Wieboldt's, Chicago, Illinois

Wieboldt's State Street Store, acquired from
Mandel Bros. in 1961.  The portion facing

State Street was built in 1911.

Wieboldt's Wabash Avenue building was older,
 having been erected in 1905 as an addition to
Mandel Brothers ancient quarters on State Street.

In the 1970s, Wieboldt's modified the ground
floor of the building with fieldstone,
coach lamps, and weathered-copper
canopies in the style of many suburban stores.

The east side of State Street from Randolph to
Madison, with (left to right) the long-gone
Columbus Memorial Building, Chas. A. Stevens,
and Wieboldt's.

Wieboldt's - Where you buy with confidence

W. A. Wieboldt Co. (Wieboldt’s)
1 North State Street
Chicago, Illinois 60601

STate 2-1500

Basement Floor
Wieboldt's Budget Store

First Floor
State Cosmetics • Suburbia Shop • Suburbia Blouses & Tops • Costume Jewelry • Gloves • Handbags • Hosiery • Rainwear • Fashion Accessories • Notions • Fine Jewelry
Wabash Men’s Furnishings • Men’s Sportswear • Optical Shop

Second Floor
State Luggage • Girls Wear • Infants Wear • Toddler Shop • Nursery Furniture • Girls Accessories • Tot’s Wear • Stationery • Calculators • Candy • Books
Wabash Men’s Suits • Men’s Slacks • Men’s Sportswear • Men’s Outerwear • Men’s Shoes • Men’s Hats • Boys Wear

Third Floor
State Lingerie • Robes • Sleepwear • Loungewear • Bedding • Towels and Linens
Wabash Bras and Girdles • Dr. Scholl Shoes • Fashion Fabrics • Art Needlework • Travel Service

Fourth Floor
State The Crystal Room • Misses PM Dresses • Misses Dresses • Misses Blouses and Tops • Misses Sportswear • Town and Country Shop • Coats • Fashion Coats • Maternity Shop • Junior Sportswear • Junior Dresses • Young Juniors • Junior PM Dresses • Junior Contempo Dresses • Junior Coasts
Wabash Contempo Dresses • Contempo Sportswear

Fifth Floor
State Fashion Shoes • Wiggery • Junior Shoes • Bazaar • Hats
Wabash Women’s Shoes • Casual Shoes • Music Center

Sixth Floor
State Draperies • Rugs and Carpeting • Lamps • Lighting Center • TVs • Stereos
Wabash Sporting Goods • Summer Furniture • Books • Health & Beauty Aids • Records

Seventh Floor
State Gifts • Glassware • Silverware • China • Trim-a-Tree
Wabash Housewares • Hardware • Major Appliances

Eighth Floor
State Furniture
Wabash Sleep Shop • Furniture

Ninth Floor
State Toys • S&H Geen Stamp Redemption Center
Wabash The Travertine Room • Wabash Grill • Beauty Salon

Tenth Floor
State Wieboldt Center
(881,000 sq. ft.)

Milwaukee and Paulina
322,000 sq. ft.
Lincoln & Belmont, Chicago
280,000 sq. ft.  

West Adams St, Ashland to Ogden
301,000 sq. ft.

63rd and Green
280,000 sq. ft.

Oak Park
Lake & Harlem
River Forest
288,000 sq. ft;
Forest Room

1929/February, 1959
Church and Oak Sts.

Harlem-Irving Plaza
May, 1957
174,000 sq. ft.

150,000 sq. ft.

Lincoln Village
4041 Milwaukee Avenue, Lincolnwood
38,000 sq. ft.

Mount Prospect
198,000 sq. ft.

Ford City
76th and Cicero
219,000 sq. ft.
Prairie Room-Lincoln Room
The Terrace Snack Bar  

August, 1968
203,000 sq. ft.

Lakehurst Mall
August, 1971
192,000 sq. ft.

Lincoln Mall
175,000 sq. ft.
Jefferson Square
August, 1974
145,000 sq. ft.

Coming in due course.


  1. On the either the 8th or 9th floor, was a major S&H Green Stamps redemption center. It was acutally 1960 when Wieboldt's acquired Mandel Bros. on State Street and Lincoln Village. Harlem-Irving opened in 1957, Meadowdale in 1959, and Jefferson Square in 1974. Plus two more in 1981, Stratford Square in Bloomingdale, and Orland Court (later Orland Park Place) in Orland Park. Well done and keep up the dept. store history!

  2. The S&H Green Stamps Redemption Center was on the 9th floor. According to their ad, it was the largest in the world at the time!

  3. My mother, Virginia Cleek, was the credit manager on the 5th Floor Credit office for years and years, until the store closed (State Street). My siblings and I have wonderful memories of meeting her for lunch in the Travertine Room and shopping the store while she went back to work. Christmas Holidays were the best!

  4. I worked at the Wieboldts Store at 1 N. State Street in Chicago back in 1983-1984. It was a great experience, my first job that I got on my own without my dad's assistance! I was happy to be part of the last of the Glory Days of State Street! I started in the bargain basement where pants were 1.97 a pair, and then moved up to the Wabash Ave side in the men's department selling Lee, Levi's and Dungaree pants. Christmas was still magical back then and most stores didn't unveil their windows until the day after Thanksgiving! -That's a long lost tradition! We had a decent toy department, although it was waning from the heydays of the 30's through the 60's. People's tastes changed....the candy department in the middle of the second floor was still decent, and they did have great prices! Alas, all good things come to a bungled end....how come this store could survive the depression, but not the stupid 1980's? Bad Management should have been fired and the store could have survived!
    James M.

  5. I remember the store at Lincoln-Belmont-Ashland. On the day after Thanksgiving we would stand on the corner of Lincoln-Marshfield and School Street to watch the Lakeview Christmas Parade. We would marvel at the mechanical display window on that corner. Then, after the parade, it was downstairs to see Santa Claus in the toy department. If we were especially good we could get a Coke at the Snack Shop under the stairs! I miss those good old days!

