John Wanamaker, Philadelphia

Since 1876, John Wanamaker operated his "Grand
Depot" store in an abandoned railway station, but
in 1910, that facility was replaced with one of the
most renowned and beautiful store buildings in all
the world. The building was built in stages on the
same site as the "Grand Depot."

Focal point of the 1911 store was
the so-called Grand Court, which
rose up through the building. The
Organ and Christmas Light Show,
and famous Wanamaker Eagle
called the Grand Court home.

For Wanamaker's, Burnham's firm chose a
neo-Renaissance style reminiscent of a
rusticated Florentine palazzo.

The John Wanamaker store stretched
to Chestnut Street; its great bulk
is difficult to appreciate from Phila-
delphia's narrow streets.

Wanamakers' iconic restaurant was the "Grand Crystal
Tea Room" on the ninth floor.

"Let those who follow me continue to
build with the plumb of honor, the
level of truth, and the square of integrity,
education, courtesy and mutuality."

John Wanamaker
1300 Market Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19101

LOcust 4-2500

Read a fine  book about Wanamaker's by Michael Lisicky

Subway Market John Wanamaker Budget Store (Home Furnishings)  WanaFrost Refreshment Bar
Subway Central John Wanamaker Budget Store (Women's Apparel)
Subway Chestnut John Wanamaker Budget Store (Men's and Children's Apparel)  The Dairy Restaurant

Budget Store Gallery Central Budget Store Beauty Salon  Magazines  Post Office  John Wanamaker Budget Store (Men's Shoes)
Budget Store Gallery Chestnut  Personnel Office

One Market Isle of Man • Sweaters • Shirts • Tie Tent • Quad Shop • Shirts • Men’s Furnishings • Men’s Sportswear • Men’s Accessories • Pajamas • Robes • Men’s Shoes • Levi Shop
Grand Court Little Sport Shop • Accessories • Scarves • Blouses • Sweaters • Hosiery • Sunglasses • Millinery • Sleepwear • Entertaining Ideas • Stationery • Games • Photo Frames • Friendship Collection • Gourmet Shop
One Chestnut Chestnut West Shop • The Shoe Place • The Rainshop • Gloves • Handbags • Small Leather Goods • Watches • Clocks • Fine Jewelry • Costume Jewelry • Books • Godiva Blue Boutique • Wilke Pipe Shop • Morgan Apothecary • Flower Shop

Main Gallery Market Shoe Repair
Main Gallery Central Repair Service  Dry Cleaning
Main Gallery Chestnut Optometrist  Chiropodist  Ticket Agency  Travel Bureau

Two Market Wanalyn Dresses • Wanalyn Coats • London Fog • Misty Harbor • Women’s World • Scene Two • After 5 Shop
Two Central Shoes on Two • Designer Shoes on Two • Shoe Salon • The Shop for Pappagallo • Slippers • Casual Shoes • Aigner Shop • Sabel Shoes • Opicenter
Two Chestnut Men’s Store • Statements • Contemporary Man • London Shop • Sportswear on Two • Sweaters on Two • Slacks on Two

Three Market Contemporary on Three • Current Alternatives • Rittenhouse Sportswear • Sweaters on Three • Egyptian Hall Auditorium  The Greek Hall
Three Central Junior Aisle • Junior Dresses • Junior Sportswear • Junior Coats • Young Juniors • Mimi’s Juniors • Mimi’s Closet
Three Chestnut Rittenhouse Coats • Rittenhouse Leathers and Suedes • Rittenhouse Fur Salon • Rittenhouse Dresses • Tribout • Triboutique • Millinery • Bridal Salon • Fashion Gifts • St. Laurent/Rive Gauche

Four Market Children’s Accessories • Children’s Sleepwear • Circus • Toys • Baby Toys• Little Girlswear • Girlswear • Girl’s Accessories • Boyswear • Teenswear • Childrenswear
Four Central Cuddly Toys • Nursery Toys • Boys Sportswear • Children’s Shoes • Beauty Salon • Tourneur Salon
Four Chestnut Underfashions • Sleepwear • Nightwear • Robes • R.S.V.P. Shop • At Homewear • Loungewear • Junior Intimate Apparel • Infants

Five Market Appliances • Small Electrics • Cookware • Housewares • Haute Cuisine Shop • Cleaning Aids • Bath Shop • Fifth Course Restaurant • Trim-a-Home Shop
Five Central Linens and Domestics • Bed Linens • Bath Linens • Rugs • Fabrics • Sewing Machines • Home Free • Home Improvement Service • Personalized Glass • “Drink to me Only”
Five Chestnut China • Glassware • Bridal Gift Registry • Crystal • Waterford Glassware • Silver • New Wedgwood Shop • Blankets and Spreads

Six Market Lamps • Pillows • Curtains • Draperies • Bedspreads
Six Central Clock Shop • Williamsburg Shop • Dual Sleep • Recliners • Modern Furniture • Occasional Furniture • Accent Furniture
Six Chestnut Traditional Living Rooms • Occasional Furniture • Decor Gallery • Interior Design

Seven Market Carpeting • Area Rugs
Seven Central Wall Decor • Colonial Furniture • Occasional Furniture • Mirrors • Pictures • Poster Shop  Fine Art Gallery
Seven Chestnut Traditional Bedrooms • Bedding • Ocasional Furniture • Chairs

Eight Market Art and Hobby Shop • Toys • Games • Dolls
Eight Central Sporting Goods • Games • Garden Shop • Hardware • Pet Shop • Electronic Shop • Lego Shop
Eight Chestnut Music • Piano & Organ Gallery • Home Entertainment • Radios • Television • Records  John Wanamaker Memorial Museum

Nine Market Services • Opticenter • Cash & Credit
Nine Central Chinoiserie • Garden Club • A Touch of Glass • Gifts • Needlecraft • Luggage • Stamps & Coins • Collectibles • Gifts • Holiday Entertaining • Boxes, Boxes Boxes
Nine Chestnut The Crystal Room Restaurant  The Club Room
(2,000,000 s.f)

Wilmington, DE
Augustine Cut-Off at 18th Street
November, 1950
203,000 sq. ft.
The Ivy Room

Main Line Shopping Center
250,000 sq. ft.

