I guess I took a little unplanned hiatus this week. Sometimes life just gets in the way.
I've done most of my Christmas shopping online but I haven't been able to resist some of the sales. I love seeing the holiday decorations at the malls and along the neighborhood shops but I must admit, I miss the grandeur of the old department stores.
It's just not the same when you walk into a cookie cutter Macy's or Nordstroms. Yes, they look lovely, but something is missing.
One of my favorite memories is of going to the downtown Cleveland department store, Higbee's. You may recognize it by its appearance in the 1983 holiday movie, A Christmas Story.
Higbee's was founded in 1860 by Edwin Converse Higbee and John G. Hower. It moved to a few different locations until 1931, when it found its home on Public Square, in the heart of downtown Cleveland. It was the ideal location for housewives whose families had started migrating to the suburbs. They could hop on a train and it would deliver them right underneath the store.
Shaker rapid transit line, 1956
Higbee Santa, 1955
Manicure booths, 1931
Christmas window, 1955
Higbee's 50 foot tree, 1968
This sweet photo was taken by famed photographer, Margaret Bourke-White, who began her career in Cleveland.
Downtown shoppers, 1965
Christmas splendor, 1963
Higbee's Christmas carolers, 1934
World Series Champs Apron, 1948. Yes, the last time we were the champs.
Fur salon, 1960
The high fashion Crystal Room
China and glassware shop, 1931
The elevator doors were made to match the motif of the elegant new ocean liners, 1931
The Silver Grill was a popular dining spot and has been reincarnated for special events.
Lunching ladies, 1944
Having tea at Higbee's, 1934
Children's book room, 1937
Merry go round, 1934
The store expanded to a number of locations in Cleveland, Akron and Canton before it was sold to Dillards in 1988. The flagship downtown store retained its splendor until the doors were permanently shuttered in 2002, marking the end of the grand department store era.