  6. of all the stores that are now gone this was my absolute favorite. i bought the most beautiful clothes there when i was a young woman. and they had "lay-away"!!!

  7. I have a picture of my mother cutting the grand opening ribbon of the Harlem and Irving store when she was about 7 y.o. She was the daughter of Williams brother Elmer Wieboldt. That is about all I know. The family was not close as I remember.

  8. "how come this store could survive the depression, but not the stupid 1980's?" James, they did not have the corporate raiders back then.

    But I remember that store at Harlem Iriving Plaza (the HIP). When I was growing up my family and I went there a lot. I also remember the State Street Store. After awhile, the HIP became an indoor mall. The store is now a Carson Pirie Scott.

    Wiebold'ts went out of business when I was about 18 or 19 y/o. Around 1985 or so, Wieboldt's began selling junk merchandise that you would then find at Kmart. Then they closed all of their stores except for Yorktown, the HIP, and a couple of others. They of course said it was the big reorganization. Brand names came back and Wieboldt's assured us improvements were coming.

    But in reality they were just selling off what they had left in the warehouse. The third floor of the HIP store was vacated, except for the credit office. The DuPage sheriff seized the Yorktown store. Wieboldt's didn't make it to the 1987 Christmas season. In fact the HIP store became an outlet to sell seasonal goods. I remember a sign saying, "We are no longer Wieboldt's".

  9. Are you familiar with a candy that they made called "Rose Jellies". My mother and I thought they were such a wonderful treat! I would love to know if I can buy them somewhere or is there a recipe book in the museum? Oh please!

  10. @Anonymous from Dec. 16, Wieboldt's closed in 1987. They filed bankruptcy in Sept. 1986, a month after they closed the Lakehurst store. The following March, they closed all stores except State Street, Ford City, HIP, and Randhurst. The first two closed in either June or July, HIP in October, and Randhurst, the last one to close, in December. All three of the above suburban branches are now Carsons.

  11. I'm sure the Wieboldt's store in Evanston, Illinois was there long past 1950. We didn't move to Evanston until 1950 and I used to go there on the bus when I was a teenager!

  12. @Lynnie, the original Evanston store was called Rosenberg's, and was acquired by Wieboldt's in 1929. You can see more info on the "Jazz Age Chicago" website. They moved to the Church & Oak St. store the same year you moved to Evanston. It was remodeled in 1967 and closed in 1982.

  13. The suburban stores apparently all had supermarkets in the late 1950s (source: Billboard, 1958). Did the downtown flagship have a supermarket?

  14. I am not aware if the downtown store had a grocery in the basement; I do know that it did have a budget store on the lower level. Though I visited the store a number of times, I don't recall, nor do I have any evidence of a supermarket there. Perhaps a Chicagoan could clarify.


    1. There was a Hillman's in the basement. Used to go there with my grandmother in the 60's.

  15. Slightly off topic: Does anyone remember the name of the jewelry store at Lincoln Village in the 70's? I feel like it was someone's name, but it will not come to me! Help!

  16. we lived in Palatine in the 70's and I remember the "wonderful" cream puffs they made in their bakery at Randhurst. Does anyone have a clue how I can find the recipe?
    Carol in Harrisburg PA

  17. I never remember a grocery store at the hip wieboldts or randhurst.. wish this site had some decent photos

  18. I grew up in Berwyn and my mom used to take me shopping at Wieboldt's in River Forest. They had a Hillman's grocery store that, if I remember correctly, was the first part of the store we entered from the parking lot. It was kitty-corner from Marshall Field's on Lake and Harlem.

  19. My mother worked for Wieboldts in Randhurst, saw this site it brought back floods of memories..thanks for keeping memories alive.
    Denise Thorsen Maxwell
    now living in Ireland

  20. I'm looking for a historical photo of the Lakeview Wieboldt's Dept store. Any chance you could tell me where I could order a print or drawing of the building? Thanks!

    1. Hi! Did you find a good pic?! I have a few

  21. Hello, Sarah!

    I am sorry it took so long to respond. The illustration that I have of the Lakeview Wieboldt tore is from an old ad in The Chicago Tribune. I enhanced it for use in The Department Store Museum. You could check with the Chicago Historical Society, the Public Library, or the Chicago Postcard Museum. If you have no luck, I could print my version for you.

    Post a comment with your contact information, and I will not publish it.


  22. What exactly happened to bring down Wieboldt's? I remember it vaguely from my childhood; it seemed to just fade away and leave a lot of stores sitting empty for years.

    Somebody on another site claimed that the acquisition of the Mandel Bros. store broke them financially; is that true?

  23. What was the final location in Evanston, Illinois? Was it on Davis Street

  24. The Evanston store was at the northeast corner of Oak Street and Church Street. They had a parking lot/garage on the west side of Oak Street

  25. I don't really remember a Wiebolt's in Lincoln Village because I didn't really go there at that time, but the address you give for Lincoln Village is not correct. Lincoln Village is on Lincoln Avenue between Peterson and Devon at 6103 N Lincoln Ave in Lincolnwood. 4041 N Milwaukee Ave is in Chicago at Milwaukee, Irving Park Rd and Cicero.

  26. I grew up in Chicago and lived there from my birth in 1946 until 2008 and am most familiar with the Wieboldt's stores in downtown Chicago and in Lakeview at School Street, Ashland and Lincoln Avenues north of Belmont which was walking distance from where we lived. The Lakeview store had a grocery department including fresh produce which faced onto Lincoln Ave. at the south end of the store. I don't remember a grocery in the downtown store.

  27. @Anita, the Lincoln Village Wieboldt's was a small soft-goods only store which was originally Mandel Bros. that Wieboldt's bought in 1960 along with their State Street flagship. I've seen in their ads in the Chicago Tribune that the State Street Wieboldt's did not have a grocery department.

