The Lazarus store complex from the corner of Town and High Streets. Town Street slopes down to Front Street
The Lazarus store facade on Columbus' High Street
The Columbus Auditorium which became an Annex to Lazarus
The Copper Kettle lunch counter in the Annex
The First Floor of the Main Store
The Colonial Room Restaurant on the First Floor, meant to resemble Colonial Williamsburg's Raleigh Tavern
The toney Wedgwood Room on Lazarus' Third Floor
The Chintz Room, the most formal of Lazarus' restaurants
The adjacent Fifth Floor Buckeye Room for quick dining from a limited menu
F. & R. Lazarus & Co.
141 South High Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215 (1851/1909/46)
STORE DIRECTORY (1,308,000 sq. ft.)
Annex Lower Level
The Copper Kettle • Sporting Goods D570 • Sporting Goods Apparel • Sport Shoes • Paint Center D675 • Home Improvement D 678 • Hard Surface Coverings D679
Annex Main Floor
Camera • Luggage D560 • Sewing Center D691 • Casual Living • Bath Shop • Housewares • Tabletop • Floor Care • Cleaning Supplies • Small Electrics D673 • Major Appliances D690 • Cookware D670 • Unfinished Furniture • Fireplace Shop • Hardware • Office Supplies • Garden Shop
Charlie's • Lazarus Basement Budget Store (Women's Store)
Highlander Grill • Lazarus Basement Budget Store (Men's & Children's Store)
Front Street Level
Televison D713 • Stereo D714 • Records •The Rose Fountain
Fine Jewelry • Fashion Jewelry D141 • Precious Metals • Little Shop • Accessories • Rainwear • Handbags D170 • Small Leather Goods D170 • Gloves D260 • Hosiery • Handkerchiefs D240 • Tovar Wig Bar • Millinery • First Floor Sportswear • Blouses D230 • Sweaters • Accessory Tops • Cosmetics D120 • Candy D210 • Stationery • Calculators & Office Equipment • Books • Notions • Drugs • The Colonial Room
Store for Men Men’s Accessories • Men’s Furnishing • Men’s Handkerchiefs • Men’s Shirts • Men’s Ties • Men’s Sports Furnishings • First Floor Men’s Sportswear • First Floor Men’s Slacks and Sportcoats
Women’s Shoes • Headgear • Sound Stage II • Misses’ Sportswear • Women’s Sportswear • Women’s Dresses • Career Shop • Uniforms • Sleepwear • Daywear • Foundations D451 • Beauty Salon D753
Store for Men Men’s Clothing • Men’s Outerwear • Men’s Shoes D540 • Men’s Hats • Men’s Designer Shop • Via Europa • Town Shop • University Shop • Big and Tall Men’s Shop • Men’s Better Sportswear • Men’s Contemporary Shop • Men’s Loungewear
Collegienne Dresses • Collegienne Sportswear D375 • Collegienne Coats • Collegienne Shoes • Junior Sport • Misses’ Dresses • Cosmopolitan Shop • Better Dresses • Better Sportswear D381 • Better Women’s Dresses • Discovery Sportswear • Town and Country Dresses • Discovery Dresses • Point of View • Coat Salon • Suit Salon • Fur Salon D400 • Bridal Salon • Carriage House • Accessory Bars • Designer Dresses • Designer Sportswear • The Club House • Collector’s Choice • The Wedgewood Room • Shoe Salon D421 • The Shop for Pappagallo • The Aigner Collection • Daywear-Lingerie D431 • Underscene • Bras & Girdles D450 • Robes D481 • Sleepwear D440 • Jr. Lingerie
Decorator Furniture • Occasional Furniture • Modern Furniture • Traditional Furniture • Early American Furniture • Sleep Shop D603 • Bedroom Furniture • Dining Room Furniture • Modern Dinettes • Floor Coverings D610 • Rugs • Draperies D630 • Decorator Fabrics D631 • Driver Training Center
Music Center • Linens D060 • Bedding • Fabrics • Art Needlework • China D650 • Glassware • Silver • Gifts • Lamps • Pictures, Mirrors • Home Accessories • Guest Lounge • The Chintz Room • The Buckeye Room
Boys 1-6 • Boys 6-16 • The Body Shop • Children’s Furniture • Teen Center • Girls 7-14 • Little Girls 3-6x • Girls’ Sleepwear • Girls’ Accessories • Infants’ Wear • Toddlers’ Wear • Infants’ Furniture • Toys • Adult Games • Portrait Studio D768 • Watch and Jewelry Repair D767 • Assembly Room
Civic Center Drive and Rich Street
204,000 sq. ft.
214,000 sq. ft.
330,000 sq. ft.
255,000 sq. ft.
Upper Arlington, OH
105,000 sq. ft.
195,000 sq. ft.
The Skyline Room
Inn-A-Hurry Coffee Shop
Castleton Square (1973)
298,000 sq. ft.
Lafayette Square (1974)
144,000 sq. ft.
Washington Square Mall (1978)
Greenwood Park Mall (1980)
The Front Street Level was the lowest level of the main store. Missing restaurant was called The Rose Fountain.
There were two basements - West and East. West contained Women's budget store the East Basement contained the Men's/Children's Budget store. Missing restaurant - Charlie's.
The first floor was the home of The Colonial Room - not the fifth floor as you have listed. It was a virtual reproduction of Colonial Williamsburg's Raleigh Tavern.
The fifth floor was also the home of the stores large guest lounge meeting room - it was the exterior entrance to the store's Chintz Room - which was the store's most elegant restaurant. The Chintz Room shared its kitchen with The Buckeye Room - which featured fast dining from a limited menu.
The sixth floor was also home to the store's auditorium known as the Assembly Center. he Assembly Center was home to many attractions including an annual baby animal farm each Spring and many flower shows. The holiday shops were also located oin the sixth floor for a number of years.
Thank you for the corrections - I have adjusted the post. Obviously, Lazarus was a very large, complex store, with an annex, multiple buildings, etc., not to mention located on a sloping street. Much of my data came from old Christmas catalogues, which I do not have any more, old newspapers, from which I took notes, and some online information.ReplyDelete
It is entirely positive to get feedback from people like yourself who obviously knew the store intimately.
I worked security there in 2007, and you wouldn't believe the changes they've made... what a waste!ReplyDelete
My sister, mother (now 92),and I have many fond memories of visiting Lazarus downtown on Saturdays when we were growing up. We dearly miss everything about Lazarus-- the atmosphere, the quality service, and the large selection of merchandise.ReplyDelete
Years later, one of my daughters worked downtown as a seasonal, Christmas employee.
Thank you for posting the photos. It certainly brought back wonderful memories.
I was hired out of college as an assistant buyer, Sporting Goods, spring 1981. The sales floor was in the annex and my office was on the 6th floor because the annex was soon to be closed. What the public in general did not know: *There was a stock area in the annex 2nd (or 3rd floor, I can't recall) that still had the wood basketball floor and hoops from the old coliseum. *A tunnel ran under Front street from the annex to the main building. *There were two apparel merchandise receiving areas in the main store and one in BSB 1 on Whittier. * A pair of elevators for assiciate use only off the sales floor out of customer view. *The 7th floor housed the computer information systems, MIS (not accessable to the public) *Associate cafeteria on 2nd floor served made to order breakfasts (as did the associate cafeteria in BSB 1)and lunch too. *Numerous support offices throughout the entire store. Merchants, accounts payable, receiving, cash office, executive offices (5th floor), buyers offices usually off the sales floor of their departments, department managers, security, human resources, etc. And there was a hot dog counter on the 4th floor before the cash office and coat check. One of the most impressive sights I witnesed was a fire alarm that emptied the building of all associates.....over 1000 - 1500? Anyway I was there until mid 1985 and very proud to put on a suit and be an "executive" of F&R Lazarus!ReplyDelete
Wow! How fascinating, and thanks for the information. It allows one to understand how complex these institutions were.ReplyDelete
I appreciate your contribution!
The sixth floor also contained the print shop, my father worked there for over 22 years. The old Lazarus building has now been repurposed to serve as office space. It's kind of ironic that I now work in the Lazarus building.ReplyDelete
My father worked in the print shop also. His name was Jerry HicksDelete
Starting in about 1980 I worked as a seasonal employee in Santaland. I think I returned for about three more years and worked in Santaland as a Santabelle. I operated the Santaland express elevator, sang songs with Mr. Tree and helped kids onto Santa's knee. I really enjoyed working there during the holiday season.ReplyDelete
I particularly miss Lazarus around the holidays. The windows, the 6th floor, and so on.ReplyDelete
And Lazarus had some great restaurants. I so wish I had the recipe for the beefburger they used to sell in the Highlander Grill and sometimes in the Copper Kettle. Would love to taste it again.
This was truly a great store. At its peak there were eleven restaurants and four parking garages. Because it grew over time into a number of different buildings it had some enjoyable quirks. My favorite was that the Front Street Level was below the basement so that there was a sign above the escalator that read "Up To Basement." Thanks for the site and for all the detail!ReplyDelete
As a child, I thought the "Up tp Basement" sign was a riot.Delete
I came across a very old family photo taken at Lazarus. I wonder what happened to the photo archives from the photography studio? Do you know?ReplyDelete
I worked in the Lazarus advertising department in the early 80's. Had to walk through the china department storeroom to get to our department, which was a maze of cubby holes and pass through offices. I've worked in a lot of retail advertising departments and they tend to be after thoughts... this one was no exception.ReplyDelete
But the best part of working there was the small china dept. markdown room to the left of the swinging door. I checked it every day on the way back from lunch and dragged a ton of it home.
I ate lunch in most all their restaurants. The Colonial Room had giant baked potatoes covered in rock salt. Buckeye Room always had gooey casseroles. My favorite was grilled cheese at the Copper Kettle. Good comfort food.
I started at Lazarus in the Fall of 1960 as an "Executive Trainee". Employed 'til 1967 and left as an Associate Dept Mgr in boys 6-12. the absolute best business/retail education a person could get. Lazarus owned the town in those years, not even a Sears until Northland.ReplyDelete
No one has mentioned the petshop. It was on six. Also as a kid my favorite thing on six was the old style showboat in the childrens shoe department. Or the coin department on five. Finally,I remember the lady with the cheese samples in the Annex as you got off the elevator from the parking garage she wasn't mentioned either.ReplyDelete
My favorite area was on the 4th floor in the furniture department where they used to have a series of rooms featuring the latest furniture exhibits. I also loved the dusty little parade exhibit in the billing payment area.ReplyDelete
It was a big deal when Lazarus opened in Castleton Square in Indianapolis. Up until then, Ayres was THE department store. Their new store was huge and all on one level. The Home Store with it's back entrance from the parking lot was styled to resemble a sprawling California ranch house. Very cool!ReplyDelete
Eventually, Lazarus took over all of Block's locations, and then, of course as was the fate of so many great regional stores, including our L.S. Ayres, became Macy's.
Sigh! Are there any great regional names left?
