The May Co., Cleveland, Ohio




The May Co.'s massive terra-cotta faced structure on
Cleveland's Public Square at the head of famous
Euclid Avenue

An aerial view, taken prior to 1931, when the main store
building was raised from 6 to 8 stories, shows the large,
T-shaped complex with storefronts on Euclid Avenue,
Ontario Street, and Prospect Avenue to the rear.
A contemporary view shows the taller terra-cotta front
on Public Square, and the 1964 Parkade on the
corner of Ontario Street and Prospect Avenue.

A part of the store, faced in red brick
fronted on Ontario Street.
The cool, ordered, yet very elegant main floor
of the May Co. in Cleveland.

In 1964, The May Co. added a large "Parkade" to the
store complex; a complete auto center was located
on the ground floor and the garage provided access
directly into the store's various levels.


"Ohio's Largest Store"

The May Co. (1898)
158 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio


CHerry 1-3000




Basement

Malt Shop  May's Budget Store

First Floor
Gloves • Scarves • Handbags • Hosiery • Fashion Jewelry • Gold Standard • Fine Jewelry • Accessories • Slippers •  Fragrances • Cosmetics • Notions • Blouses • Sweaters • Top Shop • Young Image • Boulevard Shoes • Career Shoes • Men’s Accessories • Men’s Furnishings • Men’s Sportswear • Men’s Fragrance Bar • A.C.E. • Luggage • Cameras

Prospect Level
Gourmet • Candy • Hough Bakeries • Eat ’n’ Run • Stationery

Second Floor
Beauty Salon • Sleepwear • Foundations • Undershapers • Daywear • Leisurewear • Robes • Junior Intimates • Men’s Slacks • Men’s Outerwear •  Men’s Clothing • Men’s Shoes • Quad Shop • Mike’s Place • Quad Outerwear
Children’s World Girls’ Accessories • Girls’ 3-6X • Girls’ 7-14 • Girls’ Sleepwear • Boy’s Shop • Cuddle Shop • Toddlers • Infants • Infants’ Furniture • Children’s Shoes

Third Floor
Young Ohioan Sportswear • Young Ohioan Dresses • Young Ohioan Shoes • Young Ohioan Coats • Misses Dresses • Social Occasion • Misses Moderate Separates • Misses Sportswear • Misses Coats • Career Dresses • Pavilion Dresses • Women’s Sportswear • Women’s Coats • Women’s Dresses • Town and Country • Home and Town • Forecast Shop • Collections • Coat Salon • The Ginger Snap • Contempo • Contempo Coats • Fur Salon • Shoe Salon • Contempo Shoes • Stagelight Makeup Center • Auditorium

Fourth Floor
Towels • Bath Shop • Domestics • Bedspreads • Draperies • Custom Fabrics • Fabrics • Art Needlework • Singer Sewing Center • Tabletop Shop • Cookie Corner • Trim-a-Home Shop • Music Center • Entertainment Center

Fifth Floor
Entertainment Center • Books • Hoffritz Cutlery • Fine Glassware • China • Silverware • Gift Isle • Housewares • Small Appliances • Cook’s Pantry • Environments • Affordable Furniture • 3 Crowns Dining Room • Pub • Health & Beauty Aids

Sixth Floor
Furniture • Sleep Shop • Recliners • Sleep Sofas • Oriental Rug Gallery • Rugs • Carpeting • Religious Articles


Seventh Floor
Entertainment Center • TVs • Stereos • Business Machines • Major Appliances • Dinettes • Sporting Goods • Toys • Garden Shop • Hardware • Customer Service

(1,121,000 sq. ft.)







Mays On-the-Heights
University Heights
November, 1957
346,000 sq. ft.
The Mayfair Room

Southgate (Taylor’s 1958)
Maple Heights
April, 1967
204,000 sq. ft. 
The Tree-Top Room
Jiffy Bird Snack Bar

Parmatown
Parma
August, 1960
305,000 sq. ft. 
The Mayfair Room

Great Lakes Mall
Mentor
April, 1964
187,000 sq. ft.
The Mayfair Room

Great Northern
North Olmsted
September, 1965
211,000 sq. ft.
The Mayfair Room

Sheffield (O'Neil's 1954)
Elyria, Ohio
April, 1967
157,000 s.f.