Old York Road
165,000 sq. ft.
The Baederwood Room

Moorestown Mall
Moorestown, NJ

King of Prussia
King of Prussia Plaza
194,000 sq. ft.

Harrisburg East Mall

Berkshire Mall
Reading, PA
185,000 sq. ft.
The Dining Car Restaurant
Stationmaster Coffee Shop

Oxford Valley Mall
Langhorne, PA
August, 1973
166,000 sq. ft.
The Studio Restaurant - The Old Star Coffee Shop

Springfield Mall 
Springfield, PA
185,000 sq. ft.
The Playhouse
The Backstage Canteen
Deptford Mall
Deptford, New Jersey

Lehigh Valley
Whitehall, PA
165,000 sq. ft.

Northeast Philadelphia
Roosevelt Mall
300,000 s.f.

Montgomery Mall
North Wales, PA

Coming in due course.


  1. John Wanamaker also operated an extensive Budget Store which included: Budget Walnut: The Dairy Restaurant, Budget Store Home Goods. Budget Central:
    WanaFrost snack bar, Budget Womens Clothing, Shoes, Uniform Shop. Budget Market: Budget Mens Shop, and Childrens Shop.

    8th Floor Walnut, also contained the John Wanamaker Memorial Museum.

    9th Floor Walnut, Club Room.

    3rd Floor Central, Terrace On The Court Restaurant.

    3rd floor Market, The Greek Hall.

    Great site !


  2. Good call regarding the above, Ken. Who could forget the WanaFrost ice cream. We could grab a WanaFrost and then get on the El.


  3. I'm doing research of the Native American Memorial proposed by Rodman Wanamaker. Do you have any images or pictures of the Wanamaker Store displaying any artifacts from the Wanamaker Expedition of 1909-1913? Thank you in advance for your assistance

    Contact information: or

  4. Fond memories of lunching with my grandmother in the restaurant on the top floor

  5. Who was the architect/ designer for Wilm.De. store built in 1950?

  6. According to the book, "Wilmington in Vintage Postcards," Massena & duPont, Inc., were local archiects for the building, and the general contractor was John McShain (who conducted the renovation of the White House at the time)of Philadelphia.

    I am sure that further information is available in "Meet Me at the Eagle," the fine new book about Wanamaker's by Michael Lisicky. At the moment, though, I've lent my copy to my brother and don't have it at hand.


  7. I did love that is amazing how all of these great stores are gone! I shopped in the King of Prussia store where you can still make out the outline of the store before all of the parking garages were built.

  8. I have very vivid memories of Christmas shopping with my dad at the Wilmington store in the 70s/80s (before they moved to Christiana Mall in 1990)...they had a Winnie the Pooh bear on a swing high up that you could "push" with a string...sad that it is gone..and stores like macys who have taken over all of these distinct chains have diluted and cheapened their own brand in the process....

  9. John Wanamaker Department store was at the Harrisburg East Mall also.

  10. When I lived in New York I often went to Wanamaker's downtown near NYU. It is one of my fondest memories. I loved their merchandise and looked forward to their sales. I miss them.

  11. I have a set of John Wanamaker silver salt & pepper shakers for sale. Post here if interested.

  12. Hello, John, just came across this site while googling 'Wanamaker bear'. I think it must have been the Augustine cutoff location that I recall from late '60s/early '70s. That bear was a significant figure in my early life. I can still recall the feeling of pulling on that rope! Still have & still love my earliest teddy bear and bunny, both from the toy department. There was a wonderful woman who managed children while their mothers shopped, too. Miss....I looked forward to the games.

    Today I care about modernist architecture and so appreciate your post and site from several angles. Thanks.

  13. Memories!
    At christmas every year, we always drove into the city to look at the animated department store windows, continuing a longtime family tradition that went back a generation or two. As kids during the 60's, our parents loved to take us to the Grand Court to watch the lights in the multi-storied christmas tree change along with the Christmas Carols being played. To this day, I continue a tradition that my father started back THEN, to use 8-10 strings of different colors and have them blink in a variety of patterns, just like the one at Wanamaker's!

  14. I worked in display downtown,1978 to time of my life...19 when I started...then worked moorestown for a year and the northeast store until 1992...great people and great memories...

    Bill Harrison

  15. I have a rare John Wanamaker Suitcase which he branded for louis vuitton. It was my great great grandmothers, mint condition.. Is it worth anything today.. How would I find more info on it.. Thanks Aaron

  16. Couldn't wait every Christmas as a kid in the 50s and 60s for my mother to take me to Wanamaker's in Philly -- always an amazing and dazzling display, the awesome organ and of course Santa Claus!! Other times, it was a special treat to eat in the restaurant there. Great stuff -- nothing like it anymore.