  28. My first job after college was at Wieboldt's State street store, as the staff assistant to the controller, in 1974 and 1975. The company was still doing well, and the State Street store was the jewel of the chain. But, it was clear to us on the inside that the company was already starting to falter competitively as an increasingly distant second to Marshall Fields. Wieboldt's was an important part of Chicago history, and the corner of State and Madison seemed like the heart and soul of Chicago.

  29. My mother was the buyer of women's dresses (worked at the State Street store) in the very early 40's.
    She loved her work, but at the time suddenly the war dept. said that if she kept working my father would have not been able to finish his medical residency in surgery and would have been drafted (not the only bread winner) into the war, so she quit and became a volunteer Red Cross helper. Of course, my father was drafted after he finished the residency, but she went back to Cleveland to live with her parents. But she often talked about her job at Wieboldts with fond memories.

  30. A friend of mine just bought a clock that was supposed to have hung outside of Weiboldts State st. Does anyone know if and when that clock was sold ? How about a picture? Thank you

  31. I know I'm in slightly the wrong place but my lateral thinking isn't at best just now and anyway someone out there might just know the answer to my question. In the 1960s (and before) (and for a while after) there was a sheet music/record store on Wabash Avenue where one could go to listen to records in booths. Anyone know the name of it? It was a famous Chicago music publisher I think.

  32. No worries . . . is the shop you are speaking of Rose Records? I used to buy classical music there when visiting Chicago; they had a good selection on an upper floor, as well as one of my favorites, Gramophone magazine from the UK.


  33. Hi Bak, I just found your website as I am preparing for a lecture I will be giving, "Mannequin Mystique," on Feb 12, 2012 at The University of Chicago. One of the images I am using is of an ad featuring W.A. Wieboldt & Co from 1923. It is actually promoting window display: "Colorlighted using X-Ray Jove Reflectors, Color-Ray Portable Window Flood LIghts & Spot Light for each Figure" dated 1923. I am excited to find your website. I have been researching the history of mannequins since 1978. I can't wait to study your website. Thanks for your contribution in this area! Marsha Bentley Hale

  34. Does anyone know the name of the candies that came in black and lavender at Wieboldt's? They were little squares, very chalky almost like Newcomers candies. I would love to find these. The black ones would really turn your tongue black.

  35. I worked at the Milwaukee ave store when I was in high school 1971--and thru college and it was a second job after college... after they closed the Milwaukee ave store I was transferred to the state street store..... That was a very fun time in my life I worked stock and on the docks and distributing the goods to the various dept's....I remember that in the beginning of each year we would have to do inventory and that was a big job to do over the weekend esp at the state street store, working thru the night.but that was a nice check for a high school/college job...also there was a grocery store in the milwaukee ave store off paulina entrance, I want to say it was named Hillmen's ??

  36. I have some genuine alligator shoes from this store that are Galliano. Anyone know how much they are worth?

  37. Like most commentors I got my first job as a stock boy at the "Downtown" store", 1 No. Sate st., in 1962, taking the "L" and getting off at the "State St. Station" located at the basement door of Weiboldt's. I started during my sophomore of H.S in the shipping and receiving department on the 13th floor under the supervision of Mr. Thomas. He was a wonderful guy and took in many youngsters giving them a positive start in the work field. I have nothing but fond memories of gaining my financial independence for $1.25 an hr. It enabled me to buy my first car and I've been making car payments ever since, thanks, Mr. Thomas. (I really mean that, thanks Mr. Thomas wherever you are)

  38. response to the question published by anonymous on Feb. 8th 2012. The name of the store was "Carl Fisher".

  39. Who was Hillmen's Grogery store own by. And what was the name of the Grocery Store in the basemant of Sears at 63rd and Halsted, could it have been Hillmen's. Wieboldt's at 63rd and Green had a Hillmen's in the basement which was only a block away from Sears, two grocery store's with the same name only a block away.

  40. Do you know of any way to find out what stores were at harlem and irving in 1984?

  41. I found a "wom pum" coin in my old bungalow. Anyone know what this is or how old it is?

  42. Hello,

    My mother recently passed away and in cleaning out her house I found a River City bowl in a Wieboldt's box. Having never heard of it, I looked it up and found this site. If anyone would like to have it, it is 9 1/2 inch square and in very nice condition. I don't know if it has any value, but before I dispose of it, I thought I would ask. If you are interested, you can reach me at lindash2317@yahoo.com.

  43. i did the wigs and blended hair pieces at ford city and harlem and irving ,1967,68.

  44. Anonymous commented above about not remembering a grocery store at the HIP Wieboldt's.

    YES, it most definitely DID have a grocery store, on the first floor, towards the north end of the building.

    Regarding Randhurst, the mall had three anchors when it opened - Carson's, Wieboldt's and Montgomery Ward's. When Wieboldt's closed, Carson's moved from their original location to the Wieboldt's store.

  45. The HIP Wiebolt's also had a section to buy Cub Scout uniforms and accessories.

  46. The Lincoln Village address is wrong. It's in Chicago and is at McCormick and Lincoln. The Office Depot that occupies the space now lists 6165 N. Lincoln as the address.

  47. the ford city store had a grocery when i worked there 1968,they would hold my groceries in the cooler until i got off work.i did the wigs and hairpieces there and at harlem and irving.

  48. I remember the Wieboldts at the HIP quite well. S&H green stamps redemption was on the 2nd floor at the north end, and you could walk thru the store, out to the south end onto a parking lot which was above all of the stores in that part of the plaza. the ramp up and down was a little scary, especially when we drove those big land barges in the 60s and 70s!

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  51. @Carnivore, when Wieboldt's closed their Randhurst store Bergner's took over the space. After Bergner's bought Carson, Pirie, Scott the Bergner's became Carson's and JCPenney moved into the former Carson's building.

  52. Wasn't the grocery store associated with Wieboldts Hellman's? Not Hillman's?

  53. My 102-year-old Mother was the transportation department secretary from 1927 to 1937. She edited their house organ "Wieboldt Window." At some point, several years ago, she gave her copies to their archives. Does anyhone know where they are now? If so, please email me at ALROMASO@sbcglobal.net and put "Wieboldt Window" in the subject line. Thank you.