Randall Park Mall
Randall Heights
August, 1976
177,000 sq. ft.
The Thistle Grill

Euclid Square
Euclid
August, 1977
177,000 sq. ft.
Three Crowns Restaurant and Coffee Shop

Coming in due course.



49 comments:

  1. The 70s-era "Big M" logo you have between the downtown store address, is that from the Los Angeles May Co. division. The Cleveland May Co. had two versions of the "Big M" logo.

    BTW, the forerunner to the Cleveland May Co. was called E. R. Hull & Dutton Co., acquired and renamed in 1898.

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  2. the telephone number for the May Company Cleveland was originally CHerry 1-3000 which it had well into the early 1970's. There also was a May Company store in Sheffield Lake, Ohio that was a former O'Neil's store (opened in 1953 under the May umbrella) and was changed to the May Company nameplate in 1967. I have some original match book covers from the May Company restaurants from the early-mid 1960's that list each store and have the May Company logo that you have on the top of the page which adorned most of the Cleveland area stores.

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  3. Does anyone remember the old May Company Cleveland jingle??

    "Take a look at the May Company...Do a double take."

    I heard it the other day when they were playing vintage store commercials on the radio here in Cleveland. I think they said it was from 1966.

    The May Company downtown was such a great store....I still get sad everytime I see it and miss those famous chocolate malts in the basement or the Three Crowns Restaurant on the 5th floor..... I still have my mom's old Gray May Company charge card that says...Eagle Stamps are added savings. The card even has our old home address on it.... What great memories....

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  4. Who sells the original chocolate malts.....
    I heard a few years ago that there was a place
    around the Cleveland area that had the resicpe.

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  5. Please look at the Strouss-Hirschberg exhibit and the comments after it. I would assume they were the same malts, because both were part of the May Company.

    BAK

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  6. Did may co on the heights have an auditorium?

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    Replies
    1. There was a room in the basement of the Heights store that served as an auditorium.

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  7. What was the name of the restaurant in the basement of May Co. on the heights? I think it was cafeteria style. I remember going there with my mom when I was little.

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    Replies
    1. It was simply referred to as the snack bar.

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  8. Do you have any information on Antonio D'Angelo? He owned a small shoe store on Cleveland's Public Square and later went on to work for the May Company for over 50 years in the shoe department. I found his picture in the October 19, 1939 issue of the Cleveland PD as one of the May Company employees celebrating 50 years of employment. I have that picture if you'd like to include it on your site. I am very interested in additional information about Antonio, his work at May Company, and especially any pictures of the shoe store he owned on Public Square. Thanks!

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  9. I recentley purchased a fur at a consignment store in Louisville. It's lining had the Shillito's Fur Salon on it. It's a beauitful coat, knee length, black leather belt, black/white mink fur with black leather intracut designs. Curious to know what its worth, how long you've been closed, etc ? My friends seem to think it's a 3-4 thousand dollar coat! I LOVE IT! I'm not from your area so never had the pleasure of shopping at your dept store.

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  10. ahh yes... I can't tell you what inspired me to come to this sight, but the memories that come flooding in as I see someone else mentioning Stamp Books, Chocolate Malts, and softwarm pretzels

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  11. Hi, anyone knows of the old christmas jester dolls used as promotion and sold at the Cleveland location during christmas, I believe in the 1980's? Thanks.

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  12. David Foley, Cleveland Ohio15 June, 2012 19:35

    I remember the May Company at Randall Park Mall had a small restaurant on the first floor by the Toy Department and the Candy Counter. It had a counter and about a dozen tables. All the restaurants at Randall Park Mall had restaurants when the mall opened (most notably the Josephine's--a large Brown Derby--on the third floor of the Joseph Horne Co. department store) but most of them closed within a few years of the mall's opening.