  17. anon -- I also remember the teddy bear swing. You are correct. It was at the Wilmington, Augustine cut-off store. My brother and I spent much time trying to get the bear to do a loop-de-loop over the bar! I worked with a gentleman some years ago who informed me that the Teddy Bear swing was moved to the Christiana Mall store after the Wilmington store closed. I never did verify that and wish I had taken my son there before they closed for good so he could pull on the rope like I did.

  18. I have a 1940's wanamaker piano upright that I am trying to find information on. Can you help me?

  19. My grandparents both worked at Wanamaker's flagship store and my grandmother sometimes took me 'behind the scenes' to talk to her co-workers. When I graduated from high school I worked summers for several years in tabulating and a buyer's office keeping track of which store had which stock. The store was a magical place.

    1. Hi, great story! I am trying to find some information about an antique bow front dresser I bought. Is there any place or website I Can refer to?

    2. Hi Ann, great story, I was wondering if you knew how I could obtain some information about an antique dresser I purchased. It has a label identify it coming from either Philadelphia or New York. Do you know of the way to do this or website I can refer to?

  20. Dear Ann:

    Have you seen Michael Lisicky's book on Wanamaker's? It is quite excellent and is a great source of Wanamaker's history and photos of the store.

    Last year, my wife and I went to Philadelphia to see her daughter perform with Ballet X; we stopped in at the Wanamaker building and was able to catch a glimpse of Julie Andrews signing autographs. The reason for it was the inauguration of a renovated "Christmas Light Show" which was charming to experience.


  21. I just ordered Michael Lisicky's book! Thanks!

    The tabulating department where I worked was between the second and third floors. You approached it through the London Fog department and climbed some steps. Since the organ was also reached by the second floor, we often got up close looks at important people who were appearing on the balcony by the organ.

    I am so glad to hear about the Christmas light show.

    Thank you for your wonderful blog!

    I wasn't sure how else to share my blog about your blog!

  23. I would love to find one of the old Wanamaker Store signs - if you know of anywhere there is one left, please let me know

  24. Any idea who made the movements for the John Wanamaker wrist watches?

  25. John Wanamaker....Meet you at the EAGLE!!

  26. My aunt Gertrude Guggenheim worked as a buyer for the Philadelphia store for years. I may have been in there exactly once, but sadly don't have any memory of it. If anyone posting remembers Gertrude, please drop a note here!

  27. My grandmother worked at Wanamaker's between 1910 and 1911. She was beautiful (looked like the Gibson Girl of that time) I have many lovely photos of her framed on my wall and a shadow box containing hat pins, plumes, and other memorabilia including her calling card from Wanamaker's "The Wanamaker Stores - Philadelphia" with her name. I lived with her when I was 17, 18 and 19 years old. She shared many fascinating stories about her first modeling dress materials & subsequently selling ladies gloves at Wanamaker's. She told me the store opened with young men playing trumpets at the entrance, and someone playing the organ during the day. I am the last in my family and don't know anyone interested in these gorgeous old photos and memorabilia from the early 1900's. Thomas C. Kelly

  28. Is there any way to research patterns of J. Pouyat Limoges china w/the W mark? I read that there was a web site that could be found by Googleing that had pattern dates & history, but cannot find it. I have a wonderful set of turn of the century china and need to know a pattern name to try and find a few replacement pieces. I will appreciate any info. anyone can give me. Thanks in advance.

  29. George, there is one sign that was on the outside of the John Wanamaker Center City store that's is now hanging inside McGillin's Olde Ale House.

  30. I have been told that my great grandmother, Mrs. Duncan, an Irish immigrant used to spin lace in one of the storefront windows of Wanamaker's in Philadelphia. Sometime around 1911. Anyone ever heard of this activity? I will have to check out the book.

    Donna Burnell

  31. I best know Wanamaker's as the filming location of the Prince & Company store from the 1987 comedy film "Mannequin".

  32. Thanks for the tip on the sign. I have had my eyes on that for years without luck. I guarantee that in some of the Macy's there is a sign in a storage room. It. Is just finding the right person to ask. My our help is totally appreciated

  33. How can I find value on something that has a John Wanamaker price tag and is at least 50 years old?

  34. I still have dreams that take place in the Wanamaker's on Augustine Cut-Off in Wilmington!
    I loved that store.

  35. Wonderful memories of the Augustine Cut-off store, just a few: Going with my mom to the Charles of the Ritz counter for her custom-blend powders; The swinging bear; Christmas show; clothes shopping with my mom; poking around housewares. I frequently drive by the vacant store. I think if it's ever demolished, I will cry. I haven't given up hope that a classy store (not some chain) will move in.

  36. I remember the bear on a swing and I also remember the sound and sight of the colorful fountain display at Christmas. I especially remember the whinny and crack of the whip in Leroy Anderson's "Sleigh Ride." I remember the voice of John Facenda narrating?
    I remember elevators with a uniformed person running it. I remember the soft bell sound of the intercom. I remember the "tea room." I remember "meet me at the eagle." Only trouble is, I think I am mixing memories between Bala Cynwd, Philadelphia and Wilmington!

  37. I have an old Wanamaker Sewing machine in a beautiful wooden cabinet with classic piano legs, I can't seem to find another one anywhere...the model is R40....any one know anything about this?

  38. Linda Markle (Good)22 August, 2012 10:46

    I would be interseted to see if anyone has some old photos of the band that use to play in Wanamaker's.My dad was one of those men and I remember him telling me that John Phillip Sousa was a guest conducter sometimes.