I remember wearing the neatest shoes in 1958,59,60! They were t-strap flats called capezios! We also sported a camel color leather bucket purse, which had a foldover closure.also, A Black jumper, that we called a bandstand skirt. I have been looking for these vintage items, but no one seems to have remembered them. Do you?ReplyDelete
I had about ten pairs of the Capezio's in every color!Delete
I too remember Santaland, and Mr Tree, Christmas will NEVER be as special as going into downtown Lazarus during my childhood, I still remember my daddy allowing me to ask to see each wooden finger puppet, made in Germany, then surprising me for Christmas! I still have it!!! I'm now 45 the thread that held his(little donkey)legs has given to the years of rough playing as a 4 year old would give such a toy trying to hone their skill at just trying to only wag it's little tail. Oh how I wish they would do the Columbus downtown like that again, it was just MAGICAL that Lazarus had such insight and was not afraid to do such wonderful things that will be etched in so many Ohioians lives. And poor Mr Tree at Eastland mall, that poor guy I'm sure was not paid enough, lol, I spent hours in front of that tree, and now knowing what I caused that poor gentleman by holding him hostage by not allowing him to exit said tree, (he tried very hard to keep it magical), and would conclude by saying he'd wake up at a certain time, so we should leave so we wouldn't see a "man" going out the back, but my mother was a shopper, lol, and lol, I was just a curious force who thought it really was a talking tree, lol, he finally had to exit, lol, poor fellow, I'm sure his bladder disliked my ability to talk, know no strangers, and not catch a clue as to when I needed to go find my mom,lol Oh the memories!!! And that HUGE Winnie the Pooh on top of the playhouse, I so wish I had that today!!!!Delete
LOL Mr. Tree at Eastland Mall, I was two years old and Mr. Tree and I were married! He said I was beautiful and I said let's get married. Mr. Tree was my favorite. My family told that story to me for lots of years. That was in 1971. Wow how time fly's.Delete
As a boy my favorite area of the downtown store was on the 5th floor where they had a nice book department, and across the aisle was an area for coin and stamp collectors. And these were close to the Meeting Room where family members could meet up. My family would often spend the whole day at Lazarus, going our separate ways except when we'd get together for lunch, usually in either the Colonial Room or we'd meet by the "air doors" and then walk down the street to the Mills Cafeteria.ReplyDelete
As an adult I moved to Indianapolis and worked as a salesman at both the Castletown and Lafayette Square Lazarus stores. They were nice stores but the atmosphere just wasn't the same as the Columbus downtown store, which always seemed like a world unto itself.
i miss christmas at lazarus i wish my grandchild could live the wonderful times i had they always had great things for every holiday .i would love to have the cookbooks my mothers went missing when she passed i loved all of the food they served the main store downtown was the bestReplyDelete
My father worked at Lazarus during and after the war years, met my mother there too. He spent his whole life working for Federated stores but Lazarus was his start. I have a china plate which says Twenty Year Club and features pictures of the store front from 1851-1950. Anyone interested in it?ReplyDelete
I have a large mirror with "f.r. lazarus # 883-3" on the back - did they make furniture" Thanks to anyone who know:)ReplyDelete
The Lazarus store in Wilkes-Barre, PA was one of my grandmother's favorite places to shop during the mid-1970s, before they closed. In the early 90s when my sister was studying at Duquesne, I went out to visit her, and we passed one in downtown Pittsburgh. Thanks for the photos and information!ReplyDelete
Thanks for your memories. I believe that the store you mention in Wilkes-Barre was a completely different company. In later years, out of the scope of The Department Store Museum, this Lazarus did build an ultimately unsuccessful store in downtown Pittsburgh.ReplyDelete
Yes, I remember T-strap Capezios very well. They were sold in the Collegian department and in their hey-day, came in many colors. I would love to get my hands on a pair and I constantly search e-bay and the Internet for them. Somewhere, someone must still have some - the toe cleavage was very sexy for the 60's,(and high school girls.)ReplyDelete
There was also a Lazarus located in Lexington KY.ReplyDelete
It was the anchor store at one end of Fayette Mall and I think was originally a Shillito's that became a Lazarus (in 1986?) which then became part of Macy's in 2003-current.
I'm also fairly certain you have the wrong date on Shillito's in Lexington opening. Fayette Mall opened in 1971 and since Shillito's was an original anchor store it should have opened at that time.
Just thinking out loud here: it would be kind of interesting to see a timeline of what department store became another department store along the way.
Thanks for the information, Hilary!ReplyDelete
While the timeline you mention would indeed be interesting, the information in the Department Store Museum is meant (with some exceptions) to portray these stores as they were when they still had originality and (some degree of) independence. By the time all of the consolidations and mergers occurred in the 1980s and 1990s, they were just pawns in a larger, and I would say, tragic game, which resulted in their disappearance from the social and cultural landscape.
I have noted your date of opening for Shillito's in Fayette Mall, and will correct it in due course.
Thanks again for the interesting information.
If anyone is looking to buy the Vintage Mechanical Santa from around pre-1966. Made by RK International which used to sit in the window every year for Christmas season at the down town store. A friend of mine has possession of it and I think is wanting to sell it. I think it's like 24 or so inches tall. E-mail me @ email@example.comReplyDelete
I loved the trip down memory lane. I worked in many of these buildings (albeit long after their grandeur had passed and they were relegated to the cookie cutter stores of today. I did want to correct an error, however. The Richland store opened in 1969 and was 195,000 sq. feet. Richland and Lima were built as mirror images of each other (with Kingsdale opening in between). Westland (or Lazarus West as it was originally called) was the company's first branch location. Also potential adds are Home Store East (no apparel, just home goods and furniture) that opened in 1973 in Columbus, OH. Lazarus Capri (budget fashion and accessories) opened in 1973 in the Town & Country shopping center in Columbus. Additional Capri shops opened at the corner of Reed & Henderson Roads (named Henderson Road), and Westerville (in Westerville OH).ReplyDelete
I had a great memories taking my girls visiting Santa at downtown each year the day after Thanksgiving and also we loved eating at Charley's for pizzas. Now I cannot bring my five grandkids there....what a sad that they are gone for good:(ReplyDelete
I thought that the Richland Mall location opened in the 1970's? Many memories of downtown Lazurus as a child. The mechanical windows, and sixth floor Santa!ReplyDelete
1969 was the grand opening of the Richland Mall Laz. A huge deal in Richland County. First escalators, as well, soon to be followed by Sears and O'Neils. It was a spectacular mallDelete
Christmas time at Lazarus was magic for me as a child growing up in the 1970s and into the early 80s. They had two beautiful antique elevators with glass paned doors which were no longer in general use, both hand operated. At Christmas, one of the two became the "santa express" elevator that transported you to the 6th floor. Anyone know anymore about the history of thoes two beautiful antique elevators?ReplyDelete
My father, C. William Carlson, Jr., was the General Credit Manager at the Lazarus downtown store from 1965 until he retired in 1985. He was the "Manager On-Duty" on Thursday nights. I remember that my mother and I would get dressed up (of course)on those nights, meet Dad for dinner at the Chintz Room, shop until the store closed, and then we would all ride home together. As I got older, Dad helped me get my first job washing dishes in the Chintz Room kitchen (not my favorite experience) and then as a salesman in the Music Center during the summers of my college years (great experience because I was a music education major at Ohio State). The Music Center was just outside the entrance to the Chintz Room and once a week, this set of elderly twin sisters would come there to eat lunch, and they were dressed exactly alike in the same bright pastel colors from the fancy hats on their heads to their matching shoes. Quite a sight! I also remember when Roger Curley would come over on his lunch break from the Columbus Dispatch and play jazz on the big Hammond organ in the Music Center. That really attracted some crowds. Thanks for the opportunity to reminisce!ReplyDelete
It is possible that I bought music from you Bob Carlson!! I used to love that music department! Judy (Long) Hodge (What a small world!)Delete
After my father retired out from the Navy we returned to Columbus where he was from so I have found memories of the Downtown store.ReplyDelete
I worked in the Men's Pants Department in the early 80's while I was in college. The buyer's had their offices "in the walls" behind the departments (this was before the merger and everything moved to Federated's headquarters in Cincinnati). The employee cafeteria served breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Mr. Lazarus Jr. would be in the store everyday making a walk-thru.
The items in the ground floor bakery shop were made fresh in the store everyday. There was a Liberty of London Shop on the Front Street level(with a seperate entrance) - very sophisticated for its time.
The store would frequently have month long salutes to various countries. I remember the Salute to Italy. One time they held a Calvin Klein runway show in the alley off of High Street. It was quite an event.
Sale days were quite something. It was commom for the store to have a millon dollars in sales in one day.
Christmas was the most magical. On the High Street entrance awning the store would put dozens of live Christmas trees with lights and on the store's rooftop water tower they would string white lights to form a Christmas tree. You could see it for miles driving in to the city.
A few years ago after the store became Macy's (ugh!) and it closed the State of Ohio bought the store and turned it into an office building that has won numerous architectural awards. As an homage to the store, the building retains the original F & R Lazarus Co. name and a newly built parking garage has one of the store's original neon parking signs.
Nice memories of a sadly missed time.
Thanks for this blog and everyone's time adding to it. I have such fond memories of downtown Lazarus. It is at downtown Lazarus that... as a child I visited with Santa, as a teen I rode the bus from the burbs to spend my babysitting cash, at 19 I was an elf for the holidays, in my early 20's I took Grandmother there to buy her first 26" tv without Grandfather's knowledge, throughout the years I loved the candy counter (despite what floor they moved it to)... Oh those were the days!!!!ReplyDelete
From Wikipedia - "Lazarus developed many shopping firsts such as "one low price" (no bargaining necessary), first department store escalators in the country, first air-conditioned store in the country, and Fred Lazarus, Jr. successfully lobbied President Franklin Roosevelt to permanently fix Thanksgiving as the fourth Thursday in November, ensuring a stable timetable for the official beginning of the Christmas shopping season. AMAZING!!!!!!!!
Thanks Anne Ivers for leading me to this site. -Tonja
One small correction to the captions on your pictures. Picture 2: The Lazarus store facade on Columbus' Front Street: That shot is actually of the facade on High Street, the main entrance to the store. A long aluminum awning stretched almost the entire length of the building. The entrance air-doors opened automatically to each side as you approached them.ReplyDelete
I remember going downtown as a childwith my mom.My Grandmother worked for the Anne Sterling department and retired from Lazarus.It was always fun to slide down the escalator hand rails.Then to the Colonial Room for some Apple pie with cinnamon ice cream on top.That was a piece of heaven.I also loved the coin shop on the 5th floor,they always had some rare coins.ReplyDelete
I started my career at Lazarus as an "extra" in 1942, when I was 16, I returned to be a full time associate after graduating high school. I advanced quickly and was the youngest (probably ever) to become an executive when I was promoted to Floor Supervisor. I continued to gain experience, and promotions, until I became a Buyer for Robes. My husband promoted me to Stay at Home Mom in 1951, My memories of those years would fill a book. The most outstanding is of the short company meeting soon after the end of WWII, held on the 1st floor, with all associates assembled. Mr. Robert announced, "Every job in this store is available to anyone, regardless of color or religion. If anyone here objects - there's the door!"ReplyDelete
The 2 antique hand operated elevators, referred to by Anonymous 1
Dec. 11, 2011, were retained for the operators that did not want another job when automatic elevators were installed. There were some customers that would not use them, and would wait for their favorite operator.
The Huntington Mall (WV) Lazarus opened around 1979-nice, modern shopping mall store. Really brought a new dimension to shopping for the area.ReplyDelete
I was a Lazarus associate from 1942 to 1951. I started as an extra, at age 16, and left after becoming the youngest executive as a Floor Supervisor, then an Asst Buyer, then as Buyer for the Robe Dept. It was an incredible experience.ReplyDelete
Did you know Gladys Stevens? She was also a buyer during that time period.Delete
Where did Lazarus get their fantastic coffee? That was the first thing that "perked" everyone's attention. Did they have a house blend or is there some brand setting out there?ReplyDelete
We had a Lazarus at the Tippecanoe Mall in Lafayette, IN. It took over the space when Block's department store closed. Nice store. I myself was an L.S. Ayres shopper, but I remember Lazarus well. In our small town, you had your loyalties to one or the other. The store is gone now, of course. Don't it always seem as though you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone...they paved paradise, and put up a parking lot.ReplyDelete
I believe Federated was their final owner before Macy's took over everything. They had a location in downtown Pittsburgh, the former Joseph Horne flagship store, then a brand new location on Fifth Ave. No one liked them since Federated made defunct the Horne's nameplate. Early 90's I believe..difficult time for hometown Dept Stores!ReplyDelete
I remember going to "Laz" at the beginning of every school year for our "Stride Rite" shoes. They were either saddle shoes, penny loafers- mostly sturdy old-fashioned shoes, to wear with socks (never hose) and uniforms. Yes, and I wore capezios and thought I was quite the one! As I got older (grade school age) I was allowed to take the Livingston bus downtown and spend the day at Lazarus. Lunch would consist of celery dressing with chicken gravy and the famous Lazarus cheesecake for dessert. I have the second "Lazarus cookbook" and would love to find some more. Let me know if anyone has one. I am also looking for the PBS video about Lazarus that was done as a promotional fundraising item several years ago. My uncle was an exec at the downtown Laz, so we always enjoyed visiting him. During my pre-teen years,as a Girl Scout I went to the "Charm School" at Lazarus. That was fun! As a college student I worked in the Teen department, during breaks, at Eastland when it was a new shopping center. As a child,I had my picture taken with Santa and visited the Secret Santa gift shop, as have my children. I sure miss Lazarus and have wonderful memories.ReplyDelete
My family's association with Lazarus goes way back. My grandfather, Martin Baumert, arrived in the U.S. in the 1980's. His first employment in Columbus was with Lazarus which at that time was located on the southwest corner of Town and High. He told me once that he sold men's pants off a table which was loaded three feet high.ReplyDelete
After graduating from OSU in 1956, my husband entered Lazarus and was assigned to men's work clothes in the basement and next to the first floor men's department. He soon became a buyer of several departments mostly in the home domestics areas. In the sixties when Lazarus decided to join the age of computers, his area was the first to be addressed.
