Lasalle & Koch Co., Toledo, Ohio

Read about the Lasalle & Koch Co. in
the new book by Bruce Allen Kopytek

ON NOVEMBER 29th, 2014 FROM 11 am until 1 pm.

In November of 1917, The Lasalle &
Koch Co. moved to a 9-story building
designed by the New york firm of
Starrett & Van Vleck.

Ten years later, the cornice was raised and extra floors
were added to the building, which was designed in the
Itlalian Renaissance style.
The interior of the palatial store was characterized by ex-
ceptionally high ceilings, and detailing which was said
to be inspired by the Cathedral in Toledo, Spain.

A concave bank of elevators serving
the upper floors was a unique fea-
ture of the store, and one repeated
by the same architects in their design
for the similar Davison-Paxon store
in Atlanta.

Lasalle's became associated with the R.H. Macy Co. of New
York in 1923, but retained its own name. Interestingly, the
store building pre-dates the merger but has much in com-
mon with Macy's facilities from the same era.

A street-level photo emphasizes the height
and bulk of Lasalle's, but also shows how
the period details give the large building
a human quality.

Lasalle's - Toledo's
Greatest Store

The Lasalle & Koch Co.
513 Adams Street
Toledo, Ohio 43603

CHerry 3-8811

Lower Level
Hardware • Garden Shop • Dining Room
Lasalle’s Budget Store

Main Floor
Sweaters • Blouses • Main Floor Sportswear • Millinery • Notions • Accessories • Scarves • Hosiery • Handbags • Small Leather Goods • Ladies’ Shoes • Jewelry • Fine Jewelry • Silver • Books Stationery • Candy • Gourmet Foods • Men’s Accessories • Men’s Furnishings • Dress Shirts • Ties • Men’s Shoes • Razor Shop • Men’s Sportswear • Sport Shirts • Young Men’s Shop • Men’s Clothing • Men’s Outerwear • New Traditions

Repair Center • Coins and Stamps

Second Floor

Misses’ Sleepwear • Loungewear • Robes • Foundations • Jr. Intimate Shop • One Stop Maternity Shop • Shoes • Joyce Patio • Designer Shoes • Pin Money Shop

Third Floor
Fashion Third Dresses • Sportswear • Better Dresses • Better Sportswear • Better Blouses • Better Sweaters • Contemporary Sportswear • Country Corner • Miss Lasalle Shop • The Clubhouse • After 5 Shop • Town Shop • The Little Shop • Coats • Fur Salon • Tannery • Young Collector • Perspective • Women’s World
Junior World Junior Dresses • Junior Coordinates • Jr. Scene • Junior Separates • Junior Coats

Fourth Floor
Young World Children’s Accessories • Children’s Shoes • Infants • Toddlers • Girl’s Wear • Boys’ Wear • Teen Shop • Luggage • Toy World

Fifth Floor

Domestics • Sheets • Comforters • Bedspreads • Draperies • Custom Draperies • Fabrics • Art Needlework

Sixth Floor
China • Crystal • Glassware • Gifts • Housewares • Cookware • Stereos and Radios • Televisions • Major Appliances • Sweepers • Records • Espresso Bar

Seventh Floor
Customer Services • Beauty Salon • Lamps • Sporting Goods

Eighth Floor
Executive Offices • The Country House • The Grill Room • The English Room • The French Room

Ninth Floor
Furniture • Chairs • Bedding • Rugs • Broadloom • Karastan Gallery • Pictures • Mirrors • The Corner Shop • Music Center

(398,000 sq. ft.)

Lower Floor

First Floor

Secomd Floor

Third Floor

Bowling Green
139. South Main St.
January, 1945
24,000 s.f.

71 S. Washington St.
August, 1947
29,000 s.f.

Columbus Ave at Washington Row
October, 1949
46,000 s.f.

514 S. Main St.
August, 1955
34,000 s.f.

Central at Secor
February, 1962
152,000 s.f.
The Terrace Room

April, 1969
107,000 s.f.
The Terrace Room

North Towne Square
Alexis Road at I-75
August, 1980
162,000 s.f.
The Terrace Room


  1. Hi,

    I bought an old box wrapped in Christmas paper and inside the box top was printed "The Lasalle & Koch Company / Toledo, Ohio". It's a great old box most likely from the 1920s/30, give the paper design. I googled the store and found your site. What a neat undertaking. I just glanced at Foley's (I'm from Houston). How fun to look back at all these stores that once were.