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  13. I have a print in a frame that has a sticker on the back that says the "May Co. 6th Floor, Picture & Mirror Dept." I would like to know if May Co. sold art or just did framing or both. The print is dated 1929, I'm trying to discover if this print was purchased at the store or just framed there. Thanks for any help.

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  14. For those looking for May Company malts, you should check out Honey Hut Ice Cream. They have several locations in Cleveland and use the exact May Co recipe.

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  15. I have merchandise coupons face value of .50 from May Co that seem to be of the 1970's. They could be older as my Aunt was a long time employee of the downtown location in the late 50's-70's. Does anyone know if these are of value?

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  16. i'm looking for carol o'niel who used to work at may company at may's on the heights. She was a beautiful black woman with most gorgeous smile and short hair cut. I live in Fl now and have been searching for years. please help.
    jvons42@yahoo.com

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  17. Getting a Frosty Malted at May's was an essential part of Christmas shopping in downtown Cleveland. The counter was on the basement level between the escalators and the malts were served in real glasses. I think it was the only thing they served there. They took forever to eat because they were so thick they stuck in the glass and you had to wait for them to thaw, and then it would slide out and hit you in the face. Wonderful stuff! And then we always had to stop at the Nuthouse on the corner of Ontario Ave. and buy warm peanuts to eat on the ride home on the Rapid Transit. The perfect end to a perfect day!

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  18. In the mid sixties, my husband worked at May's on the Heights while he was still in college. He worked in the ski dept. and had to wear apres ski (after ski) clothes consisting of stretchy stirrup pants, a sweater, and short boots that zipped up the front. He got to keep them when that department closed up in the spring. He then worked in the ladies' shoe dept. but didn't like it because many women insisted on buying shoes that were too small and he had to help shoe horn their feet into them, an impossible task.

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  19. The malts are also sold at Spudnuts shop in Berea.

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  20. I have an 8" x 10" sepia colored photograph of what appears to be a WWII corporal. He's wearing a service hat, shirt and tie and his jacket may be that worn by the army air corp. It has his name on the pocket of the jacket, but I can't make it out. There are two stripes on his sleeve that are upside down V's. Under the two stripes is the letter T. The reason for my comments is that on the reverse of the photo it says "For your convenience the negative of this photograph will be kept on file". Then the ink starts fading away, but then it says "If used for publication please give credit line to MAY COMPANY, CLEVELAND, OHIO". So apparently, the downtown Cleveland store had a photography gallery at some point in the 1940's.

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  21. I recently purchase a men's robe that is very elegant the tag reads MAYco. Clevland Ohio can someone tell me what era it could be from. Any help will be greatly appreated. Thank you

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  22. I worked at May Company as a candy maker from 1971 to 1972. I earned $2.50/hour, aobut half of what a person needed to live a modest life at the time. We made candy for all the stores, each had its own candy counter.

    I remember that on the day after Christmas we started making Easter candy, and the day after Easter, Mother's Day candy. It was a huge and profitable operation with about 20 or 30 employees. Our dept had a full time buyer and assistant buyer. We sent out large shipping containers every day to the other stores. I made a friend there, Jim H., who I am still in touch with.

    My wife, then my girlfriend, also worked in DT Cleveland. We would drive to work together and park in the May Co. parking garage for $2.00/day. We often got together for lunch, and many times I gave her fresh roasted nuts, or fresh candy to take back to her office at the Ohio Bell Telephone Company. Those were good times. Great times. DT Cleveland was alive and well, we were young, and the future was at our feet. We didn't know it then but Cleveland was near the end of her days. Much of DT is still empty and suffering from neglect. There have been valiant attempts to revive her, but it has been done mostly with govt money, and that is rarely productive. One day she will likely rise again. It won't be the same, nothing ever is. But she will become dear to those who grow with her, as she was to me.