At that time Lazarus was well known as a training ground for retailers. After joining Lazarus for a few years as young college graduates, their learning experience there quickly prepared them for more challenging positions elsewhere. There was a constant turnover of young executives.
Though not personally employed by the Lazarus firm, I, too, was involved in that I was for one year in the 60's the Chairman of the Lazarus Executive Wives Club.
My childhood home was in German Village and often I would walk to Lazarus. There my favorite haunt was the furniture floor on which they had an area set up as a home. Periodically these rooms would be refurnished so there was always something new to see.
I'm a native Ohioan, and pilgrimages to Lazarus were an essential part of my 1960s childhood. The murals in the 5th floor Guest Lounge are still vivid to me. They were gentlemen and ladies from the 1830s/1840s (Currier & Ives images were all the rage then), but done in a charming mid-century cartoon style. Were there still some private phone booths at that time? I seem to remember that, as well. The Chintz Room beckoned, but my family apparently thought it was too fancy. We always ended up in the Buckeye Room.ReplyDelete
I remember the bookstore and stamp collector shop, too! What a wonderful place that was.
In the late 1970s/early 80s, I lived on East Town street while attending college. Most of Columbus still rolled up the sidewalks after dark and on the weekends, but I could at least depend on Lazarus, within easy walking distance, to provide civilization and the opportunity for a hot meal.
I wrote a book on Lazarus for The History Press, LOOK TO LAZARUS. It is available from Amazon.com.ReplyDelete
As a child, I remember Lazarus would set up a "kids only" shopping area in the Annex. I think it was some kind of tent where children would enter, pick out gifts for Mom and Dad (very inexpensive items), while the parent(s) would wait outside so they could not see what the children were buying. Also LOVED the Christmas window. You would wait with such anticipation when you say the curtains covering the window. You knew they were setting up the Christmas window. So sad that it is all gone. No more grand, old department stores.ReplyDelete
I have so many memories. Lazarus was my first real job and I ended up working there for 13 years - right up until they moved the headquarters to Cincy after the merger with Shillitos/Rikes. Working at the main store was like working with family. My mom worked at BSB1 for over 20 years. I made lifelong friends there and I met my ex-husband there and had 3 kids while working there. I loved all the restaurants and shopping for sales constantly and the air curtain door was very cool for the time. And the animated windows were awesome to see as a kid. It was a big deal to go "downtown" at Christmas time. I waited with anticipation every year for the rooftop Christmas tree to be lit. I still work not too far away from the downtown store and every time I pass and see the "L" ball, I almost cry. What memories I have! I didn't see Waldo's Chocolate Chunk cookies mentioned yet. It was in the basement at the bottom of the escalator. So yummy!ReplyDelete
No one has mentioned Charlie's Pizza either. You bought it by the slice.Delete
At the flagship store in Columbus, I was always fascinated by the entry hallway to the bill payment dept. On the right hand side was installed one of the front window displays from the 1951 centennial. It depicted an 1880s store counter with Victorian dressed mannequins. The opposite wall was plastered with replica pages of old newspaper pages - sinking of Titantic, etc which I read while parents paid bill. I remember the bill payment department itself as a serious example of 1950s decor. All furniture with a very blonde finish and red vinyl upholstery, subdued recessed lighting, wavy green translucent plastic dividers between the clerks at the sort of bank counter.ReplyDelete
In addition to my comments just above about the billing dept, I forgot to mention the massive inventory of Lionel train parts in the 6th floor toy dept at Christmas time. I do not know how many other competitors had Santas but Schottensteins was pretentious to have a live Santa. However, every kid knew the only real Santa was at Lazarus. There was The Fashion directly across the street and The Union way up north High St. I grew up in what is now known as German Village (long live the Wagner and Ohio breweries!). If, on occasion, the parents bought some school clothes at the Parsons Ave Schottensteins, you would never volunteer such info to schoolmates.ReplyDelete
QUESTION: there was, until at least 1970, on the ground floor of the office building at the NW corner of Broad and 4th Streets, (there is a McDonalds there now)what appeared to be small boutique dept store. It had the typical big display windows with mannequins. From the outside looking in, the interior seemed frozen circa 1940. I always imagined it had some upper crust clientele from old Bexley and Upper Arlington. Does anyone know anything about that store??
Hello, I am searching for information, photos, names for those gals who were on the Lazarus High School Board in 1962/1963, Columbus, OH. I was on the board at that time and I think it would be fun to get together. Can anyone help?ReplyDelete
My name at that time was Kathleen (Katie) Finneran
Did Lazarus have a name brand that was attached to thier appliances; Sears had Kenmore I think but growing up with F&R Lazarus I can not remember.ReplyDelete
I believe that there was also a Lazarus store in Cumberland, MD in the 1930's and 40's finally closing I think in the 1960's. My mother grew up there and remembers that it was the classy store to shop in at that time. I remember seeing boxes from that store at my grandparents home in Rawlings, MD. Everyone in the area loved that store.ReplyDelete
The Lazarus store in Cumberland is a completely different family. Local to the area.Delete
The Lazarus store in Cumberland was a completely different family. It was a local store to Cumberland only.Delete
Lazarus sold items under their private label of Amcrest and AMC. They were always quality and bargain priced. AND Lazarus stood behind everything they sold. Mr. Lazarus would walk the floors and everyone knew him.ReplyDelete
My grandmother was a salad maker in The Colonial Tea Room on the first floor in the early 1940's. The salad ladies worked hard as then they had to cook the shrimp, eggs, chicken, etc and then make the salads. Nothing was prepared for them. Many friendships were fused there during that time.
It wasn't the Christmas season until we went to Lazarus and visited the Window at the corner of Town and High and them went to Santaland. The sixth floor was so magical and the toy land was unbelieveable! After my three children were grown, my mother and I would still go to Lazarus to see the decorations and that would get us into the Christmas spirit!
Where can you get the recipes at from the balery that was in there? As a kid i loved going at christmas and we would get the iced Santa Cookies!!! I loved them!!! Also loved the bargin basement!!!ReplyDelete
As a child in the 70's - Mom & Dad & Gramma would take us to see the mechanical Christmas displays. Did they get sold to a company or museum so that they can still be seen ? If so where ?ReplyDelete
The "kids only" shopping area was called The Secret Gift Shop, but I don't imagine most kids were any better at keeping their parents presents a secret than I was! :)ReplyDelete
I worked at Lazarus in 1972-74. I was in the Annex, upstairs - you had to go to the back of the Annex, through the gift wrapping department. I worked in Small Electrics. My second job there was in Advertising (fifth floor) w/Leonard Delolia. My third and final job was on the first floor for a Regional Merchandise Manager. It was great training. That store was certainly an icon in Columbus. There was no other place! AdeleReplyDelete
Oh, this made me tear up...what memories. This is the time of year I really miss Lazarus. There was nothing more magical than the windows at Christmas with all the animated toys, dolls, elves...and the huge "tree" of white lights strung from the old water tower atop the store. My favorite place was the toy department. I was 12 years old in 1975, and my parents bought me a Lundby Swedish dollhouse from Lazarus, and when my mother and I would go shopping on Saturdays, I would get to pick out one piece of furniture for it. Then we would eat in the Colonial Room...creamed chicken over dressing in those little hot skillets...how I would love to taste that again! When I was older, in my late twenties, I worked in the Lazarus Beauty Salon for about a year as a manicurist. It had already lost a little of its glory, but it was still a thrill to work in the store I loved so much as a child. It breaks my heart to know it's gone for good. I wonder what happened to the big parrot and the little monkey in the cages up in the Pet Department? By the way..in addition to the other restaurants, there was briefly a frozen yogurt bar on, I believe, the third floor, right in the middle of the Juniors department. It was sometime around 1984, and it was the first place I ever had frozen yogurt! My girlfriends and I would take our lunch (we were students at the Cosmetology School down the street) at Charlie's for Pizza, and then go up for vanilla frozen yogurt covered with strawberries! I had almost forgotten. Thank you for these memories!ReplyDelete
I worked in the music record department 1958-1960. Loved it. Loved eating the dressing with gravy with friends. Very, very good.ReplyDelete
I worked in the music record department 1958-1960. Loved eating the great celery dressing with my friends.ReplyDelete
Worked in Shillitos 1962 in Cinti
I made yearly shopping trips each Christmas w/my Aunt. We always bought a Christmas bulb for our tree each year--some of which I still have. We would eat in the Chintz Room and visit the window displays of all the Christmas decorations. It was a family tradition from approximately 1963 to 1975. Truly wonderful memories. My beloved Aunt that did this for my sister and I, just passed away 09/10/12 at the age of 94.ReplyDelete
God Bless your Aunt! Her actions, which built a relation with you, are the stuff families are made of, and your dedication to her memory is noteworthy as a result.ReplyDelete
I have an original contract between L. Estein and Jos. Lazarus, dated 1880. It established the partnership. It was hand written, still readable. The pages are folded, with tears along the folds, signed section is detached. It's an interesting historical piece. Any interest, let me know and I'll see what I can do.ReplyDelete
Not sure if I have been on this site before..but, was a Santa from 1988-until closing of the Santaland thanks to City Center Mall taking over with their Santa...Many enjoyable days working with great people..will have the honor of knowing I was the last Santa working on Christmas Eve the last year for Santaland...ho ho ho....ReplyDelete
We need another Lazarus Dept. Store!!!ReplyDelete
Downtown Columbus will never be the same.
What a great site! I wanted to let you know, in case you weren't aware,that lazarus had other locations such as easton town center and the mall at tuttle crossing in columbus and a mansfield,ohio location that are currently macy's.ReplyDelete
Yes, I was aware that there are later additions to Lazarus' store line-up, but this site focuses on the period from the mid-'50s to the late '70s. In many cases, these later stores were more homogenous, and less characterful than what came before. In many cases, they did not have the variety and depth of stock, and in some, they put older branches at a disadvantage due to location.ReplyDelete
My intention has been to present the "core" of a great business at the height of its popularity, in order to spark memories of a time long past.