  39. I have a tiny baby doll ,on the back it has a John Wanamaker Philadelphia tag.50She is wearing a pink dress with white dots,has panties with a gold pin attached.Any one have any info?

  40. My step-mother worked in the Philly store in the 50's and shower my sister and me the great organ,a few years ago I was at anconcert in Balboa Park in San Diego Ca. and my friend started telling me about the great organ there and I said I know the other is in Philly

  41. what is the serial number on the sewing machine. my wanamaker is a willcox & gibbs branded machine for john wanamaker sn 40675

  42. Does anyone have any info on his jewelry? I have a gold pendant still in the box with a 100.00 price tag on it. Any idea what it's worth? Looks circa 60's

  43. I have vague memories of the Augustine Cutoff store and the Strawbridges on Gov Printz. Concord Mall, which put them both out of business, is so ordinary. Seem like we as a society have lost an appreciation for class.

  44. I always loved going to the Wanamaker flagship store as a kid. Their toy department took up at least 1/2 of one floor. I remember being in awe of the many glass cases filled with collectible porcelain dolls for sale. During holiday time, the store used to turn the overhead lights completely off during the Christmas Light Show so everyone could truly enjoy the beautiful spectacle of lights. They had table lamps on the counters that remained lit. Unfortunately, this had to stop as shoplifting got out of control! My parents would take us for lunch to the Crystal Tea Room or the Dark Room for lunch - in the 1970s watercress tea sandwiches were still on the menu! I always got a hot dog (listed on the children's menu as a frankfurter) and an "ice cream clown" for dessert(an upside down ice cream cone in a silver pedestal dessert dish with gumball eyes and nose.) While attending college in 1986, I worked part time in the store's Visual Merchandising department on the 10th floor as a secretary. Many years prior, the area where I worked was the store's infirmary, complete with staff doctor and nurses, and an operating room for minor surgeries! The huge employee dining room was still operational when I worked there, and had private rooms off to the side that had chaise lounges where employees could lie down on their break or read a book that could be borrowed from their mini library. My department had a lot of memorabila stashed throughout, and even an archive room. Always loved history so this was facinating to go in and take a look when I had a free moment. I was fortunate to be working there during the Wanamaker 125th anniversary and assisted in preparing the memorabilia exhibit that was opened to the public. While I was there, they also happened to be filming "Mannequin." I remember delivering interoffice mail on the ninth floor near the executive boardroom, turning the corner and Andrew McCarthy was sitting in a chair right in front of me. There was a gentleman who worked on my floor - his name was Fritz McCloskey, who always wore the craziest suspenders he could find! He said many of them were gifts from his nieces and nephews. He was a colorful guy who knew everyone by name, and everyone knew him! He also knew a lot of great history of the store. I believe his mother was an immigrant who started working there when she arrived in Philadelphia. In that year, the stores were sold to Woodward and Lathrop, and went on a steady decline. It was a Lord and Taylor for a few years. When it became a Macys, they have done a lot of work to the building and the Light show to bring it back to its original glory. I understand they also brought the Dickens Village from the old Strawbridges department store building piece by piece, rolling it up Market Street and setting it up on the third floor. If you want to take a historic tour of the department store, there is an employee who gives extensive tours by appointment. Just give the store a call.

  45. I remember working in the pet dept. which was a lease dept. we had pet goods & live pets. one day a delivery of snakes got out in the back room. I was 19 at the time (1972) and was the only one who would touch them. none of the guys would help me. I remember the employee cafeteria and the good food there. I was very impressed with the lending library. I thought "this store actually likes its employees". unlike most places I had worked before (& since). In the basement was the employee entrance where u clocked in and went to the "bank" to get your cash drawer. there were banking services available to employees, medical sevices, post office services too. It was almost a city unto itself. on the way out, you went down to the basement again to hand in your drawer and clock out. then just outside the basement was the Market St. subway to take me to Fishtown where I was living.

  46. My job during high school was working as a cook at the John Wanamaker's store at the King of Prussia Mall.

    It was the first job and I loved it. I learned alot and always liked picking up my paycheck.

    I always wondered what happened. I think they were bought out by May and then Macy's.

  47. I purchased a box of sewing items at an estate the bottom was this pair of scissors that have a beautiful design on the handles..very tarnished. JOHN WANAMAKER name and other side a design and GERMANY
    on them. Can anyone tell me about them ?

  48. So many memories tied to Wanamaker's, my grandmother used to take me to the one in center city all the time and I grew up around the corner from the one in Wynnewood. Too many memories to list, it's amazing how these stores were huge parts of our lives, there just isn't that loyalty anymore.

  49. I have a great black and gold ring in a Wanamaker box that I would love to get another one of. Any idea on where I would start looking. Someone must have another? You can let me know via

  50. I worked at the store for 11 years. Starting in 1961 as an executive trainee, and then a buyer. They were some of the best years of my life. The Wanamaker family really cared about the stores and the people that worked there.

  51. I do hope the Christian Heritage is continuing with Wanamaker family.
    God bless you all.
    I do hope that people who care will buy American made plus care for people as the Wanamaker family did.
    Dawood Latif - NZ

  52. Both of my parent worked at the center city store, my dad was supervisors in the mechanical department for 38 years, and my mom was an elevator operator for many years until they became self-service, then she moved to the gift wrap department, she worked there for over 29 years. I have such great memories shopping with my parents, and at Christmas time when my dad would take me up stairs to the control area to see the lights for the Christmas show case.