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  23. I don't know about 1929 but in the mid 1970's I was the lamp and picture buyer and the department was on the 6th floor. I left May Co in 1978 to go to The Broadway Dept Stores in Los Angeles. I loved the May Co downtown store. My apartment was in Shaker Heights on the trolly line which I took into work every day.

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  24. In 1914 my grandmother Only 15 at the time would take the streetcar every week from Chardon OHIO (20 miles away) and her and her sister worked at May Company. They would get room and board during the week and then return to Chardon for the weekend and then go back on Monday morning via the streetcar.

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  25. Your listing of the Southgate store opening in April, 1967 is incorrect. It opened as a Taylor's in 1958 which was under the May Company umbrella. In December, 1961, May Company closed Taylor's Downtown location and the Southgate Store was converted to a May Company branch store (Store # 4). I worked for May Company from 1959 until the Downtown Store Closed in 1993 and I retired. Store 1-Downtown Cleveland, Store 2-Cedar Center (later known as May's on the Heights) Store 3-Parmatown, Store 4-Southgate, Store 5-Great Lakes Mall, Store 6-Great Northern, Store 7-Sheffield (Later Midway Mall), Store 8-Randall Park Mall, Store 9-Euclid Square Mall, Store 10-Sandusky Mall.

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  26. I have a bike bought from the may company....do you think it worth anything....it is very old

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  27. Peppermint Patties were purchased in the 60's at May Co. and were delicious - They were sold in a long box for a pound - they were a thick patty and about the size of a silver dollar. Does anyone know if they are still made and if so where available

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  28. The Parkade was built on the site of The Bailey Company which was Cleveland's low end department store and moved to a location on Prospect near 4th which had been a furniture store. May was more of a middle brow store, but was famous for its basement store which, like even the fancier Higbee one, sold seconds and closeouts from other stores, as well as markdowns from the main selling floors and regular, cheaper brand items. It had a small kiosk (as did Higbee's basement) that sold Frosties, which I think are the milkshakes people are talking about. May's gave Eagle Stamps for decades--almost everyone saved them or at least passed them on to a friend or relative who did. They were cashed in for merchandise tickets and the 50 cent tickets mentioned above are probably those.

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  29. Worked at may co.in the late 70's and 80's in the fashion office. YES cleveland was not only on the map for fashion .Many fashion designers came to cleveland and beautiful shows were produced here.So happy and fortunate to have been apart of that time.☺

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  30. My name is Dave Griffin and I served in the Navy with a Robert Adelson during 1962-63. His dad was V.P. of May Co, in Akron. Does anyone have any info on Robert (Bob) Adelson or his family. dgrif5555@yahoo.com

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  31. My Father worked at the May Co in 1943 when he went into the Army Air Corps. He said they had a plaque with the names of the employees that went into the service in WW2. Does anyone know anything about this plaque? Thanks!

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  32. Does anyone have any idea where to find the chocolate eggs (filled with the yellow, pink, or white cream)that the May Co sold? Was the recipe sold to another candy company or is it lost forever?

    Thanks!

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  33. I have an armoire and a dresser that came from downtown Cleveland Higbee's that my 65 year old aunt gave me. I want to sell but don't know how much their worth.

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  34. I was surprised to read the post from the man who worked as a candy maker. I assumed May's candy came from candy companies. Does anyone remember the lemon drops? Hard yellow candy shell with real sour white power inside. Anyone know if they are available somewhere?

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  35. does any one have the recipe for the signature salad dressing made with anchovies

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  36. The individual who posted on 10-31-2014 about the locations is CORRECT. May Company Cleveland did in fact close the Taylor's locations in December 1961. Taylor's downtown on the East 6th and Euclid closed and the Southgate location that opened in 1958 was re-branded with the May Company moniker in the Spring of 1962 not 1967. I worked for The May Company Cleveland as a Merchandise Buyer from 1957 until 1989 when I retired. Our offices were located at 158 Euclid Avenue which was the Downtown location on the 8th Floor. Shopping areas prior to 1984 encompassed all 7 Floors and then floors 5 and above along with the Ontario Side Building were leased out to Society National Bank whose headquarters were located on Public Square for an operations building where there computer systems and check clearing was done. Retail May Company operations were still on floors 1 thru 3 along with the Basement. Credit Customer service was relocated to the Parmatown Store on the 3rd floor because Parmatown had the largest square footage outside of the Heights Store but some of the Heights Store's square footage was calculated in the adjoining 4 story red brick furniture warehouse that hadn't been fully utilized. May Company maintained a large warehouse on East 41st and Payne Avenue which was sometimes opened to the public for special warehouse shopping events and later used as a clearance center.

