courtesy The Graphics Fairy
My parents were born and raised in Baltimore City, Maryland. Over the years we have heard stories of shopping excursions downtown. Those were the days before sprawling malls and big-box stores. When shopping was an "experience".
Women dressed to the nines. Children enraptured with each new toy display. Coffee shops with inviting pastries and sandwiches. The feeling of never being rushed. Receiving full service with a charming smile.
The three main department stores during this time were Hochschild, Kohn & Company, Hutzler Brothers Company and Stewart & Company.
Hochschild, Kohn & Company was one of Baltimore's first local downtown department stores. The company was started by partners Max Hochschild and Benno Kohn along with his brother Louis B. Kohn. The doors opened in 1897 on the corner of Howard and Lexington streets. A very interesting article to read about Hochshild, Kohn & Company is "Where the common folk shopped".
Hutzler Brothers Company was founded in 1858 by Abram Hutzler. In 1888 a new building was erected on the original site called the "Palace Building". In the article "Food for Thought : Holidays and Hutzler's" Mary K. Zajac shares memories from the Hutzler's Bakery. She includes several outstanding recipes.
Stewart's Department Store opened in 1901 after Louis Stewart purchased the building that was previously Posner's Department Store. Mary K. Zajac shares the history of the establishment in the article "A Signature Store".
Further reading about Baltimore department stores :
Department Store Museum (blog)
A Department Store Timeline
Small Town Baltimore: An Album of Memories by Gilbert Sandler (Google Books)
Wish I could have shopped downtown Baltimore in those harlequin days! Sounds lovely.