How I loved to go to Laxarus as a child in the 60,s and the 70,s. Each year before school started my parents took my sister and I ther to buy our school clothes. I remember the stop lights that would turn red green and yellow in the walkways and we made mom stop for every red light. After shopping they would take us up to one of the restuarnts and have warm apple pie with cinnamon icecream. The best! Then at Christmas going and seeing the Christmas display in the windows and how it made Christmas come alive and magical. When I got something from Lazarus department store I felt like we were rich. They sold the finest things. I was so sad to learn they closed down. A true treasure of the downtown area.ReplyDelete
Recently I was granted access to the old Westland Mall, and the old Lazarus (I refuse to call it Macys)store. I have many great memories of going to that mall and that store as a child, and really wanted to see it one more time before it is torn down. While wondering through Lazarus on the 2nd floor, I stumble accross the remains of the restaurant! I was wondering if anyone knows anything about the Lazarus at Westland Mall and the restaurant. It still has the hood systems, but all the friers, oven, sinks and dish washers have long since been removed. It looks like the restaurant was walled off during a remodel, with a door to gain access to the dinning area. I. got some great photos of the old store alsoReplyDelete
Any info on this would be great. I don't believe the restaurant was operating when we went there in our childhood.
I can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
What memories from a bygone era in Columbus. During the Christmas season, my Father worked as Santa Claus in the early 1950s. To my surprise and my family's delight, I visited Santa, completely unaware that it was my Father to whom I was talking. Among my personal possessions, I have my photo with Santa (a.k.a. my Dad). It was a family conversation topic for many years.ReplyDelete
I remember all the fun times I had at downtown Lazarus in the 70's with my family . I remember the apple pie and cinnamon ice cream ,breakfast with Santa ,puppet shows,the animated window and ice cream sundaes at the copper kettle. I particularly remember one year one of the restaurants having a British theme and having tea and crumpets with my mother there after school before ballet class. Anyone remember that ?ReplyDelete
I worked Security during part of my college days at the downtown store. It was like a dream come true. I could explore the store of my youth. It was like a small city with the non-public areas of the store like an endless maze. The security department was like a family. I have worked a number of jobs over the years, but nothing will ever come close.ReplyDelete
I also worked in the security dept. from 1975 to 1980.Delete
Hi, I worked plain clothes, 76-79. Downtown and Northland.Delete
My dad, Bill Hamilton, was the fur buyer and Fur Salon manager from 1970-1986. I have so many memories of visiting him at the store and eating lunch with him in the Colonial Room. I get teary-eyed when I remember those days. Also, because my family could use the employee discount, just about everything I owned came from there -- clothes, furniture, appliances, housewares. I was a "Lazarus junkie," that's for sure.ReplyDelete
I certainly do miss this wonderful place. My mom, aunt, and grandmother shared a lot of time here, and it is a warm memory. My mother loved the annex. What a special time it was, the salespeople were respectful and grateful for your business. We are all so lucky to have all these memories.ReplyDelete
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.ReplyDelete
I was born in Columbus in the late '50s. I remember riding the CTC bus (Columbus Transit Company - later bought out by the county and renamed COTA) from our W.5th and Grandview Ave. area neighborhood and spending the day (usually Saturday) downtown, mostly at Lazarus. We would have lunch in one of the in-store restaurants or at one of the many lunch counters along High Street (grilled ham and cheese or BLT and a milkshake - yummy). As a kid, some of my favorite Lazarus memories were the escalators, the glass-doored elevators with an on-board operator who would call out the floors and departments, the huge air curtain door on the High Street side, the 6th floor toy department with so many unique toys (I wish I still had my set of metal, hand painted Civil War soldiers), the show case with a model of the old, pre-1909, clock tower Lazarus store and High Street complete with lighted arches (located near the customer service windows, maybe?), the 1st floor candy department, and of course the decorated, animated windows along High Street and the yearly trip to the 6th floor to see Santa. I'm glad I was born in an era when such things still existed.ReplyDelete
So glad to find this site...many wonderful memories of going to Lazarus as a child..mom and I going downtown and dad would get away from work (Jeffrey's) and meet us for lunch there...the big glass display cases at the candy department-taking forever picking out the assorted flavored thin sugar wafers they so carefully packaged in those white boxes...pinning an envelope with money in my shirt when going into the "Secret Santa" shop--those adoreable little boxes that we'd put our christmas gifts in...the fruit and nut shop nearby in High Street--does anybody remember the blind man with the cup who used to always be outside Lazarus? I could go on and on--what a lovely old store!ReplyDelete
Thanks, everyone, for the great memories. I grew up in the burbs, so we went to Lazarus on some Saturdays, first with family, then with friends. It was such a great place.ReplyDelete
Just came across this website as I was looking at some furniture that had been in the family since the early 1900's. Under a chair I found a tag that read The F.&R. Lazarus Co. Colombus Ohio. Not sure of the exact year they were made but could be interested to make a sale and/or find out more info. Pictures available. Contact:email@example.comReplyDelete
I bought a lamp at the downtown Lazarus the day they announced its closing. The saleslady told me to watch the news. I was sad but not surprised. In the late 1970's, I volunteered at the Center of Science and Industry (C0SI). My girlfriend, also a volunteer, and I would go to Lazarus after our shift. We would go to the record department, the only one in town that sold the Billboard top 100 singles(everyone else only had the top 40), and look at the furniture and televisions, and the pets on 6 and eat Charlies, etc. We have been married 33 years now and still love our memories of Lazarus!ReplyDelete
I have two recipe books that were sold at Lazarus restaurants. I don't want to part with them but would try to help you out if you were looking for a particular recipe. Dianne Masciere firstname.lastname@example.orgReplyDelete
I grew up in the 60s and my mother and grandmother would drive to Lazarus on Saturdays to shop. So many floors of wonderful things. The pet shop, toy shop, the music department, the book store and coin shop. You always went there for your Easter outfit. We would eat at the Colonial Room, or the Buckeye Room, or the Chintz Room, which had a Clown Sundae with the ice cream cone as the hat. We would visit the Ladies Room, and rest in the Guest Lounge, which had a bank of pay phones around the edge, so we could make a phone call for a dime. On Fridays, mom would bring me there in the afternoon before my ballet lesson at Fasting/Farquhar studio on Long St. Sometimes my grandmother would bring me to town on the Lakeshore Bus, and we would visit Lazarus, which had marionette shows in the sixth floor assembly room, and she would help me pick out a gift for my mother. Of course it wasn't Christmas without the animated window display, and Santaland, and the Secret Gift Shop. I remember meeting Mayor Sensenbrenner at the lunch counter in one of the basements and he gave me a US Flag pin. Mom, Grandma and I were in Lazarus shopping when one of the clerks told us that President Kennedy had been shot (I was only four, but it's as clear a memory as if it happened yesterday). In the late 70s, Lazarus had a whole British theme, with the Liberty of London shop, and a Culpepper's shop, and a Laura Ashley shop. They also added the Charlie's which sold pizza by the slice. I would walk there after school (also now closed) on Thursdays and have that for dinner, or go to the Buckyeye Room and have lasagna. For a brief time in the early 80s, they made an attempt at an animated Christmas display on the waiting line to see Santa, so I brought my girls, but it wasn't the same as the windows. They had the secret gift shop, too. I still have the Santa shaped bell my daughter bought for me there. Right across the street, before they built City Center, was The Union department store, which we visited less often because they had higher prices. But they offered the "White Gloves and Party Manners" course for girls, so my mother signed me up. It taught just what it advertised. Up High St. was Madison's department store, and it had nice things, too, although we didn't shop there as often. They remodeled in the 80s, and my husband worked on that project. It closed around 1990, and the building is still standing empty. So sad, especially since all the changes that brought about the end of the local department stores have themselves ended - City Center was replaced by Easton, Macy's took over Lazarus, and then foundered and closed too. I recently shopped at the Von Maur store, and it had a bit of that bygone atmosphere. An area on the first floor with a gentleman playing a grand piano, and a couch and chairs to sit and listen. The clerk was very helpful and acted like she was happy to give that extra effort for a customer. I guess we'll never have a Lazarus again, but at least there are some pleasant places to shop left.ReplyDelete
Growing up in the suburbs, a trip to Lazarus was a real treat. Sometimes we'd take the bus, sometimes we would drive. The 6th floor toy department was absolutely the best, with a wide variety. As I got older, I would sometimes sneak downtown on the bus just to check out the 6th floor. My mother said that they used to keep small birds in cages, attached the the pillars in the stores. This was a Springtime thing. If a customer wanted, they could reserve a specific bird, and buy it when they took the Spring decorations down. I'll miss that place for my entire life.ReplyDelete
I WAS THRILLED READING ALL THE DEPTS. LISTED ON THE VARIOUS FLOORS! MY GRANDMOTHER, MOTHER , AND I WOULD COME TO COLUMBUS, ABOUT MONTHLY. MY GRANDFATHER DROVE. HE WOULD LET US OUT, AFTER WE HAD BREAKFAST AT MILLS CAFETERIA, AND THEN WOULD GO TO THE NEIL HOUSE AND PEOPLE WATCH. I REMEMBER THERE WAS AN AREA WHERE WE WOULD CHECK OUR COATS AND SHOPPING BAGS, I BELIEVE IT WAS ON THE THIRD OR FOURTH FLOOR, DOES ANYONE REMEMBER? I AM 60 YEARS OLD NOW AND NANNY, PAP, AND MOMMY ARE ALL GONE, BUT THANK YOU FOR ALLOWING ME TO TRAVEL SO HAPPILY DOWN MEMORY LANE! GOD BLESS!ReplyDelete
I was one of the main male models which did full page weekly ads in the Columbus Dispatch for Lazarus Dept. Stores back in late seventies through the eighties. I am curious if the Columbus Dispatch still has digital copies of those black and white advertisements.ReplyDelete
I remember the great Chicken Salad that Lazarus had in their restaurants. In fact, you could buy jars of their special "dressing" there.ReplyDelete
I have thoroughly enjoyed the history, pictures and comments on this web page. The downtown Lazarus store was a huge chapter in my family's life. My mom (now 92) and aunt shopped there, frequently, with kids in tow. Beginning in 1959, my mom worked in the downtown store for almost 30 years. She began as a salesperson in Toyland during the Christmas season, and later became a server in the Colonial Tea Room. Following that, Mom was promoted to a "ranging" supervisor of sales in women's clothing on the 3rd floor. She later moved to drapery fabrics and hardware (D630-D631) on the 4th floor. After a back injury, she worked in Bridal Registry for a few years, before retiring. I remember so well that my brother, sister and I couldn't wait until we turned 16, so that we too could work at Lazarus! My brother worked in the drug department, on the 1st floor, during high school. My sister worked in linens (D060) and bedding (D070-080) on the 5th floor during high school, and then at the BSB while she was at OSU. I started in the Colonial Room, while in high school, and later worked the cashier/gift wrap desk in the Cosmopolitan Shop (D354) on the 3rd floor. I worked another 5 years in the Order Office and Accounts Payable, before moving to Maryland to work for The Hecht Co. (div. of May Dept. Stores). As so many others have expressed, I have nothing but fond memories of Lazarus. From getting all dressed up to go shopping with Mom, when I was a little girl, to the 7 great years that I worked there. I too have life-long friends from my days at Lazarus. I have never worked anywhere else that was so invested in the well-being of their employees... activities, sports leagues (I bowled in 2 Lazarus leagues), The Enthusiast (weekly employee newsletter/booklet), a non-profit associate's cafeteria on the 2nd floor with a nice lounging area, employee's credit union, a clinic staffed with RN's and beds(!) My mom was a member of the Twenty Year Club, which was considered an elite group among associates. Although, they no longer have the lavish TYC banquets, a fairly large group of former Lazarus associates get together, annually, for a nice luncheon and reminiscing. I have been the last 10 years with Mom, and Mr. Bob (Lazarus) has been there every time! The luncheon is usually held in September (October, one year). The location varies, but in recent years, it was held in LaScala's banquet room and a facility in the Clintonville area, near the Park of Roses. It is open to all former Lazarus associates and their spouses/families (not just TYC members). If you would like more information about the luncheon, feel free to email me at: email@example.com.ReplyDelete
My Mother worked at the Lazarus flagship store during the late 1940's - rode the bus from Chillicothe every day & they were long days. She worked in the fabrics dept. She knew her fabrics. I still have a wing back chair bought at Lazarus by Mother in the late 50's. It would cost a fortune today, but was a mere $250 then. It has a raised crochet pattern and is beautiful. In excellent condition still. Every prom dress, my Capizio shoes, most of my clothing came from Lazarus. We'd drive up to shop & spend the day & visit the style shows. Loved eating in their various restaurants. I always loved the mechanical Christmas windows and thought it was such a shame when I heard all was discontinued. I visited one of the new Lazarus stores before it was named Macy's & it just was not anything like Lazarus. A great store that should still be going strong. No other ever compared in my mind.ReplyDelete
I don't know which Lazarus store they originated in, but the Tudor Towne animated Christmas village figures can be seen and heard today at the National Christmas Center attraction in Paradise (Lancaster County), Pennsylvania. Whenever I have a chance to take visitors there, it brings back memories of all those holiday windows in great stores across the country I read about here in Department Store Museum. https://www.nationalchristmascenter.com/ReplyDelete
My grandmother worked on the first floor right inside the air curtain door in the umbrella department. I used to ride the bus from Hudson/Cleveland to the stop right in front of the door and she'd be there watching for me and we'd ride the bus to her home on S Ohio Avenue after she got off of work. I worked at Lazarus as part of my COE classes at Linden McKinley in the 5th Floor Fabrics department. I absolutely loved the food in the employee cafeteria -- especially the beef burger. Great memories!ReplyDelete
I noticed that the Shoe Repair shop on the 6th floor was not mentioned unless I have the floor wrong. I used to work there for a man from Hungary.ReplyDelete
The Richland Store was opened in 1969, not 1958.ReplyDelete
From Columbus Monthly:
Lazarus opened Westland in 1962, then Northland in 1964, Eastland in 1967, went into the Mansfield area in 1969, Kingsdale in 1970, Lima in ’71.