  54. I thought there was a Wieboldt's at Stratford Square Mall in the late 70s or early 1980s. Wikipedia (faint ammunition) seems to back me up on this.

    1. Yes there was a Wieboldts at Stratford Square Mall in Bloomingdale. Bought a Christmas Tree their. Suddenly all the merchandise was disappearing. I knew something was wrong. They never gave me their credit card until they were gonna go out of business. Used it once.

  55. Thanks so much for this web site. I was fortunate to grow up in Oak Park Ill during the 50s, 60s and 70s. Must say having Weiboldts on here is extrodinary. It was actually located in River Forest since it is on the South West corner of Harlem and Lake. I never realized how visionary the architecture was since it was built in 1937. For the most part we shopped Marshall Fields and Wieboldt's for us was considered a 'step down'. But in hind sight it was an incredible store with the parking ramp which my dad would park on which seemed fun to do for all of us. There is another department store you might want to research that was in Oak Park on the corner of Forest and Lake called Lyttons (?). It was high end like Fields with a 4 story parking lot behind it (adjacent to Austin Gardens). Hope this helps do you even read this stuff?? Joe

  56. The name of the grocery store was HILLMANS FINER FOODS, along with STOP & SHOP as well as Gaper's Caterers located in the downtown building. My father Daniel Schultz and his co-worker Claude were the sign painters, silk screen artists , that made the signs for all three of these food concerns and their many stores throughout the Chicagoland area. My father left Hillman's in 1974 after a series of heart attacks, leaving Claude to handle all of the signage. My father died in 2008 in Marcellus, MI.
    Josephine Schultz

  57. Does anyone know where I might find the little international dolls that were sold at Weiboldt's during the late 60s, early 70s? I've tried Craigslist but no replies. I want to add to my current collection. Thanks.

  58. Thanks, Joe!

    Yes, I do read each and every legitimate comment, and review them before publishing to make sure that the comments are appropriate. There has been a delay for the last few weeks because I have been out of the country on vacation. I can only say that the Mediterranean Sea was very relaxing and I can now say that I have been to Rome and the Vatican.

    Lytton's was a large, nice clothing store, the likes of which we don't have anymore. Until the newer store was built in 1956, the store had beeen located since 1927 at 1033 Lake Street; it was originally known as The Hub. The downtown Chicago one was quite remarkable, and is pictured in one of the Arcadia Books about Chicago retailers.

    Also, in Oak Park, there was a department store at Lake and Oak Park called Gilmore's. The beautiful Prairie Style building still exists and is known as Scoville Square.

    I wish I had time to respond like this to each comment, but in reality, I can only do so when I have some free time. I do know that the many lovely comments about historical department stores are one of this site's great attractions for many people who enjoy reading them.


    1. Hi. How did you come to
      Appreciate this store so much ? How did you acquire all the info of all the stores? It's really great to read all the memories. Do you remember or know what stores, if any , were next to kotz shoes( and Chinese take out) before they were demolished? I read that 3 other building were razed. Curious if they were residential or commercial . Thank you

  59. I thought that there was a Department Store owned by two Jewish Brothers in Evanston; I cannot recall the name; if anyone could help me remember, I would appreciate it.

    Roger Plafkin
    Plafkin Farms-View on Photobucket.com and Webshots.com
    2150 Buttrick
    Ada, Michigan

  60. I sure loved the River Forest, IL Wieboldt's Christmas windows back in the 1950's & 1960's.

    In 1978 when I got married I purchased 3 sets of percale sheets from them. The top sheets & pillowcases are still in great shape. Wish things would last that long now a days.

  61. The Meadowdale Wieboldt's was the best, and it was where my Mom brought me to see Santa. There were two outside displays and every Christmas there would be a scene in one and Santa in the other. Great memories in the 60's.
    My Dad had a part-time job there clearing out the cash registers after closing and he brought me a couple of times. I had the run of the store, what a dream-come-true!

  62. My father was President of Weibolts in the 1955 -1965. I remember doing the grocery shopping for my mother in the Oak Park store. I remember shopping in the store and getting a discount. My family had a wonderful life in Chicago because of Weibolts.

  63. @Anonymous from Sept 11, 2012, the Stratford Square store in Bloomingdale (not shown in this exhibit) opened on March 9, 1981, followed by Orland Court (later Orland Park Place, adjacent to Orland Square) on August 13 of that year. These were the last two Wieboldt's stores ever to open. Stratford Square held the distinction to be the only indoor mall shared by Wieboldt's and Field's, as well as Carson's. JCPenney now operated in the Stratford store, and the Orland store is shared by Nordstrom Rack and Marshalls.

  64. I worked for Wieboldt's State Street in the early 70's from junior year in high school until after entering college. For about four years. I started in the work clothes area of the basement men's ware and then moved to men's suits shortly after starting. It was an experience I have never forgotten and I am late fifties now. In those days you were actually trained in the job before going to the floor. They wanted expert service even from a 16 year old kid. It’s interesting every Christmas because I am probably the only guy for miles around that actually knows how to wrap a package, check the fit of a suit and how to pack it. When you purchased a suit it had to be folded properly, stuffed with tissue to retain its shape, the box lined with tissue and then everything placed correctly in the box. The box had to then be tied with cord and a wooden handle attached for easy carrying. This Christmas even the high end stores just place a flattened box (won't fit what you just bought)in the bag along with the wadded up merchandise you just purchased. I was also trained on the proper fit of a suit and how to mark it up for tailoring which was done in house. Funny asking a clerk now about the fit of a suit they look at you like you are crazy.

    Boy how service has changed and become inefficient. There is no training, no proper way to treat a customer and they can’t even use the registers, just a warm body at a counter. We had to know the price of everything in our department; we were tested on it and how to apply a sales discount “manually” to the total. People in stores now can’t make change if the register doesn’t tell them how much to give back.