    And to think there was a time when your gifts were placed in boxes like I found. If you have any interest in a photo of it for your files, I'd be happy to send.


  2. I came across these photos of a RCA television display, circa 1950, at the store:

  3. Thanks for the link. The photos give an idea of how LaSalle's looked in the 1950s.


  4. The name Lasalle's does not have a capitalized "s." I worked for many years on the 8th floor, and I can assure you that the name was "The Lasalle and Koch Co." or "Lasalle's." Our official name was "Lasalle's, a division of R.H. Macy & Co."

    Our flagship store at 503 Adams St. changed to the Macy's name in 1980, after R.H. Macy consolidated Lasalle's into the Macy's Missouri-Kansas Division. All administration, buying and warehousing was moved to Kansas City, and our downtown store closed several of the upper levels, before eventually closing the store completely in 1982.

    1. Do you recall a bronze plaque on the building with the store name?

  5. It's a small detail - but an important one, and now it's corrected. Perhaps I titled the post that way because my high school was named De La Salle Collegiate, I am used to that spelling.

    As an architect, I think that the Lasalle's building in downtown Toledo is extraordinarily beautiful, inside and out. The curved bank of elevators (also to be found at Davison's in Atlanta) is a very sophisticated touch, one of many in this fine example of an American department store.

  6. I just returned from a trip to Goodwill where I found a vintage 1950s navy blue purse with "made in Canada exclusively for Lasalle's" on the lining. Do you have any information about what company it could be? It's a very cool purse in excellent condition!

  7. My first job ever was at the Westgate store. They added a discount annex to compete with a KMart that had opened across the street.
    Betty S.

  8. It was a real treat to go to Lasalle's in downtown Toledo! There was a doorman who was in uniform and always greeted us when we entered. The elevators had uniformed operators who said each floor number and what was available on each floor. It was so classy! People dressed up to go shopping there. We loved going to eat on the eighth floor. My mother is a dietician and she did one of her three internships there in 1941-42 as a student at the University of Toledo. My sister and I took modeling and etiquette classes there when we were in high school (mid 60's). It was a fabulous store! Many fabulous memories!

  9. And a warm thank you for sharing them!


  10. "Our flagship store at 503 Adams St. changed to the Macy's name in 1980, after R.H. Macy consolidated Lasalle's into the Macy's Missouri-Kansas Division. All administration, buying and warehousing was moved to Kansas City, and our downtown store closed several of the upper levels, before eventually closing the store completely in 1982."

    That Macy's name can still be seen painted on the building, but I recall seeing the name also at Westgate and NorthTowne to boot!

  11. We are renovating an old house built in late 1800's and when we took up a small portion of the hard wood floor (out of necessity) we found a part of a Lasalle and Koch Company Toledo Ohio box under the hard wood floor. We will be putting it back for someone else to find some day. It was neat to be able to find out some history and approximate age of when the floor was laid down. Thanks for this website.

  12. My brother and I had a discussion concerning a childhood memory. Back in the fifties there was a train that ran in one of the downtown department stores at Christmas time. My brother thought perhaps it was Lasalle's. Can anyone anwer that question? Thanks.

  13. A couple of years ago my son and I were browsing in an old theater thrift sale, we found a large full length women's coat. It's big and heavy.He wanted to wear it for his college friends. Recently my girl friend has been wearing because it's cold in the house. She's all of 5 ft.and the coat covers her completely to her toes.I saw the Laselle and Koch's tag and I was wondering how old it is. I wonder if there is some way I could find out? It's brown and thick. Beautiful fur coat.

  14. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  15. How I wish I could answer you in Magyar, but, alas! You might like to check the discussion page of Jan Whitaker's History of Department Stores site, which you can visit via the links in the right hand column of this site. Jan, and Michael Lisicky, who contributes, are eminently knowledgeable and gifted authors in their own right. If you are interested in European department stores, Jan's book "The World of Department Stores" is an unrivaled beauty.


  16. Does anyone know anything about who actually owned/founded the store? I would really, really love to know where the name Lasalle and Koch's came from!

  17. Well . . .

    My book will be out before the Holidays this year!