columbusmonthly (dot) com/October-2010/Lazarus-the-store-the-decline-of-a-great-institution/
The Richland Store was opened in 1969, not 1958.ReplyDelete
From Columbus Monthly:
Lazarus opened Westland in 1962, then Northland in 1964, Eastland in 1967, went into the Mansfield area in 1969, Kingsdale in 1970, Lima in ’71.
columbusmonthly (dot) com/October-2010/Lazarus-the-store-the-decline-of-a-great-institution/
My sister and I used to collect glass bottles and sell them so we could get money to ride the streetcar to Lazarus and meet our cousins from the hilltop there. We couldn't have been more than 10 or 12. The elevator operators would catch onto us riding them so much and say they were going to tell our parents. I enjoyed shopping in the Santa Land as a kid with my own money for my sisters. I loved eating in all the places. I found a pocket watch that my husband purchased there 47 years ago and it still runs find. It even has the name Lazarus on the face.ReplyDelete
My sister and I would spend all of our money and have to walk all the way back to the German Village area. Bobbie
Early 1970's my daughter was voted Lazarus Child model of the year and her photo displayed in the big front window downtown. how proud we were of her and wonder what has happened to all those photos from Lazarus photo dept. if anyone knows please email me a firstname.lastname@example.org. During the 60's I was a student at Nationwide Beauty Academy residing in a small dorm corner of grant & state streets. I have many fond memories of going to Lazarus on my very tiny budget but always finding a treasure! So sad it is gone forever!ReplyDelete
Hello, This is my second try to reach other members of the Lazarus High School Board. If anyone can help in my search or give me some direction, I sure would appreciate it! I am searching for information, photos, names for those gals who were on the Lazarus High School Board in 1962/1963, Columbus, OH. I was on the board at that time and I think it would be fun to get together. Can anyone help? Thanks so much !ReplyDelete
My name at that time was Kathleen (Katie) Finneran
Does anyone have the recipe for the cookie sold at Lazarus named hawaian double nut the best cookie I have ever eatenReplyDelete
Don't forget about the Lazarus Warehouse. My father sold appliances there for over 20 years. I'm sure there are photographs out there of this location.ReplyDelete
1974 - 1980 I worked at Lazarus as part time sales through college. My Mother worked in the advertising department for years and I remembr the fifth floor maze to get to her cubicle. It was fascinating watching everyone in the advertising department and their creativity. It wa ssuch a wonderful store and being a floater I worked in several departments which I loved. One day I was on the third floor in the courture department and the next I was on the first floor selling candy. I also loved working in the men's department on the first floor. Those men's shirt saales were crazy but fun. I loved the restaurants, The chintz room, Charlies pizza, the colonial room.....they were all great in their own respect. There was not a place in the downtown store that I didn't know. Later I moved with my husband to Texas and went into retail management but they didn't know how to treat a customer. It was very sad when I came back to Ohio and saw how the store had changed and then close. A very sad day in columbus, Ohio. Thank you Lazarus for teaching how to treat a customer and giving me the memories I have of when my Mother and I would go to work together.ReplyDelete
These posts bring back many memories. My parents used to make at least two trips a year to Lazarus. One was to outfit me. As a tall skinny kid who disappeared when I turned sideways, Lazarus was the only store that carried, or could get dress clothes in my size. The other "regular" trip was during the Christmas season to see the animated window displays and for me to visit the 6th floor Toyland. Ah...the sacred 6th floor!! My wife and I went to Lazarus over Thanksgiving right before they closed and had one last lunch in the Chintz Room. I then attempted to visit "Memory Lane" with one last trip up the escalator to Toyland. It was no longer there! In fact, there was no access to the entire 6th floor! Talk about being disappointed!!! I particularly recall one trip to Lazarus which included a dinner or lunch---I forget which---and the movie "Giant" which had just opened at the Palace Theater. We went to Columbus that day in grand style--in one of my father's livestock trucks and a load of hogs! The hogs were delivered to a slaughterhouse, enroute, and the truck was then parked at a Texaco filling station (note: filling stations were predecessors of service stations, which were predecessors of convenience stores with gas pumps--but I digress...) in the vicinity of the Town and Country Shopping Center on Broad Street. Dad changed his clothes at the filling station and we then took a taxi on in to the city. I forget how old I was, but I am sure that as a farm boy from Coshocton County, I thought I was pretty hot stuff!ReplyDelete
Back in the late 70's my sister (16) worked in one of the resturants at Lazarus and at Easter they had this giant egg that she would dress like Thumblina and sit in the egg. The egg had several peek holes in it and when you would looked inside, it made her look as if she was an inch tall. The kids would shake it until she was sick. Ha HaReplyDelete
As a Columbus North High School senior I worked at the Annex Food Panty and later in the Cash Office that was located on the Fourth Floor. I use to delivery food to Robert Sr. house in Upper Arlington. He liked me and gave me a job in the Cash Office processing the stores funds.ReplyDelete
I forgot to list the years of 1963, 1964 and part of 1965. Also, when I would clean the food cases in the food pantry I would be the last one in the Annex after closing. I would lower the metal security gate and lock the front door. In order to get out of the store I had to exit through a tunnel that lead under Front Street to the main store and would exit in the security office in the main store.ReplyDelete
I have memories of several of the Columbus Lazarus stores. I lived on the west side until moving to Upper Arlington in the third grade (in 1975). Most of my Santa visits were to the downtown Lazarus. We'd take the bus (I think it was the #3 Mound St. bus--we'd catch it on Sullivant Avenue.). Such an adventure! You always knew it was Christmas because you could see the star on top of the building from miles away. I remember Mr. Tree (who also visited some of the branches, as I remember) and the huge toy department on 6. In later years I remember visiting the Secret Gift Shop and buying my mom a set of "Un-Candles". I also remember that the annexes were separated, and you had to make sure you took the right set of escalators!ReplyDelete
While living on the west side we usually went to the Lazarus at Westland. To the person asking about the restaurant--I ate there often. I remember it had a National Road theme (the store was on Route 40/Broad St.). I believe it featured some of the most popular dishes from the downtown store. There was also a "Snik Snak" snack bar on the first floor, and the chocolates were located in a space between the two escalators.
In later years, I usually went to the stores at Northland (which became the "cool mall" in high school) and to the local store at Kingsdale--which was a smaller store but really jam packed with merchandise (no restaurants). The Kingsdale store is the only one from my childhood still left (as a Macy's) and it still sports its distinctive "Lazarus blue" exterior.
What fun to read through everyone's memories of Lazarus! I grew up in Westerville in the late 50s through early 70s, but we went downtown to shop fairly often. I got my Girl Scout uniforms and equipment there, and maybe my school uniforms, too.ReplyDelete
Like most everyone else, I recall the magic of the Christmas window displays and the lights, and the fun of being able to afford (with my 25 cents per week allowance money, saved up) gifts for my parents and brothers at the Secret Gift Shop. I still remember how delighted and proud I was of the rose-decorated, ceramic Jergens lotion dispenser I bought for my mom one year!
I loved going there to shop for my Easter dress and hat every year - especially because of the fresh spring flowers and the caged birds that were everywhere along the main aisle on the first floor. We would walk in from dreary winter weather outside to bright, colorful, fragrant, melodic Spring!
Eating at one of the restaurants was always a treat. I have the recipe for Lazarus' Fudge Cake, if anyone is interested (it was printed in the Dispatch many years ago).
Yes, I also remember getting Capezio shoes from the Collegian department to wear for special occasions. My regular, everyday shoes were boring old saddle-shoes. I also attended the "charm school" for teen girls with my Girl Scout troop, but I can't remember the exact name of the program. My biggest take-away from the classes was my introduction to Bonne Belle products, and how to take care of my cuticles!
Thanks for an opportunity to reminsce!
As a previous contributor noted earlier I also have an original edition of the "recipe" book they called it, printed in 1981 it contains approx. 44 recipes, does NOT include the beef burger recipe as longed for by another contributor, nor does it have the apple pie recipe, but does have soups, salads, dressings, cassersoles, desserts....The reciped have been the basis for my cooking for 32 years...loved the chicken salad at both Lazarus and the Union across the street...many similarities in the 2 stores, but different...while in college I worked as assistant to the Buyer in "housecoats" 2nd flr? and leather and suede coats 3rd flr? that could explain why I developed a penchant for coats over the years...starting in 1970...and I think my mother still has my black T-Straps in the closet in my old bedroom...it's like a time warp she hasn't changed a thing in that room since the day I left.ReplyDelete
By any chance was that Regional Merchandise Manager Chuck Hill, I was there , 1970 - 1974. Executive Development. One of the things I remember most was the staff, and the weekly associate store news letter. The Enthusiast if I recall. Does anyone know if the news letters can be located?ReplyDelete
What a neat blog! I grew up in Maryland, near Bethesda (before it became the overpriced sinkhole it is today - there used to be more antique stores than restaurants and the jewelry store The Treasure Chest was a marvel!) and I recall there was a wonderful children's shoe store there. The name completely escapes me though. They would give you a comic book (Little LuLu was one I remember) and sometimes a lollipop. This was in the 1970's.ReplyDelete
Does anyone here know the name of the store? It was a one-story, on a corner and had its own little parking lot (I think).