  53. I grew up in Langhorne, PA during the 50's and 60's, and every Christmas my mother and her friends would take a bunch of us kids on the Reading Railroad into center city to see the displays at Wanamaker's. To a nine year old, it was magical! The monorail that ran over the toy department at Christmas was a clever idea for us kids to see all of the toys and report back to our mothers what we wanted. When I was about 19, I had a job near Wanamaker's, and once a week I'd take myself to the Crystal Dining Room for a turkey sandwich, cut into 1/4's (with the crusts cut off the bread, no less!), which cost $1.25 in 1966! I thought I was a princess sitting in there! Wonderful store; wonderful memories! So sad that places like that are gone now.

  54. Thank you for this wonderful site ! Here are a couple of points of interest-

    1) The restaurant at the Lehigh Valley Mall branch was called "The Fore&Aft" It had a decor in tribute to the sea with anchor and all ! Bar service and an exterior entrance enabled dining after hours in the early days of the restaurant.

    2) The restaurant at Montgomeryville (North Wales) was on the 2nd floor.The main dining room was open (but the coffee shop was closed off in earlier years and used for storage). almost until the sale of the store to May in 95'.

    3)Wynnewood,Deptford,Springfield,Moorestown,Reading,North Wales,and even the Terrace on 3 restaurant at the flagship survived almost up to '95 ! The wonderful restaurants open until the sale to May BUT downtown 3rd floor restaurant (Terrace on The Court) with different owners and menu, was open even through the Lord & Taylor days. It was a treat to dine straight across from the pipe organ pipes which served as a wonderful dining experience ! Amazing !

    Thankfully Macy's is keeping the store going and HOPEFULLY they will return restaurant dining to the 3rd floor across from the organ.

    ALSO: The Crystal Tea Room (Thanks Be To God!) survives as one of Philadelphia's finest special function venues and remains preserved.

    Thank you Thank you for this epecial special site !

  55. I'd like to reply to Linda's post however it appears that this feature does not work.

  56. Are there any photographs of the George Washington Nicholson Paintint commissioned by John Wanamaker in 1892, "THE OLD HOMESTEAD", where did it hang in the store?

  57. I got married in 1966 and chose stemware made by Skruf just for John Wannamaker. It had an eagle etched on it. I can't find any info on that stemware. Anyone know anything about it? Replacements in Greensboro, NC is stumped.

  58. in the 1950's they had a train elevated train that went around the top.. anyone remember it? toy dept i think..

  59. I still have the giant "Bixby Teddy Bear" that the Berkshire Mall in Reading had in there display window. This teddy bear is huge. I used to play hide and seek in that store with my friends when we were real little kids. When I was older, I negotiated for them to sell that bear to me. I still have it today as a memory of my younger days, the fond memory of my youth and that awesome giant Teddy Bear.

  60. I was a working girl in Philly in the late 1960's and early 1970's. I loved walking through Wanamakers on my lunch hour and even on some Saturdays would make my way from Lawndale to Center City and go through every floor to see the merchandise and find something special to buy. I also loved to sew my own clothes and discovered that Wanamakers was offering sewing classes for advanced sewing students. The Irish lady teaching the classes was Bridget Magin and the class was called "Stitch It With Bridget". Bridget taught us students how to sew with like the designers sew. We learned to always make a muslin "practice" garment for perfect fit, how to create bound buttonholes, and how to apply very special high-fashion designer touches to our garments. We took notes and watched Bridget sew by an overhead mirror. We did our sewing at home and brought in our garments for Bridget to inspect and critique. My sewing improved greatly under her instruction and I have such wonderful memories. Thank you John Wanamaker for thinking outside the box and offering this wonderful opportunity to a 20 year old who still sews today.

  61. Wow, great site... brings back fond and not so fond;) back to school shopping memories at the Augustine cutoff store.

  62. Was there a "Theater" area which had a Christmas production? Nutcracker maybe?

  63. I worked there for 20 years on the 10th floor in the Data Processing Dept. I loved it. This is a great site. I'd love to hear from anyone who knew or worked with me there. I just found a copy of The Eagle Speaks from 1982. I was there from 1969 to 1989. My email is PatrickBenson 3 on AOL

  64. I was employed there from 1969 to 1989 in the Data Processing Dept. on the 10th floor. I loved it. I just found a copy of The Eagle Speaks from 1982 with pictures of our group in Data Processing. I'd love to hear from anyone who knew me or worked with me. My email is PatrickBenson3 at the AOL mail server.

  65. Does anyone have photos or info/history or stories of the pedestrian tunnel that connected the basement of Wanamaker's (13th and Market, Philadelphia) to the underground trolley station? I belive the tunnel was lost when an underground parking lot was built. My email is I don't check here often, but if you post here, please send a note to my email thx! Michael

  66. My first job when I was 15 was at John Wanamaker's in King of Prussia Mall. I started washing dishes in the restaurant on the 3rd floor. I started working as a cook a year later. I made enough money to buy a car and pay the insurance.
    This was a really great job. Back then the idea was to provide a convenient place to have lunch for shoppers in the store. We served everything from tea sandwiches to fully cooked steak and potatoes. We had a steam table and walk in type refrigerators. It was a great education and back in the 70's we wouldn't listen to the music as we made people lunch and dinner.
    I'll never forget the great manager I had who had faith in me and gave me the opportunity. Things were so much different back then.