  18. As a 33 year old, I'm a bit too young to remember or have gone to places like Lasalle's or Lamson's, but I do remember my mother taking me "back-to-school" shopping at Lion Stores.

    My cousin had lived in the Lasalle Apartments a few years ago, and after reading all about the Lasalle brand, I am shocked that the store was 8 floors. In my boxed-in shopping malls mind, to think of a store with such open spaces and 8 stories(!!!!) is unfathomable.

    I've enjoyed reading up, and probably even moreso (no offense Bruce) reading the comments section. Hearing people's memories of days gone by.

    I know the Lasalle's at Westgate is now an Elder Beerman, and I was totally unaware that I have been in the building in Bowling Green as it is now a Panera Bread.

  19. Thanks for posting this! I am moving to the Lasalle Apartments in the next few weeks and it is great to find out the history of the building. First, the building is enormous. It's almost unbelievable that a department store would have enough stuff to fill the building! Thank you for this info!

  20. Collin:

    You can find more in old copies of the Toledo Blade, or, check out my book when it comes out later this year. At around 400,000 s.f., Lasalle's wouldn't be among the largest of department stores, yet it was a giant for Toledo. I can assure you that it was chock-full of many, many things that separtment stores don't even carry any more, and it had numerous restaurants and services within the building, as well.


  21. I was given a beautiful wedding dress and headpiece and veil worn by a woman who was married in 1946. I found the bills for the dress and veil in the box and the bill came from LaSalle and Koch, Toledo, OH. Was there a bridal salon in this dept. store? By the way in 1946 this woman paid $406.85 for the dress and $25.00 for the veil and headpiece. According to a money conversion chart I found on the internet, in 2012 that dress would have cost $5, 044.76. The veil and headpiece today would run $309.99. It must have been a very nice bridal shop!


  23. Since Woodville Mall is closed permanently in Toledo, are their any photos of the Mall in it's early years 1969-1986? LaSalle's at Woodville? I remember going to the Mall in the 1970's.

  24. My husband's grandfather owned a department store in Toledo Ohio in the late 40's and 50's. The name of the store was Save's Department Store. The owner's were Leon and Lillian Save. I would like to find more information or a photo of the store- for him. He is turning 60 in March and I can't think of a better gift. He said there was a sign out front of the store that read "Save at Save's" Could you please direct me as to where I might find photo's or any information on it? I really appreciate your time and love the site!!! Really amazing!

  25. I worked at downtown Lasalles and then was asked to go to Westgate when it opened.
    The Bridal dept was on the 3rd floor, next to the Little Shop, the exclusive dress dept.Every dept was beautiful, the clerks dressed well, and we all felt like a family.
    Working at that store was wonderful, and I will never forget the 24 years I was there. The stores we have today are awful in design. If I can, I hope to someday live in the dowtown store.

  26. The Little Shop, third floor, was also the name used by Macy's New York for its highest end women's dresses. Interesting that Lasalles is the only one of the Macy's family of stores to borrow the name. Not Bambergers Newark or Davidsons Atlanta.

  27. I am researching Christmas ornaments (trying to figure out what year approx. that they were made). anyway the tag says Lasalle & Koch's 20cents, do you know what year the Koch was dropped from the name ??

  28. The name remained officially The Lasalle & Koch Co. throughout most of the store's existence; In June of 1946, though, the logo for the store in advertising changed from "Lasalle & Koch's" to simply "Lasalle's."

  29. You also might like to consult the Toledo Blade and News-Bee on Google News archives - look around the Christmas season dates to see what years ornaments were advertised at 20 cents.

  30. thanks so much for your help... interesting. I will check on advertising as well. This might come together yet. we are doing trees through the ages at the wood county historical society Christmas decorating this year. we have 1910 done and hoping that these will work for 1940. thanks again. then 1960 and present to do yet.

  31. I just found an antique dining room set (table, chairs, buffet and hutch). On the back it says Lasalle & Koch Toledo Ohio. Does anyone have any idea how old it may be?

  32. Speaking of Lamson's, I found a green gift box of sorts with their name on it that was discarded in a dumpster of some house in my neighborhood, I scored big that day!

  33. Does anyone have any information on THE OPTICAL SHOP LA SALLE'S W. E. MERCER O.D. OWNER TEL CH,-38811? (spelling and spacing is typed exactly as it appears on the old eye glasses case I have)
    I've done an extensive search but can not find any information as to the stores date of operation or of W.E. Mercer.