My father was Walter Skinner, commercial artist for Lazarus until about 1945. My mother, Janice, wrote copy for the store in those days. My Dad's brother, Orville "Dutch" Skinner was the store photographer. He used to tell a story about a delivery boy who came to the ad dept. asking for "Mr. Skinner". Uncle Dutch turned him around and pointed him at my Dad and said "That's Mr. Skinner. I'm Dutch. We used to visit my parents' old friends at the store in the summers through the 50's and 60's and I remember eating fruit salad in the Buckeye Room. A great store.ReplyDelete
I remember how proud I was to get my very first credit card -- from Lazarus - in the early 70's. Our home was filled with furniture, kitchen appliances, etc. Our son was the third generation in our family who enjoyed Christmas there every year. No store will ever be as nice as Lazarus or hold the same memories.ReplyDelete
I remember how proud I was to get my very first credit card -- from Lazarus - in the early 70's. Our home was filled with furniture, kitchen appliances, etc. Our son was the third generation in our family who enjoyed Christmas there every year. No store will ever be as nice as Lazarus or hold the same memories.ReplyDelete
Every year since i was baby my parents took me to get my picture taken with santa claus I will sit on santa lap than he give me a lollipop. Three time my dad bought sofa,chair, & bed. At age 17 in my senior year I work in Santaland. In Janurary of 1988 I was a busboy in the Chintz Room for 3 years. Then I tranfer to Westland Mall I work in the Coach house as a dishwasher in 1991.I left Lazarus in 1994 went on become a mail carrier for Columbus State.In 2004 on Lazarus last day I bought 2 bath towels. I thought about Lazarus since.ReplyDelete
I recall only having been to Lazarus once in my lifetime, it was during a school field trip to Columbus for the governor's inaugural speed that was held in the Ohio Theatre. Afterwards, we got to go around the area and eventually stop at the late Columbus City Center, I admit I didn't get too far into Lazarus than simply stopping off at the front entrance that was on the skywalk from the mall over to the place. I suppose I was in a hurry during that time and had no intentions on being there long as I had other things to do that time (like visit the WB Store since Toledo never got one of those at all). I suppose I feel let down I didn't pursue it further when I did but at least I got to see what downtown Columbus was like 19 years ago.ReplyDelete
Hello, I am searching for information, photos, names for those gals who were on the Lazarus High School Board in 1962/1963, Columbus, OH. I was on the board at that time and I think it would be fun to get together. Can anyone help?ReplyDelete
My name at that time was Kathleen (Katie) Finneran
For a time, there was a small British shop on the Front St. level at the corner of Front and Town. Had higher-priced scarves, accessories, (maybe some blouses?), in a lovely prints and fabric. Merchandise was British. WHAT was the name of the manufacturer/shop?!?!?!?! Driving me crazy!ReplyDelete
Was it perhaps Liberty of London?ReplyDelete
Can anyone tell me if the "Tudor Towne Christmas" was an actual story, or an idea conceived for only the Lazarus Dept store. Thanks.ReplyDelete
Be interesting if it was, much in the way Rudolph was devised for "Monkey Ward" or perhaps Snowden the Snowman for Dayton Hudson Corp. decades later.ReplyDelete
I remember in 1964 at Christmas time watching the Christmas parade across the street from Lazarus. The animated windows, the fresh cut trees with lights above the awnings, the lights on the water tower that you could see from miles away......it was such a magical time.....at times I wonder where all of the display items have gone..... Each year I spend hundreds of hours building a computerized outdoor Christmas display....in reflection of those memories from. LazarusReplyDelete
I remember the secret gift shop for kids at Christmas. My brother and I also enjoyed going up and down the escalators and seeing our mom and grandma going the opposite direction. We also enjoyed hiding under the clothes racks and giving ourselves away by giggling. The animated window was a must see and we would stand outside waiting on our turn to watch the window. I also attended a bridal show there. Great memories!ReplyDelete
My mother worked there when I was just young, we always went to see the windows downtown at Christmas as well as Mr tree and Santa and shop at the secret gift shop. My mother ended up at Eastland as a supervisor where she stayed for years. I later went to Ontario as a seasonal and ended up full time at Eastland and later Westerville. Mr Fred was still there and always remembered my mom and was so glad I was there later also. They were good to us as a family, Ieft when Macys purchased them and I had to decide to come back from maternity leave......,so sad they are gone all together !!!!ReplyDelete
I see several mentions of a pet store on the 6th floor. Can anyone tell me more?ReplyDelete
The pet dept. was one of my favorite places to go as a kid in the 60's. I was especially fascinated by the fish tanks. I also remember seeing monkeys there.Delete
I came across this by accident.. Have so enjoyed reading all of these posts.A friend of mine from Columbus sent me (I live in Vancouver Washington now) some of her mothers old jewlery and some of them were in Lazarus boxes!! I spent most of my time at the Northland mall Lazarus in the 70s and 80s. My fondest memories are of going downstairs to get a new 45 or two every weekend. I still have a sweater that my mom bought me for my 16th birthday, Im 53 now.I just had to have it and it was 80 bucks!! Christmas was the best though and Charlies pizza! Yumm.Yes Lazarus was one of the greats!!ReplyDelete
I recall riding the Blue Bus from Upper Arlington to downtown Columbus and Lazarus as a boy, with school friends, when I was 12 to 15 --- late 1950's and early 1960"s. I also recall bus trips for shopping and lunches at the Buckeye Room or Chintz Room ---- with my Mother and brother and sister. These were all day affairs that sometimes coincided with a doctor appointment downtown. My mother rarely shopped at the Union or Morehouse, because "if I couldn't find it in Lazarus, they probably wouldn't have it anywhere else." It is fun remembering those days and sad to see how the department store itself ---- especially Lazarus ---- has gone away. Malls are good ---- but Lazarus marked a wonderful part of my childhood in Columbus!ReplyDelete
I took a seasonal position at downtown Lazarus during Christmas of 1976-1977 after graduating from Ohio State University. I trained on the "clunker" large wooden cash registers as well as the new modern cash registers because they hadn't completely changed over. I worked on the first floor in scarves. A wonderful woman stood at the corner of our scarves display prominently demonstrating to crowds of women how to tie scarves around their neck....sound familiar? What goes around...ReplyDelete
I worked during the Christmas 1976-1977 season. I trained on the large wooden "clunker" registers as well as the modern "metal" cash registers. I was assigned to the first floor selling women's scarves where a woman was hired to demonstrate the various ways to tie scarves around women's necks.....ReplyDelete
As a small child (born in 1956), I used to accompany my Mother downtown to shop at Lazarus. Those were the days of "polite society" when people actually dressed up to shop. I remember her wearing her short white gloves and I was dressed very dapper. We'd have lunch at the Colonial Room between going from floor to floor, looking for just the right things to purchase. The Colonial Room put this really delicious mayonnaise on their cheeseburgers-it was more like Thousand Island Dressing. I was always fascinated by the light bulbs in the wall sconces that flickered like they were real candles inside the bulbs-such attention to detail!ReplyDelete
I was fascinated by the huge elevators with the big glass doors that were run by operators who announced the departments on each floor. The sixth floor, Toyland, was my favorite!
My parents bought our piano from Lazarus. My Mother had her Kitchen updated by Lazarus in 1973 with new countertops, sink, faucet, and deluxe KitchenAid dishwasher, and a Westinghouse combination full size range with a built-in microwave oven-both in "Harvest Gold"-the latest color! After a few months, Mother didn't like the way the oven worked, so Lazarus allowed her a full credit for toward a new G.E. Americana Range with the "eye-level" oven (anyone remember those?) and a big self-cleaning oven below. She also bought a basic free-standing Amana Radarange (microwave). The next summer at the Home Show our "Appliance Salesman" told Mom that she could "trade in" (get a full credit!) her basic Amama Radarange for new improved model, which was about $100 more. She took advantage of the offer. The next year, at the same Home Show, the same salesman told her they'd brought out a new "digital" control Radarange and if she wanted that, he'd make her the same deal. Naturally, she did! She had those appliances for the next 25 years, until her death in 2001! Our washer & dryer came from Lazarus, of course, as did our first color T.V., a Magnavox in 1974 (we were late to get a color TV). We were a Lazarus family, for sure!
Continued..When I got my first apartment by myself, at age 22, I went shopping on the 4th floor for a couch and dining table. Mrs. Snow (who sounded German) helped me. I told her I was on a tight budget and she showed me a 7-piece sectional sofa that was a floor model that was kind of worn, but was only $99/section (Tremendous mark-down as it was originally priced at $400/piece). I asked her if I could buy just 4 sections because that's all the room I had (and all the money I had, too!). She said, "of course", and she helped me mix and match the cushions so I got 4 perfect pieces! The remaining 3 pieces they probably threw away, because they were beat up! That is when I opened a Lazarus credit account. Does anyone remember the "FPD" plan? FPD stood for "Few Pennies a day". Between Mrs. Snow and Mr. Massenelli, I bought many pieces of furniture and had a gorgeous apartment, then condo. Mr Massenelli used to quote things in the "per month" price rather than the total price! He was a great guy, too! He's say, "let's send it out to your home, John. If you find you don't like it, just send it back!" Of course I never did send anything back! But, that was their policy. A real class act! When they opened the "Final Countdown" furniture dept. on the Front Street Level, I was thrilled! Awesome furniture at bargain prices!ReplyDelete
I used to buy my suits from the Men's Department on the 2nd floor. My salesman, Mr Boyden, would call me to tell me when there were sales coming up. Who does that anymore?
Over the years, Lazarus was the main store I patronized. Always good quality and they'd take anything back, no question and either replace it or refund your money.
Growing up, a number of my friend's parents worked there, and everyone seemed to enjoy their job. Remember the little red hearts (I think they were hearts) that associates would wear on their name tags? I was told they received a heart whenever someone wrote a complimentary letter to the store about the service the associate provided. Kind of neat.
Lastly, I ask forgiveness for all the times I pushed the button on those red "Information" boxes all over the store, when I was a little kid. I was totally fascinated that I could push a button and this pleasant sounding woman would ask me how she could help me! LOL,
If anyone remembers G.D. Ritzy's Hotdog & Ice Cream Restaurants in the early 1980's, they might remember the hidden lighting that was behind a curving cove in the ceiling that created this really cool "halo" style of indirect lighting. I asked the C.E.O. how they came up with that design, because it was really cool looking. He said, "I got the idea from riding the escalators at Lazarus when I was a little kid-they have the same lighting system above the escalators!"
I'm so grateful for growing up in the ear of "polite society" and the glory days of Lazarus...
The Kingsdale store is being closed at the end of March 2015. Even though it's been a Macy's for awhile now, it makes me sad. It's not a large store, but, as a Lazarus, always had a nice selection of clothing and housewares. I remember filling out my wedding registry there and had a lovely saleswoman helping me make my silver and crystal selections. That was 35 years ago.ReplyDelete
A shame when they pull that stunt.ReplyDelete
I have many of the same fond memories of Lazarus that others have expressed on this board, but I wanted to post something different. This story I am posting may be lost on the moderator of this forum, but if you grew up in the Columbus area and were coming of age in the 1970's or 1980's, and if you found the Mona Scott and Fred Ricart urban legends funny, you will probably find this story interesting/amusing as well. It was a common joke at the time.ReplyDelete
Local urban legend at the time had it that the men's bathroom on the first floor in the Downtown Lazarus store (near the elevators) was one place you could go if you were looking for some anonymous gay sex. I never took this very seriously because urban legends are usually wrong. But I was shopping for clothing one evening (with my girlfriend, I might add) when I decided to go into that very bathroom. I legitimately had to go to the bathroom, but also had a morbid curiosity about whether the urban legend was true or not.
It was a tiny bathroom, but you would not believe the stream of people going in and out of this tiny bathroom. I don't know if they were looking to hook up with anybody in particular, but the traffic going in and out of the bathroom was greatly out of whack in proportion to the amount of customers in the store. Likewise, when shopping at the men's shoe register, which was close to the restrooms. The stream of traffic was unbelievable.
I can't say I saw (or heard) anything illicit going on in there, but the flow of traffic in and out of the bathroom was definitely weird.
I know this story isn't politically correct, but it is real life.
Lazarus ol Lazarus we could not ask for a better store, nor could we ask for the caring employees that work there, now can anybody remember my father Whitey he had the popcorn wagon in front of the Lazarus annex from about 1952 to 1957. I would be most appreciative if someone out there might just might have some pictures from back then, I was only 12 years old and I seemed to me, everybody loved my dad's popcorn. Would enjoy knowing more!! Seemed to me Lazarus was open on Mondays until 9:00pm. Then around 1955 Lazarus would stay open on Thursday also until 9:00pm. Please tell me more!!! Thank you kindly Will StainerReplyDelete
As a Columbus native now living in the Cincinnati for the past 27 years I have fond memories of Lazarus. My father owned a small grocery store in the bottoms but when he and my mother shopped at Lazarus he was treated like a king and queen!ReplyDelete
Now as a teacher of world class customer service I still us Lazarus as a test case for delivering WOW!!!