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  37. Does anyone remember going to the May Company daycare at the downtown store while Mom shopped? There was a carousel, a play area, a sandbox... and a clown that walked his dog on a giant rope (like... a foot across giant rope). If you have photos... it would be great to see them somewhere... maybe post them on YouTube and provide the link?

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  38. Spudnuts in Berea (donut shop) sells the malts. Located on the corner of Prospect Road and Sprague Road. 650 Prospect Road, Berea, Ohio 44017

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  39. Back in 1972, when my parents divorced, one of my mother's best friends was married to a May Co. executive. We needed furniture, but we couldn't afford the a great deal. So the friend's husband met us at the May's on the Heights location - which was a monstrously large store. Attached to Mays on the Heights was a nine story distribution warehouse tower, which had as much floor space as the retail building. The tower was built to act as Cleveland distribution center for furniture sales, however the company never really used it for that, and many functions were still based out of scattered warehouses. One of the things that they did use a very small part of it for was receiving furniture that was refused deliver and returns by customers. Mom got one heck of a deal on a sofa and car for our den. We were told that one of the uses being considered for the building was a type of upscale multi-level boutique enclosed shopping pavilion, but the retrofit was too expensive.

    But as I said, that May's on the Heights building, with its sub floors and unused floors was gargantuan. The main May Co. Store was said to several hundred thousand square feet. The store in University Heights was, along with the square footage in the warehouse tower, bigger than downtown.

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  40. Anyone remember my Grandfather Arthur B. Begam?? He was the store manager downtown.Would love to hear any stories about Him!!! Thank You. Jim B.

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    Replies
    1. Jim, I remember your grandfather (and your grandmother, Martha). My grandfather was also a May Company executive, and our families were friends socially. Even though I was only a boy when he died, I know that everyone loved and respected Art Begam.

      I am new to this site and don't know how much security or privacy it provides. I therefore hesitate to add more here. Perhaps we can figure out how to communicate privately. Jim L.

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    2. Jim, I remember your grandfather (and your grandmother,Martha). My grandfather was also a May Company executive, and our families knew each other well. Although I was only a boy when Art Begam died, I well know how loved and respected he was.

      I am new to this site and therefore don't fully understand how much privacy it affords. Perhaps there is a way to be in touch otherwise.

      Delete
  41. My husband managed The Thistle Grill Restaurant at North Randal May Company and also the restaurant at Southgate. In 1981, he became manager of the new Farleys on Five at the Downtown May company. In 1991, he and I leased Farleys from the May Company and ran it until they decided to close the downtown Cleveland May Company.

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    Replies
    1. Would love to obtain the chicken salad recipe served in their downtown restaurant in the 1980s. Theirs was delicious..never had better.

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    2. Would love to obtain their Chicken salad recipe. They made a delicious chicken salad sandwich in a pita pocket. Never had tastier sandwich that was served in downtown restaurant in 1980s.

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  42. The May Company had very nice restaurants, as I recall from some shopping trips to Cleveland. You and your husband must have both done an exceptional job.
    -Bruce

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  43. Interesting. My family lives in L.A. and we have a Piano that was bought by The May Co in 1942 and was sent from the Chickering & Sons Pianos factory, we have a document sent to us from the Smithsonian Institute in Washington and it says that the Piano was sent on July 14, 1942. Does anyone know where I can look up data for items sold by The May Co in that year? My email is greenlightrgroup.es@gmail.com thank you very much.

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