  34. Sharon Gray Tobian07 August, 2014 21:19

    There was never a KMART across from Westgate. I worked at Westgate from when it opened to 1984. I worked downtown from 1960 until Mr. Anderson asked me to go to Westgate; if I did not like it, I could go back downtown.
    I liked it! Dr, Mercer's Optical was on the mezzanine downtown. Lasalle's employees were not like a family, we were a family. It was a wonderful place to work. I still miss it! My mother worked in the Little Shop until she retired due illness. They had a lovely party for her and MR. Yamin, Chairman of the Board, sent a limo for her. We had Lasalle's reunions for many years,
    until our numbers dwindled. I met my husband there, and will love that store until I die.
    If I could take all my pets, I would live there now!

  35. Thank you, Sharon, for your comments. I would be personally interested in your opinion of my book and its chapters about Lasalle's. If you do read it, you can leave a comment here or at

    It is clear that Lasalle's was a great store, and how lucky Toledo was to have such an institution in its midst. Much of that is due to employees like yourself and your mother that were the store's "human ambassadors" to the public.


  36. for many years in the vestibules of Macy*s Herald Square,there was a large glass frame and within the frame in the center, it proclaimed"Macy*s New York,A division of R.H.Macy & Co., inc".then it had photographs of all the Macy divisions and their branch stores. I worked a Christmas season job at Macy*s White Plains,NY and they had the same exact thing when one crossed the pedestrian bridge from the city-owned and built parking garage and entered the. second floor. Also,the main floor entrance directly below the pedestrian bridge,had one as well. I don't recall any at the Mamaroneck Avenue entrance or the Main Street entrance. The original store was quite small and had been expanded many times. The Main Street entrance had a three story high glass façade similar to the original Flatbush Avenue Brooklyn store. The photographs of Bambergers,Davison*s and Lasalle*s all showed street cars in front of the stores Each photo had the formal name of each division,e.g.:The Lasalle & Koch and The Davison-Paxon Co all followed by "A division of... and listed all of each division's branches, but they had never been updated since probably the late 1940's or early 1950's!!! I wish that I had been around when these items were taken down and more than likely trashed. What a collector's item and very historical. I'll close on a humorous note: I was assigned to dept. 147,directly across from Toys dept 012. Anyway the name of d.147 was "Adult Games" What a different connotation that has today. Also, ept. 042 was simply called "Drugs" later changed to Health and Beauty Aids. Suddenly, I feel VERY old.

  37. I love this site. How about information on the jewel of an "apparel specialty store" located in NYC at Fifth Avenue and 51st Street, New York, NY 10022. I refer to BEST & CO. which closed in 1970 because its NYC real estate was worth more than its retail operation
    . It was purchased in 1966 by the shell McCrory Corporation, part of Meshulam Riklis's financial thievery what a crook and a creep

  38. Those are great memories! Thank you for sharing them. With all of your insight, have you any remembrance of the Dutch Treat Tea Room in the basement of Macy's Herald Square? I am consulting with a design firm that would like to recreate some of its atmosphere at Macy's in the near future? You can email me at if you do!

  39. Does anyone have any information on THE OPTICAL SHOP LA SALLE'S W. E. MERCER O.D. OWNER TEL CH,-38811? (spelling and spacing is typed exactly as it appears on the old eye glasses case I have)
    I've done an extensive search but can not find any information as to the stores date of operation or of W.E. Mercer.

    His grandaughter and Son-in-law still live in the Toledo area. She said she would give any information she has as well as her father.

  40. TIme spent researching Lasalle's ads in the Toledo Blade (online at Google News Archives) might turn up the information you are looking for.

  41. My answer was for someone in a previous post in 2010. I know his grand daughter and her father was his son-in-law. If they want any information on Dr. Mercer they would be glad to give the person any information they have.

  42. I have not yet acquired your book, so the answer may be in the book, but I would like to inquire whether you have a photo of the mural (until it was painted over with simply white paint) above the revolving doors on the Huron Street side of the entrance at the corner of Huron and Adams Streets. Also facing that entrance was what my aunt (who worked there in handbags) called the "long bench" where people would spend time until it was time for their bus or ride or just to take a load off their feet after a tiring day of shopping. The mural showed a deserted, seemingly windswept plain, with a classical female statue and a column--maybe more--on its side. Ah, the absolute loneliness and the passage of time conveyed!