I worked at Lazarus downtown for about 10 years from the mid 1960's to the mid 1970's .ReplyDelete
it was my first job. I lived in Gahanna at the time and we had a bus that run from Gahanna to downtown. two or three times a day. I worked in the lamp department on the 5th. floor. It was a good place to work. I started at 1.65 an hour. Which was a lot to me ,at the time. I worked with a lot of good people ,which I still miss.
Worked PT during the 1990's in Coin Dept. We were a leased area located on 5 outside from the Chintz Room. Very quiet at night and I used to like to explore vacated areas behind the scenes. Stairwells completely walled off and abandoned cafes that still had all the pots/pans. Almost like a ghost town. Homeless folks would try to sneak in towards closing and hide in the store overnight. Rumors of illicit restroom activities must have been valid as most men's rooms had the stall doors removed.ReplyDelete
There was a bookstore on the fifth floor, too. That's where my dad would spend the day while Mother and us girls shopped. I bought a lot of Nancy Drew books there... ;-)ReplyDelete
I have a large print approx. 28 by 40 of The Landlord's Story artist F M BENNETTE copyright F&R 1967-- does anyone know anything about this ? loved all about the stores and museum so wonderful wish we had one of those stores now please reply to me at email@example.com if you know anything about my print tyReplyDelete
Bookstore on 5 shared space with music department, Early 1990's it was REM music all night, Working the Coin Department, I had this song (Shinny Happy People) in my head for years. Downside of working coins was to inform the walk-in with a coin to sell, that it was not worth the fortune his buddies so claimed. By the mid to late 1990's the store was tired and showing its age.ReplyDelete
It was at Lazarus that I met Santa for the first time during the 1970 Christmas season at the tender age of 5. My mother and I drove downtown from our home in Upper Arlington and the whole ride I kept trying to figure out what to ask Santa for...Hot Wheels or Matchbox cars? After a wonderful lunch in the Colonial Room my mother and I waited to stand in line to see Santa. I remember it was like a winter wonderland and between seeing the big guy in person, plus all the other :"competition" I got very worried. When it was my turn to go I was afraid and my mother had to walk up to Santa with me..I was asked the magical question and I answered with a resounding "Matchbox Cars Please Santa"..with that my mother leaned over and then asked Santa for a new pair of leather paints...with a wink & smile Santa wished us a Merry Christmas. Lazarus was truly a magical store.ReplyDelete
I have a Christmas Tin that has Candles, Ivy, and Red Poinsettias from the Lazarus Store in Columbus, Ohio. Don't have a date on it so I don't know how old it is. If anyone has any information on this tin, or would be interested in it please send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.ReplyDelete
I've spent part of this lazy. lonely Labor Day [9-7-2015] reading all of the posts to this site,. What a wonderful walk down memory lane with so many kind people sharing memories. I have many of my own with my recently departed parents of childhood shopping trips to Columbus, stays at the Neil House and spending time nearby at Lazarus. I just wanted to say thank you for the site and the pleasure all of you have given me. Just a guy from Ohio...... ; - )ReplyDelete
I worked part time when i was 16, back in 1962. I worked on Monday and Thursday from 4-9PM. The only two nights that the store was open. i also worked on Saturdays, a split shift. 9-12 and then 1-5PM. I worked at the Slipper Bar. on the Second Floor.(Not what you may be thinking, it was actually an area between the Up and Down escalators that sold every style of Ladies slippers). I wore Capezio t-straps and Pendleton pleated skirts with matching twin set sweaters and a flip hairstyle. I ate lunch in the Colonial Room and loved the Cake Ball(a scoop of vanilla ice cream rolled in cake crumbs and topped with fudge sauce.All sales clerks showed the customers the items they wished to see, all the blouses were folded and under glass counters so the clerk had to help every patron, and all sales took place at the cashier counter with a sales slip written up by a sales clerk.. A kinder and gentler time and makes for great stories as we walk down memory lane. My late mother worked at Lazarus in tn the forties and was issued an employees handbook that specifically instructed female employees regarding proper dress (dark dress with clean fresh collar and cuffs, neat hairdo, modest make-up, clean manicured nails , no dark polish, no jewelry except a wedding ring and modest hemline, run-free stockings and shoes no higher than 2 inches.ReplyDelete
This was my Disneyland in the early 1950's! When I was a little girl I would go with my Mother and big Sister to the Columbus Ohio Santa-land where a hallway that led down a path of silvery glistening bows of trees and vignettes of reindeer's, snowmen, elves, etc. all led to Santa on his throne. We all would stare for a long time at the wonderful window outside before going in of course and they did a great job every year making it special with animated figures, always something new! Then we would go to the toy floor and I would go through each aisle and look at all the beautiful toys. I remember a German made hand puppet of a bear that I received for Christmas from there.ReplyDelete
Later I took my sons to Lazarus in the 60's and 70's until they were older. They would always see who would see the huge Christmas tree on the top of the building first. We would eat at the little restaurant and they would be able to go through there own gift shop & buy their father and I gifts with the help of the young ladies who worked as cashier's there. Mr. Tree was there for them to see and so many wonderful toys just like when I was a child.
There is nothing like that now! It is something that I will never forget and my sons talk about with great fondness. In the early 1990's just before they closed down 2 of my sons and I went through it one last time. There were very few people there and when we inquired about Santa-land the gentleman that worked there said they had something down in the basement. It was only a year later and it closed for good, only living in our wonderful memories now.
They were such good memories weren't they? Ones I will certainly never forget!!!ReplyDelete
Here's one of my downtown Lazarus stories -ReplyDelete
One day in the early '70s, two ninth grade friends and I had permission notes from parents to sign out of school and go downtown to the Columbus Schools main office and obtain work permits (in those days CSD students had to have a "work permit" from the district to work after school even on your own time). Predictably, a couple of friends who didn't have permission thought it sounded like a great idea to go downtown during the school day, and they decided to tag along. After going to the district main office to get the permits as intended, it being around lunch time, we decided we might as well eat while we were down there (this is what's known in the military as "mission creep"). Where were the good restaurants in downtown back then? Lazarus, of course, so off to Lazarus we went.
After eating lunch at one of the store restaurants, and with it being just a few weeks before Christmas, we decided to ride the elevator up to the sixth floor and look around the toy department to see the expanded holiday displays and inventory. We're already in the store, right? Why not? The funny thing was, it was a cold weekday and the store had few customers, and a couple of the bored salespeople in the toy department (college-age guys who were probably temporary Christmas help) ended up playing a couple of us in a spirited game of foosball on one of the display tables and we stayed a bit longer than intended. Eventually we got on a bus and went back to school, arriving not long before it was dismissed for the day.
I'd like to say we got away with our extracurricular activities, but alas, we did not. Apparently a teacher had seen us leave the school together and suspected that shenanigans were afoot. It didn't take long for them to figure out that not all of us had permission to go or had signed out of school correctly. Those of us who had jumped through those hoops legitimately got in trouble anyway for the "mission creep" part of the trip. We were all called down to the principal's office the next day and offered two "swats" or two detentions.
We all took the detentions and secretly agreed among ourselves for years thereafter that it had been well worth it.
When did Lazarus Dept. Store open in the Huntington, WV mall?ReplyDelete
Great memories of going to the Ontario, OH store at the Richland Mall with my grandma on Saturdays when I was a kid. Always ended the shopping day at the resturant with my grandma always getting the chicken salad - would love to be able to get some of that now! Building is still there - sat empty for quite a while until Avita Health bought it and turned it into a 24 hour care center.....I still drive by it every Sat and it still brings back memories of those shopping trips!ReplyDelete
So many great memories here!ReplyDelete
As a child in the 50's, our family would load up in the car and head for to Columbus store for our Chrismas shopping. 6th floor was the best!
Santa was there and they had a huge (by a childs eye) room with the "Bades in Toy Land" theme. Even had the talking tree forest!
Any body remender the blind begger that would sit outside the store shaking his can for money?
What a trip down memory lane!
Thanks for the great site!
The main Lazarus store was a wonderland. The incredible record store, various restaurants, stamp collector and coin collector shops, sporting goods, Christmas windows, furniture store and clothing departments were just part of the allure. Special programs, a great book store, elevators with operators and the wonderful Lazarus family walking around the store made the store a significant childhood memory and young adult experience.ReplyDelete
In the early 80's I began working at the Weatland store as a seasonal. Then transferred to the JR's dept. in the flagship store. The yogurt bar also sold fruit smoothies. It was the first time I tasted papaya. Lazarus had a no-questions-asked return policy. To make us understand the concept, I remember the dept. manager telling me the story of an associate who refused to accept a return. The associate was called into Mr. Lazarus's office. He gave her a penny, then instructed her to give it back. The lesson being, "it's mine to give and mine to take back, the return didn't cost you anything." I must have taken it to heart, because 35 years later I still remember the lesson. After being in the dept. for a few weeks, a woman returned a pair of blue-jeans, that had been purchased 6 months previously, because they had faded. I took them back with a smile.ReplyDelete
I later became a bridal consultant. The bridal salon had been on the 3rd floor until the 5th floor remodel. Then we were relocated just inside the China dept. We we're paired with gift registry and bridal photography. When a bride bought her dress from us, we would send someone to the wedding to dress the wedding party. It was a great place to work. Lazarus also had a tuxedo rental dept. in menswear. The bakery, on the first floor, made beautiful wedding cakes, and one of my friends worked in the floral dept. just inside the Front St. doors. Needless to say, Lazarus outfitted my wedding. And I have to say a word on behalf of the women in the alterations dept. Many of them had worked for Lazarus for decades. They were miracle workers with needles and thread.
Luckily, my children were able to enjoy Santa Land, during their childhoods. I have many great memories from my time there.
Everytime I drive down High St at Christmas memories of my childhood and the F&R Lazarus window, Santaland, Mr Tree and my first job making 1.47 an hr. Boy I miss that store. Does anybody remember the name of the men's dress shirts made for Lazarus?ReplyDelete
Last week I drove by the former Lazarus Store in downtown Columbus. It is really sad that Lazarus is not still in business at their original location and Macy's did not want to invest in Downtown Columbus, but ironically the building looks better and more attractive than when it was Lazarus. The original upper floor windows are opened up rather than sealed up, The brickwork is cleaned, the pink marble on the facade has been restored and cleaned, the ugly bridge over High Street linking it to the now demolished City Center Mall is gone. The asphalt paving over Town Street is gone, exposing the original cobblestone streets, and townhomes have replaced the parking lots that surrounded the south/ southwest corner of the store.ReplyDelete
I wonder if the design of the City Center Mall was more attractive and investments to the Lazarus building were made 20 years ago if the store and mall would still be a retail shopping destination.
Ironic that I now work in the restored Lazarus building after having worked for Lazarus part-time in the 1990's. Haunting to look overhead and realize the concrete ceilings are now probably 100 years old. With the remodel it is difficult to recall where all things were, and as I daydream I try to recall how it was. Overall so sad that downtown lacks the energy/excitement that was once felt.ReplyDelete
i was utterly fascinated by the high street entrance. the doors were always open during business hours and utilized an 'air curtain' to separate the outside climate from the inside. i'd stand under the forceful air flow, then switch between outside and inside to feel the temperature changes. this game always ended with a 'mom-stare' and being rangled back to her side. good times!ReplyDelete
So glad to hear that the Columbus building remains. That place was amazing! I worked there 1978-1979 on first floor mens shirts and ties while a grad student at OSU. It was a great experience. I wore a 3-piece suit every day. I was often asked to sell the identical shirt and tie that I was wearing, only to have to refer them to the discount center Gold Circle, as I couldn't afford to shop where I worked!ReplyDelete
I was lucky enough to get to Columbus and stop at the downtown Lazarus just before it closed. I remember that many of the floors had already been stripped of merchandise, but when I saw the lighted arrows over the elevators, something I hadn't thought about in years, it all came back to me. Like many people who grew up in Columbus in the 40s through the 70s, Lazarus was a part of my life, and an important one. Sometimes it turns up in my dreams! One thing I remember (in addition to many of the things others have shared) was that there was a parking lot by/in the annex on the lower level. For a time, anyway, there was a bakery there, and we would get these huge elephant ear pastries while waiting for our car.ReplyDelete
Grew up in Columbus in the '60s-70s. Lazarus was THE place to shop for anything/everything. When I returned home from the Army in 1970,at 21 years old, F & R Lazarus was the only company that would give me a credit card so I could begin to establish my credit. Great store, excellent management; I'll never forget Lazarus.ReplyDelete
Thank you so much for the website full of memories!ReplyDelete
My HR Manager & I were just talking about our childhood memories of the "Secret Santa Gift Shop" last week at lunch!