  67. The building that houses formerly John Wanamaker is beautiful. It was a Lord and Taylor back in 2001 when my dad and I went to Philadelphia for the NCAA East Regional Final. My dad and I were back in Philly this past spring for the NCAA Tournament (2nd and 3rd rounds) and on an off day (a day between the games), we walked around downtown Philly. We stopped by Macy's (formerly John Wanamaker, Lord and Taylor). Uggh! It's still John Wanamaker even though it's a Macy's now. Cluttered with merchandise! I was disheartened to hear that Macy's did away with the restaurant. It's part of Philadelphia history. Macy's wiped away with the all the traditions of the department stores. It's what make John Wanamaker unique! Macy's should have stayed in the northeast. Yuk! Macy's all over the country.

  68. I have a men's tweed overcoat with a label "John Wanamaker Penn Square Shop. I still wear it because it is still in great shape for the winter. I don't remember when I bought it or when the Penn Square Shop closed. Anybody remember this shop?

  69. Does anyone have photos of the old Wanamaker warehouse at Broad and Washington? Another beautiful building lost...

  70. my great grandmother was a waitress at the Crystal TEA room - in the 1930's - she supported my grandmother and her 5 kids - as her husband was out of work - I went to a wedding there - and was saddened and amazed that she could do all she did - but the times were still OK for some and they dined and made it possible for my family to go on -

  71. Perhaps Lawndale girl could also relate to the following. All through the fifties Mom would take a bunch of kids from Hasbrook Ave. to Wanamaker's before Christmas. A one block walk down Robbins Ave, to catch the train to center city. All of the pictures of have of me sitting on Santa's lap were taken at Wanamaker's. 53-57? Aprrox. 1955 got off the ceiling ride and went down the "Enter" ramp. Mom was waiting at the "Exit" ramp. An employee figured out real quick my Mom was lost. I still remember how nice and kind that lady was to me while the found my lost Mom. After spending, what I'm sure seemed like an eternity to Mom, on the 8th floor, it was up to the Tea Room for lunch. Always mint chocolate ice cream for dessert. The timing had to perfect to catch the light show and carol music on the ground floor before we left the store. Of course a walk through the Reading Terminal Market for a few groceries before getting back on the train to Lawndale. The magic of Wanamaker's at Christmas has never left me.

  72. Donna Burrell stated that her great grandmother, Mrs Duncan made lace in Wammaker's window in Philadelphia. I was told that my grandfather made shoes in the window. He probably worked there in the 20's and early 30's. My mother was born in 1934 and her father died shortly after, supposedly from lead poisoning from the nails used in the making of the shoes. His name was Joseph (Giuseppe) Pappa. Does anyone have any other information?

    I have many wonderful memories as a child going to the Tea Room for dinner with my Mom and brother after a long day of shopping, I remember begging my mother to leave early so we could get there before they opened the doors - they would play horns to crys of "CHARGE" as they opened for business!! What a great store!

  73. I have acquired a set of 5 porcelain Made in Germany napkin rings. They have a printed John Wanamaker Import sticker on the back of one. Light blue background and silver printed lettering, not the trademark signature. I was just wondering what year it may from. If there is an email I could send a picture to, that would be great.

  74. My girlfriend and I were waitresses at the Dairy on Saturdays during mid 60's. We were 15. Wanamaker's Phila was always a part of my life. Even when I was out of school and working intown, I'd go to Wanamaker's at lunch time via the concourse tunnel from Suburban Station. It got confusing though. Sometimes I'd end up right at the basement entrance and other times I took the wrong tunnel and ended up on the other side of the subway tracks from the entrance. Every few years I still enjoy going in for the Christmas light show. Another must see were the windows particularly at Christmas. They were the best. Sure miss Wanamaker's.

  75. We have a grandfathers clock in the family since 1944 that has a label inside that lists Wanamaker's as Phila, New York and Paris

  76. I am not certain, but the reference to Paris is likely in regard to Wanamaker's buying office there, not any large retail presence like in New York or Philadelphia. Marshall FIeld & Company had buying offices in London and other European capitals, and The T. Eaton Co., had, from 1896, offices in London, Paris, Manchester, Zürich, and other far-flung places such as Yokohama and Kobe, Japan.
    - Bruce

  77. I have a clothes hanger that is marked Wanamaker & Brown is this the original name of the store?

  78. Here's an article I did about the Wanamaker building back in December:

    Great site! Keep it up!

  79. Also there is something I was wanting to ask: has anyone on here shopped at B.F Deewees on Chestnut Street? I'm hoping to put together a similar article for that retailer.

    I've been inside of the (now abandoned soon to be demolished) building and I came across several art deco interiors that are remarkably intact (though in various states of decay). I even found the pneumatic tube system still in place!

    I was wondering if anyone here has any personal experiences there? What did it look like inside, and what was sold on each floor? Any info would be extremely helpful!

  80. Does anyone know the recipe for there tea sandwiches. Thank you

  81. Peggy,
    I worked at the Dairy. The tea sandwiches were called ''Windsor Tea Sandwiches''. In 1980, you could get a platter of 3 with a cup of soup and crackers, a soda or cup of coffee and a scoop of ice cream for 2.95. The same lady made the sandwiches in the Dairy for many years. She cut the crusts off of a loaf of white bread, spread one layer of ham salad or spread, layer of bread, watercress filling, bread, chicken salad or sprad, bread and cut the loaf down to many little triangle tea sandwiches. She did the same with wheat bread and did two layers of egg salad with watercress in the middle layer. They sent the tea sandwiches up to the Crystal Room where they raised the price for the ambiance.

    I remember a man made the bisque ice cream for Wanamaker's. He died in 1980 and took the recipe with him. They had to use Jane Logan bisque ice cream.