    All of this really points to a decline in our society as a whole. It’s a pity because it will never come back. I write this especially after going through this last Christmas shopping season. I have never encountered such non-caring unintelligent people who represent the company they are working for. I wish you could travel back in time at least to shop at the great stores that once existed. The stores of the past such as Field’s, Carson’s (old stores not the current renditions owned by Bon-Ton which are trying to be a Kohl’s) and Wieboldt’s were an experience not just a place to shop. The service always impeccable.

    The State Street store did sell candies, bakery goods, their Napoleons were my favorite and packaged goods from places like England and Europe but they didn’t have a full grocery service. Stop and Shop was on State Street but was a free standing store.

    Reading all the comments here brought back many memories even after forty plus years. Thank you for that. Pete

  65. Wonderful memories, I worked at the State St Store the last five years befor they closed. I met a lot of great people there, I started as a clerk in the buyers office on the 10th. floor and was promoted after one year to assistant buyer for bed linens.
    I was wondering if you ever heard of a "Lehman" department store in the Chicago, Il downtown area. I believe it would hae been there in the 1920-1930's. i'm not sure, my mother told me she went downtown to "Lehmans department store to pay a bill for my grandmother and the clerk asked her if she was related to the "Lehman" owners of the store. My mother said no..the name could also be spelled with (2) n's!

  66. Ernst Johann Lehmann was the founder of The Fair department store in downtown Chicago. The store was eventually purchased by Montgomery Ward, which gave that Chicago-based chain store an outlet on State Street. Before that, it was a part (since 1925)of the Kresge chain of department stores which had affiliates in Newark, NJ and Washington, DC. (Note that these were complete department stores, not the Kresge's many of us remember.

    I plan to add The Fair to the exhibits in The Department Store Museum when I can.

    If you have any access to the historical Chicago Tribune, such as through ProQuest Historical Newspapers from your library, you can do a search and learn a lot more. Or, a simple Google search for "E. J. Lehmann" will turn up a great deal of information.

    The Fair store was a famous piece of Chicago-Style commercial architecture, which was first brutalized with a new front in the 1960s, and finally demolished, only to be replaced with something which can only be described as a detriment to State Street.

    I am sure it was "The Fair" your mom talked about.


  67. My name is James J. Wieboldt. I once visited the store and had lunch there. I had a "Wieboldt's open faced sandwich" which was great. I paid for it with my Wieboldt's credit card. The cashier could not believe it and I had to show her my drivers license. I also bought clothing with the Wieboldt's label. My son's name is William A. Wieboldt - same as the founder of this store. It is realy something to see your name up on a store like that.

  68. Did any of the suburban stores have restaurants in them?

  69. The River Forest Store did.

  70. This comment has been removed by the author.

  71. I remember my mother buying my long length winter coat at Gilmore's in Oak Park back in the day. I loved that coat! Funny how you remember certain clothes when you had when you were a kid... I remember the Wieboldt's in Yorktowne and they had a very high quality of clothing back in those days. As many of the department stores did back them. Not like the garbage you get now.

  72. I worked at the Evanston Wieboldt's store in my sophmore year (1967) in the first-floor stationery department and later graduated to the records/books department. It was the first job for a whole after-school busload of girls from St. Scholastica High School on Ridge Blvd. in Chicago. We infiltrated all the departments and felt so very grown-up.

    There was a restaurant on the first floor, next to the cigarette/cigar counter near the entrance. Cigarettes and cokes on our break!

    Wieboldt's had a great employee benefit called ED Paid. You received a non-immediate 20% off every purchase (even candy from the candy counter). The ED Paid receipts would go the the head cashier at the end of the night. The weekly 20% discount would be tallied and given to you in a cash envelope on Saturday, along with a paycheck in cash money.

    We girls just naturally spent our pay and ED paid money back into Wieboldt's. Ingenious on their part!

  73. Did Wieboldt's have Christmas characters that were theirs alone? I am wondering about characters similar to Marshall Field's Aunt Holly and Uncle Mistletoe and Gimbel's Billy the Brownie.

  74. Does anyone know what was on the sixth floor of Lincoln Belmont weibolts?

  75. Does anyone know what goods were on the sixth floor of weibolts on Lincoln and Belmont?

  76. A few posts back someone asked about a department store in Evanston owned by "two Jewish Brothers". I recall Selig Brothers, a menswear shop on the 1700 block of Sherman Avenue in the 50's and 60's.

    I am happy to find this blog. I was general manager for Bramson inc. and worked in the Evanston, Oak park, Woodfield, and Michigan Avenue stores from my high school days in 1966 through their eventual closing in 1977. I have collected ads, catalogs and other Bramson memorabilia over the years.
    Mike Warmington, now in Sea Bright, NJ

  77. During the early 1950's They sponsored a radio program called THE CINNAMON BEAR at Christmas time. The Cinnamon Bear appeared in their stores and gave out coloring books.

  78. A friend gave me an oval sign (cream background with gold edging and TELEVISION in gold lettering. The sign has 2 hooks on the top and is about 47" long and 15.5" high. She told me it came to her through her uncle who worked at Weibolts and said it came from the TV Department. She did not know which location or when the sign was removed and came into his possession. It is made of wood and for some reason I look at it and think 60's. Does anyone know anything about such a sign? Even better perhaps there are pictures? Would appreciate any help in getting the full story. Thanks

  79. the Christmas bear at wieboldts was paddy o'cinnamon the cinnamon bear......

  80. I worked and open the Lincoln mall store in matteson Illinois 1973.....it was great place to work......

  81. does anyone remember the store at Jefferson Square Mall in Joliet, IL. My mom worked there when I was a kid. I trying to research that particular store...to no avail.

  82. Does anyone remember the hot fudge sundaes in The Travertine Room? The hot fudge sauce was served in a silver pitcher to keep it hot. What luxury!

