Chapman's, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

T. A. Chapman Co. (Chapman’s)
407 East Wisconsin Avenue
Milwaukee, Wisconsin


Parking Level

Thrift Avenue Shops • Books

First Floor
Cosmetics • Accessories • Neckwear • Handbags • Jewelry • Hosiery • Notions • Stationery • Books • Shoe Salon • Millinery • Wig Niche • Sportscorner • Shops for Men • Action Shop • The Innovator Shop

Second Floor
Corsets and Girdles •Lingerie • Robes • Budget Dresses • Budget Coats • Dresses • Sportswear • Career Dresses • Town Shop • Contemporary Sportswear • The Knittery • Miss Chapman • Young Wisconsin Shop • Chappy’s Place •Young Tempo Shop • Inner Circle Shop • French Room • T. A. C. Shop (the advance collection) • Coats • Fur Salon • Infants Wear • Girls Wear • Boys' Shop • Children’s Shoes

Third Floor
Silver • China • Glassware • Housewares • Gifts • Christmas Trim Shop • Linens • Golden Thimble Sewing Center • Chatterbox Tea Room

Fourth Floor
Lamps • Decorative Wall Accessories • Draperies • Rugs • Furniture


Capitol Court (1954)
65,000 sq. ft.

Bay Shore Mall (1966)

Brookfield Square (1968)


  1. For a short time 1973-1974m Chapman's had a store at Northridge Mall. It was located on the upper level near Gimbels.

  2. Yes, the store at Northridge was called Chapmans II.I also think there was one at Southridge.

  3. I was the hardline illustrator and layout artist for TA Chapman's from around 1972 or 73 until 1978. I remember the little office that was tucked way back on the 3rd floor at the downtown flagship store.

    It was a great place to start my career in art.

    Mr. Reed would come in to our office to read the newspaper almost everyday.

    I still talk to the children's buyer from that time, and remember with fondness many of the people I worked with. I had worked with many at Smartwear Emma Lange which had gone out of business years before, where I worked in the display department when I was going to school.

  4. I'm old enough to remember shopping in downtown Milwaukee was an experience and a great one! T.A.Chapman's was the nicest department stores there and it was always fun to go there. The architecture was something to be seen..the layout of the store and how it was set up was something you don't see now. An aisle was just that, not something you have to wade your way through! I still miss the store.

  5. To Anonymous 07, 2012
    I to remember the downtown shopping experience. I'm trying to find someone who remembers the toy departments at the Boston Store and Gimbels during the Holiday shopping seasons. I distinctly remember a monorail train hanging from the ceiling that children could ride on..I think it was Boston Store but I can't find any information about it. Can you help?

  6. I remember Chapman's at Bayshore before it became an enclosed mall in the 70's, but not sure of the dates. I think it was part of the enclosure when that came about. What happened to the structure? Was it assimilated into the current configuration? Anyone have any memoires of dates or pictures? Also, did it become Prange's or Younkers at some point?

  7. Interesting blog. From 1945 to about 1957 I lived 2 houses away from the Lange family. The children David and Jim were great kids and friends. I remember David had one of the first home made go karts in the early 50s. Good times. The nieghborhood was called Clovernook and was just south of a large farm near the Milwaukee River. Thats where Nicolet Highschool
    was built.

  8. I was the Advertising Manager at Chapmans...back in the third floor corner area...from around 1978 until about 1982 (my dates are fuzzy). I loved that room with the high iron windows and southern exposure. We introduced Calvin Klein bed linens, Gloria Vanderbilt visited the store to introduce her jeans and fragrance, and we sold disco dresses and glorious, well-made American sportswear as well. I was young for my job and loved all the people i came into contact with. I learned so much. Every afternoon around 2, all of the management would go into the tea room to be waited on by women wearing black uniforms with starched white aprons. it seems astonishing to think about now...

  9. I modeled for T. A. Chapman and Barry Bell was their fashion coordinator. Those were the days of beauty and charm in department stores. How I miss them. The city lost wonderful store and when Barry Bell died they lost the best fashion merchandiser/coordinator in the world. It would be so much fun to see a reunion with the Chapman Family. They were wonderful. Cher

    1. I remember barry you know when he died.

  10. I was 5 years old in 1967 and I remember the train hanging from the ceiling. I think it was Boston Store. I remember going across the street in a bridge for people before going in the store. That would be BostonStore. My mother bought toys there that were Danish modern or from Finland. The were called Creative Playthings. I thought I was the only one who remembered the train. I think the front looked like Santa Claus.


  11. I remember the train. I was 5 in 1967. We crosses a bridge for people that went across thestreet. That would br Boston Store. My mother bought toys that were Danish modern or from Finland called creative playthings. I thought I wasthe only one who remembered the train. I think the front of the train looked like Santa Claus.

  12. I was employed at the T. A. Champman Company, in the credit department , from July of 1974 until the store closed. So many found memories of those days. I was just out of high school wanting a job for the summer but never left. I will always remember the old statement machine that was on the fourth floor that destroyed more statements than it stuffed!