  82. I worked at the Jenkintown Wanamaker's in the mid-70's while in college. It was a great place to work! We got a 20% discount, even on sale items, and the employee lunchroom featured the same food as the restaurant, for half the price. Those lunches set the standard for chicken salad for me! The scheduler always made sure to give the high school and college kids at least one weekend night off, so our social lives wouldn't suffer. The management wanted me to go into their management training program, which would have meant changing colleges for me. I will always wonder where that path might have led, had I taken it. I believe that the Jenkintown store was their most profitable satellite store at the time, second only to Wanamaker's downtown store.

  83. Hi, I would ride "Uptown" thats what we called it in the 60s and 70s not center city.. on the C bus from south philly with my mom. The JW store was great and the people who worked there really took pride in their work.
    I'll always recall the crystal tea room, the wanafrost, toyland, and funny as it may seem but the furniture department.. as a kid I loved the different rooms they had set up with furniture (leaps and bounds ahead of any other retailer)
    I eventually got a job as Santa's helper in the late 70's and moved into the stock departments on 10th 11th and 12th floors.
    For a short period I also ran the freight elevator on the 13th st side.
    Eventually I got a job in the Data Processing (Called Information tech today) department on 10 working the 8pm to 830am SHIFT 3 nughts a week. My whole JW experences from shopping with my mom and all my jobs there enabled me to meet and become friends with wonderful people and learn a great work ethic.

  84. I have a wanamaker store souvenir coin dated 1908 august 3rd. on one side is a lion with the words " At the sign of leadership" Can anybody throw some light on this?

  85. does anyone know the artist who painted the portrait of John Wanamaker that was hung in the Philadelphia store. I just found out that a great grandfather may have been the artist, but I am not sure. reply to this question please.

  86. Whatever happened to the Eagle--I would always meet friends at the Eagle and then eat upstairs.

  87. The Eagle is still at the Macy's Center City store, in the same spot that it always been in since the current building was built between 1904 to 1911.

  88. Armand Schmitt was either manager or owner of Crystal Tea Room concession for some period prior to 1953. Anyone have any information?

    Wonderful stories being shared here.

  89. Hi there
    I posted once before, still on the look for an old store sign that I can purchase.

  90. I shopped at Dewees for many years. Got my best date dresses there in the early 60's. Also bought a lot at The Blum Store. Now I am trying to remember which was which. Was the Blum Store on the S.W. corner of Chestnut opposite J. E. Caldwell? That was a gem of a building. Was DeWees mid block between 12 & 13th? Then there was The Sally Shop on that block for many years. I am sure if I saw the inside of the store I would remember a lot of it.

    But Wanamaker's was the anchor. Always stayed in town on Wednesday night because they were open late. They had a wonderful millenary department and a high-end women's department on the 3rd floor, I think. And the wonderful shoemaker on the mezzanine, along with the travel agency.
    Where has all the good stuff gone.

  91. I always loved the bear on the swing in the Augustine Cut Off store. After playing with the bear I'd always beg my mother to go in the little lunchroom behind it to get a coke out of the vending machine and sit in the little room.
    I also remember the Christmas light and water show at the back by the big stairway. If you went down the stairs , there was a counter that sold monogrammed jewelry.

  92. Wanamaker's Oxford Valley was my first job. I remember at 16 year old being AMAZED by the insanely large 'Singer' cash registers. At 16, I had no idea of the significance of John Wanamaker. Today... The good memories from reading this site and the section are incredible. Thank you so much BAK for making this possible. Please, PLEASE keep up the good works of this site

  93. As some of you may be aware, Washington's Woodward & Lothrop Department store purchased the Wanamaker stores and several years later both went out of business. The Wanamaker and "Woodies" stores were the Grand Dames of their eras and I still miss the Woodies stores that I shopped in when a very young woman for myself, my daughter and for others. I attended the Woodies going out of business sales and at the end, the salvage sales. It was these latter sales that I was able to get behind the scenes and see architecture of the grand staircase and old elevators hidden behind false walls. I was able to make several purchases of what was leftover after the last of all the final, final, final sales were held. One item that I cherish is the small red with rattan seat that was used to photograph small children in the great photographer department in Woodies downtown store. I also have the four-page menu from Woodies Terrance Restaurant and one from the Terrace Fountain. Some of you may remember Ginger Silvers who was the culinary arcade director at Woodies & Wanamaker's. I have an unused copy of her book titled "The Culinary Arcade Cookbook," published in 1994 by Woodward & Lothrop. I've enjoyed reading many of the other posts here and will return occasionally to view more.

  94. When Woodward and Lothrop bought Wanamaker's, they added the character Rudi Bear to the Christmas lights show. For I think 1985 and 1986 if you spent 60.00 or more at Christmastime, you could get a free stuffed Ridi Bear. He was a polar bear with a red hat and red and green sweater. Woodward and Lothrop took out the Crystal Room , the basement and some of the floors, like the toy dept. Macy's version of the store is only 3 stories of store. The rest is a rented out office building.

    Macy's put a sign by the Eagle, explaining it to passersby.

  95. In 1904, the John Wanamaker Department Store in Philadelphia sold an automobile called the Searchmont. Upon the bankruptcy of the Searchmont Motor Company, Wanamaker purchased the the entire lot of unsold cars at $750 apiece, put $1200 price tags on them (a good fifty percent saving over the original price) and sold them easily. You can see one of two Searchmonts known to exist at the Seal Cove Auto Museum on Mount Desert Island in Maine.