  83. Raymond Baechle, Jr10 October, 2013 18:18

    Cool to see a site about Wieboldt's. I worked at the Randhurst Store in the stock room when it first opened. Later worked at the tobacco counter, Men's furnishings and luggage. Worked in the Data Processing Dept. near downtown in the warehouse after graduating from college 1968 to 1969. My father worked for Wieboldt's over 25 yrs. in various positions....Assistant Furniture Buyer, Store manager, Toy and Sporting Goods Buyer until 1971 when he moved to Florida.

  84. My first job, at the Englewood store at 63rd and Green. I lived at 55th and Halsted.

    my blog = http://memoriesofatime.com

  85. I worked at the Evanston Store in the summer of l955 when I was 15. During the week I worked in the Men's Department for a manager named Mr. Maybee. On Fridays and Saturdays he would have me work in one of the square counter arrangements they would set up going all up and down the main aisles. There was a grocery store, and they would put out sausage, deli meats and cheeses in one of the squares and give me a scale and a knife for slicing. Taking the bus home on those hot summer days I reeked of garlic, other spices from the various sausages and meats. Even my hair would have those fragrances. There were many nice people working there. They had a great yard goods department on an upper floor, and I used my discount to buy some lovely fabrics from which my Mom made my school clothes for the next school year. I remember a girl named Mimi Swanson who told me about a new singer she was nuts about..........Elvis Presley..........that was the first time I heard of him.
    I remember two boys who worked in the grocery store Bob and Bert.........they flirted with all of us girls, and it was just a very special, fun time in a beautiful store.

  86. I worked at the state street store from 1980 to 1987. ( I was lucky that I was 1 of about 5 people who worked the last day to close things up)
    I started in ladies sportswear, women's and petites and better sportswear. Oh my what memories ! It was commission- very competitive. but fun. I remember Dorothy, Betsy, Klara, Gloria, Therethe (Terri) , Valarie , Sandy and more. plus the great fitting room ladies- Marcia and Della. I loved my job from working the floor helping customers and merchandizing the racks and walls. I was lucky to get to get to know the buyers on the floor. Their offices were near us. Plus loved being given the clothing samples to mark down to sell. $4.99 - $9.99 of course!! And can't forget those 1 day sales on Mondays. What a riot to watch 100's of people racing up the escalator.
    During the last year, it was oblivious we were closing. it was a lot of stress cuz they would call people 1 by 1 daily to lay off people. At the end I was helping merchandizing the mens walbash , helping state street 1st floor jewelry, clothing etc and did some of the displays for the windows ( the display dept was let go by then)
    Yes they did have 2 basements. The 2nd basement had display items plus some things from the Mendal store too. I really enjoyed being able to work around the whole store .

    1 of my favorite memories was the gift wrapping department. They were fabulous in wrapping. I remember people would bring items they bought from Fields and other stores for them to wrap. I have never seen a gift wrapping dept like that since- they don't exists .

  87. I was lucky to buy 1 of the ribbon bow machines from the gift wrapping dept. Still works great! Mary from gift wrapping taught me how to use it!!
    another great memory are the movie they filmed at the store after hours. cant remember the movies but I do remember how they would come in and change the 1st floor elevator into a bank teller window.
    Or the fashion shows the vendors would do for the upcoming fashion season. Oh my the toy dept was wonderful too
    thanks for this website. It brings back such great memories. you are right- service at that time was service. very different nowadays.
    Does anyone remember the fabulous antique button store in the upper floor of the Stevens building. spent many a lunch time in there!!!!

  88. I was on the junior fashion board of models at Ford City back in 1973. It was a treat to go to the finishing school there, and do modeling for the stores. Does anyone reading this blog remember who ran the Board at that time? I would love to remember.

  89. The big feature of the Evanston Wieboldts was you could shop for groceries on the first floor, then they would put them on a conveyor belt to take them to the top level of the parking garage. You'd drive around and an attendant would load them in your car. I remember at the end stock were low and the staff seemed to have almost no knowledge of what they had.

  90. I met my husband at Lakeview Wieboldt's. I worked across the street at Lakeview Bank and one day I strolled through Wieboldts on my lunch break and, there he was behind the jewelry counter. That was almost 30 years ago. Wieboldt's was such a wonderful store, it was a very sad day for me when they closed!

  91. Re: Wieboldt's grocery store. The Randhurst Mall had "Wieboldt's Super Mart", which advertised food items.

  92. I do remember a Wieboldt's in Park Forest Plaza. Am I correct?
    Somewhat later it was demolished about 1972. A resturant named the "Pickle Jar" was at the east end of the building. It had been adjoined next to the "Plaza Grill" Kiddy-Corner to the main Clock Tower which also is no longer there..
    Could somebody help me out with my memory of this?

  93. Like many others on this blog, I also had my first job at Weibolt's when I was a young teen-ager. I worked at the Evanston store. It was a holiday job, and my one claim to fame was ringing up a $101 sale when the total actually should have been $100. I keyed in one of the prices incorrectly (this was back in the days before scanners). That brought out my direct boss, the department manager, the floor manager and even one of the top managers down to take a look while they figured out how to correct that measly one dollar mistake. Talk about feeling as though I wanted to sink through the floor! Otherwise, I shopped their often, collected my S&H Green Stamps and even redeemed them for stuff.

