewart stayed for approximately 10 years, moving on to a career in New York retail, but he made sure Stewart's became a charter member of Associated Dry Goods.
The building was enlarged in 1946. The logo "Stewart's" in script begins use in 1947. The range of goods offer in the post WWII years is indicated by a 1948 Christmas ad in the Courier Journal, with suggested Christmas presents ofmonogrammed playing cards, area rugs, corn popper, floor lamps, aluminum trays and pitchers, frosted glasses with red enamel initials
The first branch store was established in 1951 in Lexington, Ky.on East Main in Lexington, next to the Phoenix Hotel at 100 - 120 East Main. A multi-story expansion was added in downtown Lousiville in 1959. They opened a branch in the Mall St. Matthews in 1966 and a store in Oxmoor Mall on August 5, 1971. Stewart's also opened a branch in the Fayette Mall in Lexington that year. In 1969 coats were advertised in the $70 - $80 price range. There are labels with 'Stewart's of Kentucky'. Stewart's merged with L.S. Ayres in Nov 1, 1985. At that time there were 7 stores: 4 in Louisville, 2 in Lexington, and 1 in Evansville, Indiana. The Orchid Room and Luncheonette closed in 1986. In June 1987, Ayres was sold to Snyder's, then in Oct. 1987, Hess's bought Snyder's. In April of 1990, Hess's closed the 4th St flagship store abruptly and never reopened. The building was a Hilliard Lyons Brokerage in the 2000s and still stands.
Lines: included Davidow, Adrian, Adolph Blank, Kingsley, Vanity Fair, De Liso Debs
Stewart's at 4th & Muhammad Ali Blvd., across from the Starks Building & the Seelbach Hotel, 2008 - 2009
Stewart's Furniture Warehouse - Broadway
label from a custom tailored 1910 Cutaway
Wearbest Clothing Co. - Wearbest sold men’s clothing at 302 W. Market from 1932 until at least 1970. In 1928, the owner was Herman Hindel.
from a 1940s Tuxedo, courtesy Elizabeth's Timeless Attire
Younger's: ( Younger Reliable Furriers) founded 1911. In 1928 , at 637 S. 4th between Chestnut and Broadway and still there as of 1951. In the 1928 City Directory, Jacob Younger was the owner and Harry Yudofsky, the furrier. By 1946, they were advertising as Younger’s. In 1955, they are listed at 659 S. 4th St, where they remained until at least 1970.
from a 1950s fur coat, courtesy Elizabeth's Timeless Attire
Yudofsky Furriers: Located from 1933 -1973 in Heyburn Bldg. Yudofsky's had a location in Oxmoor by the early 1970s. Downtown they moved to the Starks Bldg in the mid 1970s. Founder Joseph Yudofsky was the master furrier. After his death in 1988, ownership passed to his wife Dorothy and now has passed to their daughter Joy. In 2006 Yudofsky's moved the Oxmoor store to Holiday Manor. As well as furs, they the popular carried cashmere sweaters with fur collars in the 50s. For more information: www.yfur.com/History/history.html
| Sources: for Hytken's entry: Sheila Hytken Bialkin, for the Schenley -Gordon entry: Carol Vowels, for Moseson and King: Louis Moseson and Carol Moseson Savkovich, for Loevenhart's: Lee L. and Kenneth L. Grossman|
200 Years at the Falls of the Ohio, Business First - 1997 article by Terry Boyd, Courier-Journal and Times newspaper clippings courtesy of the Louisville Free Public Library, www.gusmayer's.com, Historic Photos of Louisville, The Encyclopedia of Louisville, Louisville Since the Twenties, Louisville Then and Now, www.rodes.com, www.yfur.com , many labels courtesy of Elizabeth's Timeless Attire and As Time Goes By both in Louisville, KY, Caron's Louisville Directory 1902 - 1965, Who's Who in Louisville 1926 by W.T. Owens, Business and Professional Directory of Louisville, Ky. New Albany and Jeffersonville, Ind. 1916,. A Commercial History of the State of Kentucky, 1913, Louisville Fifty Years Ago, 1923, Paducah Sun 11/20/1903, KY Irish-American 8/7/1909, Asa S. Chinn Downtown Lexington , KY Photographic Collection. Bacon's Welcomes a second 100 years,1945 by James Speed, Stewart's: A Louisville Landmark, 1991 by Kenneth L. Miller, Down the Century with Stewart's 1846-1946, by Isabel McMeekin, Jewish Louisville, Louisville Guide 2004 by Luker, Domer and Mohney.