  43. Thank you for the information - until now I had not heard about that mural. The old store "suffered" some ill-conceived modifications over the years, and based on your report, the loss of the mural was one of them. It's the sort of thing (true artistry) that is out of favor now - my local Nordstrom store has a large painting (in the customer service area) of a Chinese woman in a Chairman Mao type outfit. It could never convey the sense of the mural you describe, only some vague pro-communist message. Can you believe it?
    - Bruce

  44. I bought, at an estate sale, a blown glass ladies hat (pink and white) that was supposed to have been a display item used at Lasalles. Anyone have any memory of this?

  45. I was born in Toledo and still have my cherry wood chest of drawers from the 50's. All solid wood with 8 drawers. The stiff paper tag still stapled to the back states: Lasalle & Koch Co. with the Toledo address. Also on the back, a price of $129.00 is handwritten. What a bargain! No wonder Lasalle's was my Mom's & Grandma's favorite store.


    1. John in Toledo18 August, 2016 08:20

      I think there were two plaques on the corner pillar near the main entrance at Adams and Huron. They were rectangular, and mounted in what we now might call "landscape" orientation. You can kind-of make them out in the picture above, with the caption which starts "A street level photo..."

    2. Contemporary photos would indicate that they are no longer there so I would think that the plaque is indeed original to the great department store. Have you retained it? You might look into "Toledo's Attic" if you would like to donate it somewhere worthwhile.

    3. John in Toledo18 August, 2016 15:21

      Scroll down to the 16th picture (which is actually an old postcard) and you can definitely see the plaques on the corner pillar.

  47. I had pictures of me taken at Lasalle's Department store downtown in 1975 when I was 18. Not long after I received a request to allow them to do an enlarged painting of my picture to use as advertisement and I agreed. A few yrs later my sister and some of her friends said my picture was moved to Westgate and could be seen when they were on the escalators. About 20 yrs ago I received a letter saying they were taking it down and I could purchase it if I wanted for a fraction of the cost to make it. I declined because I thought it was free advertisement for them for about 20 yrs and they could give it to me. Now I regret not buying it but I didn't have the money then. So I was the young woman in the escalator picture.

  48. A shame you didn't think twice about buying that Connie. They probably chuck that in the trash like so much else.

  49. My mother was one of "Bernie's girls", working in the Fashion Office at Lasalle's in the 1950's. Bernie Bergman was the women's clothing buyer for Lasalle's, based at Macy's. Bernie would come to Lasalle's ahead of the upcoming season. Right off the trucks from New York's Garment District, Mom (Carol m:Born - Norris) and Bernie selected the fashions that would appear in Lasalle's next fashion show. Mom also chose the garments for the big window displays.
    Today, I was so pleased to tell Mom that her Jacqueline Kennedy style coat from Lasalle's, the name labeled to the right inside panel, has a second life, just purchased from Secondi here in Washington, DC. It was a special find of Bernie's that he set aside just for her. The magenta pile wool coat is in perfect condition. Draping more like a cape, it is full-on Jacqueline Kennedy style, with short sleeves, to be worn with long white gloves, a black mink fur collar and a matching black mink pillbox hat. We also sold my grandmother's suit a few years ago. It was custom made by the Little Shop at Lasalle's", for my grandmother (the late, Margaret Born) to wear at her son's wedding in 1968.
    I have fond memories of being fitted for suits in the Boys departments of Lasalle's and the Lion Store. There are still a few gift boxes from Lasalle's at Mom and Dad's house which are sentimentally used at Christmas. It is nice to know that Lasalle's name lives on fashions purchased there, still worn and appreciated today.
    Just a only needs to look at businesses like Lasalle's, employing hundreds just to manage a single eight story location, selling merchandise made here, to recognize how many jobs, many of them unionized, have gradually and permanently disappeared from our society.

  50. You hit the nail on the head with your closing comment.

  51. The three L's were all interesting but how could you exclude Tiedtke's? A favorite expression among my parents' circle of friends was a challenge or a bet followed by the payoff -- "... and if you win, I'll kiss your a-- in Tiedtke's window."

    1. Tiedtke's always does seem like a blemish in the sea of Toledo's history. It's the odd one out. I'm sure its story could take up a book all its own.