  13. To Cheryl and Debby and I encourage any other former employees to add posts. First-Cheryl, You are the only person here to mention the name of someone that I did know of and had limited contact with during my years of working for Chapman's (besides Verne Reed of course) at the Bayshore store. I started there straight out of high school as a stock boy in 1973. At that time Barry Bell was one of the two buyers for the Home Shop Dept. Can't remember the other gentleman's name now. Did not know that Bell did any fashion coordinating at any time, but after seeing him at work each Wednesday when all the buyers made a tour of the branch stores for an hour or two each, I can see where he would have had quite the perfect touch and talent for it. I was with the company when Barry got sick and passed away not very long after. I do remember that time period as being sad for all the Chapman employees. Now Debby-You were with the Credit Department. Does that mean that after I moved from stock boy to sales in the Department for Men that whenever I called for an account number or an authorization for a large purchase, that I may have spoken many times with you? So you'll have a better understanding if that may be fact, here's more on my Chapman's employment history. June 73 to Feb 75 stock boy. Feb 75 to June 79 sales in Mens' Dept. June 79 to Dec 82 different employer. Jan 83 came back to Chapman's to sales in Mens again until end of Oct 85. Did you stay only until the East Town store was closed, or did you then move on to the corporate offices they moved to after that? Was it Townsend St.? I only visited it once for a "warehouse" sale and remember we went to the Butler Inn (which I think was not too far away) afterwords for fun. Could share lots more, but would love to hear from others. Good-bye for now, Signed- John Jett Fothergill.

  14. I grew up in Milwaukee and some of my fondest memories were going downtown with my friend on a Saturday (riding the bus, of course) and if we were adventurous enough, we'd end up on the east side of the bridge at Chapman's. Just "window shopping" but we loved that store! And if any of you yearn for more memories of Milwaukee, downtown, Chapman's, Boston Store, Gimbels, etc. see the websites at More Milwaukee Memories - just google that and you will see websites called that are specific to Milwaukee. ENJOY!

  15. The Downtown Chapman's was the store with the ceiling frescoes, wasn't it? I tried to find photos online just now, and couldn't find any... :(

  16. Does any one remember Chappy's sporting goods at Point Loomis and West Allis?

  17. My grandmother's photo appeared in the window of Chapman's downtown store as a "Bride of the Month" in late 1927. Would anyone know if those photos were archived somewhere?

  18. Chapman's used to feature a bride-of-the-month photo in their Milwaukee store window back in the 1920's and 1930's. Would anyone know if those photos were archived somewhere?

  19. I started my retail career at TA Chapmans at Brookfield Square. 1973 I was the coats and suits department manager. I was hired by Charles Schooly, who was right later replaced by David Holzhauer. I reported directly to Betty Darling. She was known as Miss Darling but I don't think that was her real last name. Everyone was afraid of her, but I really liked her, I would love to be able to find her, she had such an impact on my career.

    I was promoted in 1974 or '75 and I went to the downtown store as assistant buyer in ladies dresses. My buyers name was Joanne, I can't remember her last name. Joanne also let me buy plus size dresses.
    Chapman's was a Great company to work for. The downtown store was gorgeous, I remember a beautiful fireplace and a stained glass ceiling. It was a magical time to work in department stores!
    Georganne Guyan-Bender

  20. I worked at Chapman's in the auditing department in 1959-60. I worked in a large office with several women, we took our breaks in the tea room. So many good memories. Eileen

  21. I worked in the auditing department from 1959-60 in a large room with several women. We took our breaks in the tea room. Very enjoyable place to work.

  22. I loved, loved, loved Chapman's Dept. Store on Wisconsin Ave. in Milwaukee.

  23. Hi all. I am researching the paternal side of my family, using a collection of correspondence sent to and from my grandmother Grace Weller (maiden name) whom I did not know and for whom I was named. Several are addressed to her c/o of Chapman's Art Dept. in 1907-8. Additionally, there is one from her to a friend, Miss M. Greenleaf in the Art Dept. Any suggestions/input as to pursuing this limited information would be appreciated. Thank you!

  24. I too loved Chapman's, was my favorite job of my life....Yes I remember the fireplace I think it was in shoe department. I was the 1st floor manager of hats & wigs department across from Godiva chocolates and greeting cards. I was introduced to my favorite of all the chocolate companies back then. Working there did not afford me a lot of them, but the manager over there would call me over, when she had a broken one, she could not sell. My favorite memory was walking out the front doors on Christmas Eve while it was snowing huge flakes coming down from the sky---was something of a memory like Norman Rockwell one. Miss those more simple times. My big treat was going across the street for lunch once in awhile at the Pfister hotel on the 1st floor. Take care & God Bless us all....this was I believe 1978 & 1979...

  25. I clean out estates and found a lot of items from that era, including Men's Ties from T.A. Chapman Co. Milwaukee, WI. You can see some of what I found at My Friends Thrift Store in Cudahy, WI.

  26. Upon my return from the Peace Corps, I was hired in 1980 as an assistant buyer in the Bed and Bath dept. I moved onto work for the Boston Store, but I remember my year spent at Chapman's. It was a beautiful store and I met some very lovely people.


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