In the 1970's we lived in the country, about an hour's drive East of Columbus, Ohio, and our annual Christmas Shopping outing to Lazarus Downtown was a major event in my family! (Often followed by a "Grand" dinner at the York Steakhouse). I remember feeling so grown-up as a child in the 70's as my very own clerk assisted me in picking out presents for my family and wrapping them up for me, while my parents waited outside. My mother still has the mood ring I bought for her in her jewelry box, and my father still owns the hideous purple & yellow striped tie I picked out! (There's no telling about an elementary school kid's sense of fashion!) My co-worker says her mother stills owns the yellow rose lapel pin she bought, and says she remembers thinking, "This must be how the Big Kids shop!"
At a time when retailers such as Kmart, JCPenneys, Sears and others seem to be struggling to find their footing I am amazed that nobody else has adopted the "Secret Santa Gift Shop" idea to their stores!
Does anyone have a picture of the Christmas tree on top of the building? You could see it as you came into Columbus.ReplyDelete
Such a wonderful walk down memory lane. The downtown store was THE place to shop, and service was second to none. Reading everyone's comments here brought back wonderful memories. The first number I learned, even before our phone number, was my mother's Lazarus account. I heard it regularly as she ordered items by phone and I can still rattle it off over 60 years later. Something I didn't see mentioned already was Lazarus' Carnation Cleaners, a drycleaning and laundry service. Carnation picked up and delivered, and their quality was outstanding. Another memory is the special markdown tables and racks throughout the store. You had to know where they were, but they never changed location and held often-fabulous scratch-and-dent bargains.ReplyDelete
When my sister and I entered high school, my mother decided that we were old enough to buy school clothes by ourselves. We were given some guidelines an a set budget amounto. Then my mother handed us her Lazarus charge card. It was a small metal plate imprinted with her formal name ( Mrs. Robert --------).It was tucked inside a small red leather case. When I made a purchase, I signed my name then wrote "daughter). No one ever questioned me. All of the Lazarus staff were polite no matter the customers age. How I miss that!ReplyDelete
I don't think this book has been mentioned in this thread, Look to Lazaruz, the Big Store. I am posting the Amazon link for it as it's the only way to show more information about it. This is a great read, with plenty--but never enough for Lazarus lovers--of information and pictures. Well and lovingly researched. I love this site! https://www.amazon.com/Look-Lazarus-Big-Store-Landmarks/dp/1609492994/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1484281382&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=come+to+lazarus+the+big+storeReplyDelete
My Aunt Jane worked in the Furniture Dept. Office at Lazarus. She & my Grandma moved to an apt. in Columbus in 1957 so she wouldn't have such a long bus ride to Newark where my Grandma's big old home was. I got to spend two weeks every summer with them. Grandma & I would get all dressed up, put on hats & gloves, catch the bus (Grandma didn't drive by then)to Lazarus & spend the day there. We would walk all over the 1st, 2nd, 3rd. floors & then go to the very large Meeting Room where all the phones & the restrooms were. Tidy up & then go to the Tea Room that opened off of the Meeting Room for lunch! I always looked forward to our yearly real Tea Party (every day for lunch at Grandma's we'd have a little lunch Tea Party that I enjoy, also. I guess that is where I get my love for Tea Parties)! After lunch Grandma would rest in one of the chairs in the Meeting Room while I roamed the 5th floor, especially the book department, where I got the latest Nancy Drew book. Then we would go meet Aunt Jane when she got off work & have supper at the Colonial Room. We took the bus back to the Apt. What a great way to spend the day & what memories I have of those 8 summers. I worked the summer of 65 at at the Big Bev & then moved in with my Grandma & Aunt Jane for 2 yrs. while I attended Columbus Business University & worked at Blue Cross of Central Ohio for a year. The Christmas Season of 1965 I worked in the gift wrapping dept. at Lazarus. I am so thankful for all my yearly visit to Lazarus & then getting to work there for that Christmas Season and all the good memories! I loved the wonderful Store & even got to see Mr. Robert & Mr. Charles walking the floor & talking to everyone. I wish I had their memory as the remember the associates name, their children names & what was going on in their families. I'll never forget Lazarus. I remember the Apple Pins that my Aunt had & wish I had one of them. Thank you so much for this trip down memory lane!ReplyDelete
I too grew up in Columbus and have many fond childhood memories of Lazarus, what a great time it was for this retailer. Not many of you have mentioned the Hair Salon in several locations especially the downtown location, that salon was huge, I remember having my hair cut there as a small child, they had rocking type horses you sat on for your cut. Then later as an adult I ended up working in the Lazarus Salon, first at Eastland around 1977 then at Northland around 1980. The salons at that time were named Glemby and were THE place to go for your hair and makeup needs. The training we recieved was top notch. I worked for Lazarus Salons for 17 years and it was the best time of my career. I still do hair and ironically work in the Macys salon at Easton now, guess you really can go back lol Deb Smith StokesReplyDelete
I started working at Lazarus downtown as Christmas help, in first floor packing in 1966 till the fall of 1967. It was some of the best times of my life, and my only regret was not keeping in touch with some of the people I got to know and Love. If you remember me from that time frame, please send me an e-mailReplyDelete
In listing the branch stores you forgot about the Home Store East on Refugee Road across from Eastland. It opened in August 1972. It was not part of Eastland, but was a separate branch. It was originally intended to be the only Lazarus store that was open on Sunday. That changed almost immediately upon opening, as Sears and Penney's announced that they would open on Sunday.ReplyDelete
A Lazarus "store" I've never seen mentioned was the clearance furniture warehouse located in an old building off West Broad St. not too far from downtown. I found some great deals there in the mid-70s, high quality pieces, and I practically furnished my first apartment with clearance items. It was fun walking through the several floors of furniture that was being sold at deep discount. There was no order to it. Furniture was just brought in and set down where there was a spot. It felt like a treasure hunt to find just the right sofa, chair, table etc.ReplyDelete
In response to the January 5th blogger I have a photo of the Christmas Tree in lights strung from the water tower as well as the Christmas Tree on the High Street facade of the building. The picture was taken in the mid 1980's from Third Street across what would later become City Center Mall.ReplyDelete
Lazarus was a wonderful store. I enjoyed shopping downtown with my young son who loved riding all the escalators from the Front Street level to the 5th floor. He was the fifth generation who set foot in the store at Town & High Sts.
I have an Imperial service plate from 1950 showing all their buildings from 1851 to 1950 if any of you would like to have it. The picture in the middle says Our Centennial Year, Linking the past with the Future. My # is 361-765-0592ReplyDelete
I was a young boy when I was going with my mom to the Lazarus downtown to get her work shoes (Soft Petals 11 aa) and I always wanted to get to the 6th floor toy department to get a Matchbox or maybe a Corgi. She left me in the car and ran into the house for a few moments - as I sat in the front seat, I reached over and pulled the column shifted 1963 Impala from drive to neutral. It hit the yard light post and knocked the door off and sent me and the car onto the lawn across the street.ReplyDelete
No Lazarus trip for me :-(
Also on 2nd floor: the vast alterations dept.; On the 5th floor behind the china stock rooms was the photo studio. It was a major area, where they did all their print advertising. I remember while stocking plates and dishes models would walk by me, going into the studio.ReplyDelete
I remember as a child the memories that I cherish was going with my parents at Christmas. My mother purchased a piano for my sisters.ReplyDelete
The atmosphere at Lazarus is one that never will be duplicated. Thanks for the memories.
The Christmas memories of shopping with my parents are precious. My mother purchased a piano for my sisters The atmosphere of that store will never be duplicated .Thanks for all the memories!ReplyDelete
I started work during the Christmas rush in 1966 and stayed on after Christmas. It was some of the best years of my life.ReplyDelete
I worked in Men's shirts and ties, first floor, during the 1977 Christmas season while a grad student at OSU. Great experience! The employee cafeteria was fantastic for a poor student. I taught dozens of young men how to tie a tie. Wearing a 3-piece suit every day, I was often asked for an identical shirt or tie to the one I was wearing. Funny - I honestly answered that I bought my shirts and ties at Gold Circle as I couldn't afford Lazarus prices!ReplyDelete
in search of lazarus handbook for associates in the 70's my husband and I met at eastland store, I was in the womens better shoes and he work in the basement at charlies, 1975 to 1980.ReplyDelete
My grandfather Chas Coutellier worked for the Lazarus family for over 35 years. I am told that he drew cartoons for the associates newspaper. Do you know what happened to those newspapers? Are they viewable by the public?ReplyDelete
Charles Coutellier III
Can anyone tell me what the 40 year club at Lazarus was. I recently found a watch that belonged to my best friends father A.J. Gelpi. It’s engraved to A.J. Gelpi 40 year service Lazarus 1944. However he only worked there about 25 years that i know of. If anyone remembers him that would be very helpful. He ran the men’s suit dept.ReplyDelete
The watch would belonged to Andre Gelpi - my uncle who worked for 40 years in shipping, delivery and almost every area of the store. He helped string lights on the top of the store and was a clown for the Christmas parade. His father was Andre Gelpi (no middle initial) - who worked in suits but only for about 10 years. The father (my grandfather) later became head of Swan Cleaners in Columbus. The 40 year club was just a spinoff of the 20 year club to recognize employees for their service years. My Uncle started at "the store" when he was 16, he was the youngest member of the 40 year club. My Grandmother - Margaret Gelpi was also a member of the 40 year club.ReplyDelete
My Uncle passed away just a couple of years ago. His son, also Andre lives in Marysville and his daughter lives in Pickerington. I live in Pickerington. I have pictures of 40 year club members that was taken in early '70s.
This is great! I was Mr. Tree, Santa’s Helper. I wore animal costumes. I also worked plain clothes security, arresting shoplifters at the downtown location and the northland location!! Wonderful times!! Time passages...ReplyDelete
I was raised a "Lazarus brat" as my Mother worked first as a hostess in the Chintz Room then as a sales associate in the music department from circa 1967 - 1974 or so. We went shopping every week and ate at all the restaurants - loved them! I got my hair done in the Salon, went through Secret Santa and when my daughter was old enough she did as well. She loved the talking tree so much!ReplyDelete
SO many wonderful memories there - I hope I remember them forever! Such a huge part of my life - I worked downtown when I graduated and Lazarus was a favorite place to eat and visit then as well. Miss it SO much.
i started work in the public relations department at Lazarus in 1954 so my memories go back further than anybody's. As a young English emigre, I was already a newspaper reporter & just married to David Secrest, an Ohioan I met in Paris. I have vivid memories of this wonderful place,with its cornucopia of things to buy, and its never-ending delights, and was privileged to be a member of the highly creative team that thought them all up. What makes Lazarus such a huge loss is that was only part store; the rest of it was cultural center,capable of responding to the arrival of, say, the Japanese Noh dramas with windows full of geisha girls or, as with Carousel, the Rodgers & Hammerstein tryout, with a circus theme complete with flying trapezes. Every lunch began with the same question, "What are we fgoing to surprise & amaze people with this week?" It was a very great loss.ReplyDelete