  94. I still have a $10.00 gift certificate from Wieboldt's. My Mom gave it to me years ago. She received it as a gift from a lady she worked with in Montgomery Wards keypunch. Each time I come across it in the old file I can never quite toss it, like today. This time I decided to google Wieboldt's

  95. This comment has been removed by the author.

  96. Baker's daughter03 April, 2014 23:42

    Wieboldt's had their own in house bakery. It was located at Milwaukee and Paulina, then moved to the Oak Park store and finally ended up at the State Street Store. Goods were baked at Milwaukee and Paulina and shipped out to some of the other stores. My dad was the Wieboldt's baker at all three locations. He met Mr. Wieboldt, when he first started with the store in the bake shop, went to war during WWII and came back to his job.
    In the 70's he had his morning coffee break with the President of Wieboldt's. in the bake shop. Dad brought the sweet rolls and the President the coffee. My dad received a Christmas card from the President each and every year that he worked their. He even got one after he retired.
    The pound cakes were the best!! He also made fruit cakes and all kinds of sweet rolls. I read earlier about the 20% Employee Discount that was even given to dependents! I received mine on my 16th birthday and I used it often! When the bake shop closed in the mid '70's instead of giving my dad the boot, he was given a job in the warehouse as a furniture refinisher. He stayed on until his 46th year of employment and retired in 1984 just before the company went bankrupt. I have many great memories from the stores at Milwaukee and Paulina, Randhurst, Harlem and Irving, Oak Park and State Street!

    1. Hi baker's daughter! I loved your father's marble pound cake. I shopped at the weiboldts on Milwaukee ave in the 60's with my mother. I was a little girl I remember going there and the pound cake was sold by the pound and it was cut from large loaves. I remember the man cutting the loaf, he had dark hair and wore white shirt and pants. Would love the recipe if you are so inclined and would gladly pay for the copy. One of my favorite childhood treats. You grew up in a great baker's family!

  97. I have items that still have the wiebolts price sticker on them

  98. Wieboldt's at Lincoln and Belmont was a wonderful store...It was a great part of my childhood. My mom and brothers and sisters and grandma would go down when they had their side walk sale usually in June or July. I then worked there as a teenager in High School...Some great memories.

  99. Bruce,
    I think that Wabash music store was the famous Lyon and Healy's who crafted and sold orchestral harps among other things. But more to the point, as a child I went downtown with my mom to buy clothes at Mandel Bros, where my grandmother worked in boys clothing (I know, I know... It's like the hunter on safari who one night shot a lion in his pajamas. ) Then we'd all go for lunch at Field's or Carson's. Years later, while in college, I worked for Wieboldt's in the same building on State street as an elevator operator and, later, the starter. Those were real operator-elevators with dead-man switch controls, fold-down seats and NO INNER DOORS OR GATES on the cars. One time, the story goes, a small boy fell forward, slipped between the elevator and the outer door and fell to the bottom of the shaft. He survived with minor injuries - a very lucky boy. That was before my time, and my grandmother is not around to confirm or deny. I'm not sure what business(es) occupy the building today but, at a time when Field's is Macy's and Carson Pirie Scott is a Target, of all things, I feel like it doesn't really matter that much.

  100. Re: the sheet music store on Wabash, the person who said Carl Fisher was correct. I was wrong when I suggested Lyon and Healey as the store in question. It was, however, a great store for musical instruments. I'm sure that many people remember going there while in school to rent or buy instruments. Re: my working in Wieboldt's elevator department while in college, it was some, but not all, of the years from 1967 to 1971. I'm looking forward to exploring the rest of this Museum. Speaking of museums, but off topic, does anyone remember the George (F.? ) Harding Museum on south Lake Park in Hyde Park? What a great place it was for parents to take their kids! It was in an old mansion with lots of rooms. All gone years ago but the collections survived in some form. The arms and armor went to the Art Institute of Chicago - you can see some of it on display there today. Alan

  101. I did not shop much at Wieboldt's. I was more into Marshall Field's and Carson Pirie Scott when they were both on State Street. I did not know Wieboldt's had larger stores outside of the State Street store. I've been to the Wieboldt's at both the Harlem-Irving Plaza and on Ashland/Belmont/Lincoln stores. I didn't realize they were both large stores.

  102. I enjoyed reading all the comments. Today I had a consignor bring in a box of silk scarves from Marshall Fields and Wiebolts. I immediately called my mom,who used to work at Carson's, to ask if she remembered Wiebolts. Of course she told me that they had just gone out of business 5 or 6 years ago. lol Apparently, you could buy a silk scarf for 19 cents back in the day. Some of the larger scarves from Marshall Fields were $2.75 Similar style from Wiebolts were $2.00.

  103. I think you have the wrong address for the Weibolts in Lincoln Village above listed under the branch stores.

    Lincoln Village
    4041 Milwaukee Avenue, Lincolnwood
    38,000 sq. ft.

    I think the address should be,

    6165 North Lincoln Avenue, Chicago, Iliinois 60659 if you are talking about the Lincoln Village at the corner of NEC Lincoln Ave. & McCormick Blvd.


  104. I never heard of Wieboldt until I found an old war-time newsletter Wieboldt Window Vol. XXVI No 8 Chicago, Ill. Ma, 1948 in a box I bought at an estate sale. Interesting.

  105. I too worked at the Evanston store in the late 1960's as a Evanston High School student. The store manager's name was George Burns and his assistant store manager was Robert "Bob" Toehnies.
    The earlier posts about this fabulous store are all true and bring a smile to my face. There was a nice mixture of elder salespeople and students from several area high schools that would work part-time evenings and weekends. We wore suit and ties and learned the world of retail commerce. The 20% discount was handy for buying clothes, and they carried good brands. They had and sold most everything from groceries to having an optometrist in one of the "licensed". departments. Many of us got to be good friends and socialized on our own time.

  106. Chocolate, dark chocolate with thick raspberry syrup in the middle. My mom was a checker-cashier at the Wieboldt's store at Milwaukee and Paulina. In those days (1950's) most ladies did not drive. She would walk about 6 blocks to work with me in tow. I used to stay at my Aunt Genevieve's house right on Ashland Ave. less than a block away from Wieboldt's. My mom would pick me up after work and had either a Lemon Merengue pie or some scrumptious dark chocolate candies that were filled with a thick raspberry syrup. I've looked and tried candies from many places but have never been able to find anything that tasted that good. Ah, memories are our secret treasures...we can't go back, but we can remember...the good ole days. If anyone remembers the name of those candies, or better yet, where I can get them, I
    would be forever grateful. The candy counter was just outside the grocery department.