  96. The Crystal Tearoom still exists as a banquet facility. I've been fortunate to attend a luncheon there each November for the last few years. The interior seems intact - still that gorgeous paneling, chandeliers, etc. The elevator doors are still there but are non-functional. Servers wear black & white and until this year, still served wearing white gloves.


  98. That would have been Wm. H Wanamaker, a men's store in Philadelphia withh the same last name. I do believe it was founded by John Wanamaker's brother.
    - Bruce

  99. I purchased 2 very vintage print frames they both have the John Wanamaker tag on them. Both state Fine Art Picture and Framing - order number is 96516. Is there a catalog to determine when these frames were ordered or any other information. The tag on the upper left states 3351 (11 - 52) does that stands for November 1952? I am trying to date or approximate the date of the print. Any help is appreciated. I have seen on google other John Wanamaker tags and they have the same feature but those state Philadelphia, Paris and New York. THanks for your time

  100. I noticed the name for the womens designer departments was Tribout. Does this have any special meaning?

  101. Yes. I believe that when the high-quality women's shop was opened at Wanamaker's, a whole store interior was brought over from Paris and installed in the Philadelphia store. The shop's name was "Tribout" and it remained a top destination for Fashion in the City of Brotherly Love. Refer to Michael Lisicky's excellent book for more information.

  102. I have a set of 12. 24K gold encrusted Heinrich &CO Selb Bavaria Charger dinner plates stamped " made exclusively for John Wanamaker" excellent condition. I personally didnt even know of this store and have no memories that would make me want to hang on to them. I am not sure even of there value. If someone has any knowledge on them,or is interested in buying them you could email me at loriray50@gmail .com or text me at 5309173564 Thank you

  103. I enjoy displaying my beautiful green Menagerie Menu. It is a children's menu. On the inside left side of the menu is a sweet little story about a boy named Timothy John. The little boy ate and grew! On the inside right is Tim's Luncheon which is 50 cents and an A la carte menu ranging from 15 cents to 20 cents! Oh how you have to love these prices!

  104. Hello, I just acquired what appears to be a vintage wooden lap game board (checkers and backgammon) on one side, and the other a fabric measuring board ( printer ruler to 30"). Overall dimensions 30" by 19". There appears to be a circular cutout so the board can fit close to your body. Can anyone provide additional information and value, on this treasure? April 5, 2015

  105. I worked at the Jenkintown store in house keeping in the mid 70s. Have tried to find a listing of personnel that worked there but no luck on line. Any help would be great if you worked there or know of an employee listing. denlin14 (at)

  106. Loved That Store!! I was a child in the 1950's and 60's and every Holiday Season my mother would take my 2 sisters and I, and sometimes a friend or two, to see the Holidays Displays and then have lunch in The Crystal Tea Room. It was Magical. I miss it so!! I reminisce about it every Christmas Season and I am now 65 years old. Loved the elevator rides with the Operator pushing the buttons!! Thanks for the memories Mr. Wanamaker!!!

  107. I have a hammered aluminum ice bucket that says on the bottom Made Expressly for John Wanamaker. Can anyone tell me anything about it?

  108. My mom worked at Wanamaker's downtown from the late 40's to about 1955 in the offices. She would always take me shopping there the day after Thanksgiving. We would get on the El at 69th Street to go there. Loved the Christmas display and music in the Court, the decorative water fountains with the perfumed water. We would have lunch in The Dairy, a cup of vegetable soup and the plate of tea sandwiches with the crusts cut off. Santa Claus was in a huge room and there was a long pathway to walk to get to sit on his lap. I have photo of me on Santa's lap when I was three. Also, grew up in Wynnewood and went shopping in the Wynnewood store with mom all the time. Wonderful memories of a time that will never happen again.

  109. My Sweet elderly Cousin just presented me with a LOT of Annalee 'dolls' that she bought MANY years ago when she worked at Wanamaker's in Philly. Her memories of working there, and buying these 'dolls' to have in her life, is a very endearing story. I'm glad to have found this website to hear the other stories of the love that people had for the Wanamaker's 'family'. If anyone would like to share about these 'dolls' please feel free to contact me at :

  110. I worked in the Center City store in the late 60's-early 70's. I worked in several departments, all over the store and I loved it. It was also fun knowing about and frequenting "behind the scenes" areas of the store. I started out as a "flyer" (as I remember it being called) - this was a salesperson who went to whatever department needed help that day, whether because another salesperson called out sick or the department just needed extra help. Sometimes I was in a department for a day or 2, sometimes for a week or month or 2, sometimes for a season (e.g. Christmas or Easter). I especially loved working on the main floor during the Christmas season - never got tired of hearing the organ play for show after show. One season, I worked on one of the upper non-selling floors taking and responding to Christmas card orders. Finally, I got hired to work in the Bill Adjustment Department on the 9th (non-selling) floor - I loved being able to fix credit accounts errors that were really complex - It was fun and I felt like a detective - for example, one time I had to go to the upholstery department to track down an order in order to remedy a mistake on the account. And I loved working with my co-workers (Naming just one: Delores, are you around?) - also very fond of the 50-60 year old red-headed woman who trained me - she was the smartest! - should have been an executive. One more story: Myself and a couple other girls discovered that newly hired boys (who we, the girls, were training) were getting paid more than us. We hesitatingly brought it to the attention of our superiors (one of whom was a woman! Don't remember your name, but thank you!) and we received a raise and back-pay adjusted to the amount the boys were making. Many more stories to tell about working and shopping at Wanamaker's...