  107. Do you have a photo for the store in Orland Park.

  108. Actually, I don't, but since this exhibit needs updating, i will be looking for one. -Bruce

  109. I worked at Weiboldts from about 1965 until 1974 when my first child was born. I was at the State St. store and worked as a buyer of handbags and small leather goods. I would love to hear from anyone that was there during that time. I have recently been trying to get information regarding the pension plan. I know that it is being maintained by an agency that handles businesses that have gone under. Does anyone know how long the vesting period was for employees? I think that I may have missed it by a year (9 instead of 10 years) but would like to find out for sure. I can be reached at bjmorphy@aol.com.

  110. Madigan`s Plans To Close After Christmas Season

    August 05, 1992|By John Schmeltzer. Chicago Tribune

    A day after family-owned Madigan`s announced it would close its five remaining department stores, a firm hired by creditors to liquidate its assets said they likely would remain open through the Christmas holidays.

    ``We will continue to run the business in the normal way for the next few weeks,`` said Fred Caruso of Development Specialists Inc.

    During that time an evaluation will be made as to how to obtain the most money for Madigan`s inventory and other assets. Development Specialists`

    principal work is with financially distressed companies.

    ``I believe, however, that keeping the stores open through the holiday season is the most likely outcome of the evaluation,`` Caruso said.

    Caruso said the department store chain has $27 million in secured debt with Harris Bank and Trust Co. and another $4 million to $5 million in unsecured debt, owed principally to trade creditors.

    Compared with the obligations of some retailers, Madigan`s debt was relatively small, especially when sized up against the $900 million owed by P.A. Bergner & Co., parent of Carson Pirie Scott & Co., when it filed for Chapter 11 federal bankruptcy protection.

    The announcement that Madigan`s, a chain that has served Chicago for 111 years, would close came 16 months after the firm shuttered five other stores in an effort to keep running. The department store chain specialized in moderately priced men`s and women`s apparel.

    ``We were left with our strongest locations,`` said John Madigan, vice president and great-grandson of the firm`s founder. ``The hatches were battened down to ride out the recession. Unfortunately, we were unable to ride out the storm.``

    Sales last Christmas were flat, the second Christmas of no growth, he said.

    ``It has been a constant struggle the past couple of years,`` he said.

    ``At times it looked like the company would rise above, but then there would be a couple of flat months.

    ``The bottom did not fall out over the last two years. The foundation just kept slipping bit by bit. It only became apparent in the last couple of months that the company was no longer viable.``

    News that the stores were to be turned over to a firm that would liquidate the merchandise was announced Monday to employees, some of whom have been with the company four decades. The stores employed 1,100 full- and part- time people.

    ``This is a tragedy for ourselves and our employees,`` said Madigan. ``We had four generations of family grow up in this company.``

    Shopping centers in which Madigans operated were in the dark about the potential closing of the stores, according to Caruso.

    ``We`ll begin negotiating with them about the leases once the evaluation is completed,`` he said.

    Madigan`s stores are in Harlem Irving Plaza, Norridge; Winston Plaza, Melrose Park; Yorktown, Lombard; North Riverside Park and Chicago Ridge.

    The situation for Yorktown is particularly acute because it will leave another large space in the mall. The Wieboldt`s department store, which closed two years ago, still is empty at that center.

    By assigning the business to the company`s creditors, Madigan`s avoids bankruptcy and the stain it would leave on the family`s business reputation.

    ``At this point, we`re getting our hands around the operation,`` said Caruso.

    Madigan`s joins two other long-time Chicago retailers that closed their doors in the last nine months. Colby`s Furniture Stores closed last December and Homer`s Furniture ceased operations New Year`s Day.

  111. This comment has been removed by the author.

  112. I'm trying to find contact information for a former employee from the 70's in Chicago. Romi Reingruber. Not exactly sure if the spelling is correct. She would be aprx. in her mid 80's by now.
    If anyone might have a contact or have any clues, they would be greatly appreciated!! I've spent hours trying to use the internet, but I have such limited information to start with I'm at a loss.

    Any help is appreciated!! THANK YOU!


  113. Oh gosh, I worked at the Milwaukee Ave. store in 1947-48 on the top floor where the discount stuff was sold. It was light work with only two or three others working there with me. The war was just over and jobs were plentiful. I was in college and worked part time but it was a good gig. Prices were sharply reduced and with my discount, I was able to fill out my wardrobe with some pretty nifty stuff.

  114. I lived in the Polish Triangle, Milwaukee, Division and Ashland from the 40's to the 60's. Wiebolt's is one of the great memories for me along with so many other fine stores and other businesses in this neighborhood. Sure do miss those days with the strong work ethic, the style of clothes and the great way people treated one another. It's too bad that much is lost. Much should have been treasured and saved but was not thanks to gentrification, greed. Thanks to everyone for all the memories of the neighborhood with it's older stores and downtown Chicago where I worked and one of those stores was Morris B. Sacks furrier, on State and Madison. The way it was done ,certainly cannot be replicated. Longing for those days and again, thanks for the memories.

  115. Thanks again for the many memories. I did not think I would get to enjoy them.

  116. would anyone know where I can get information about a w south side Wiebolt's robbery, sometime between late 1936 and 1938...my grandfather was involved and shot and killed for his trouble.. I have heard many variations on this story over the years and would like to know the real story..

  117. Are you certain that it was between 1936-1938? more info will definitely help locate more information. What was your grandfather's name?

  118. Lots of memories here.

  119. Baker's daughter27 February, 2016 11:42

    Wieboldts had their own bakery. It started at Milwaukee and Paulina, then moved to Oak Park and finally ended up at State Street.
    Wieboldt's State Street store had a small bakery counter in the bargain basement. The bakery goods were baked on the thirteenth floor and brought down fresh daily. My dad was the baker. He worked Monday thru Saturday and baked everything. A few years after he retired, he got sick and we had visiting nurses come in to take care of him. One looked really familiar to him and it turned out she was one of the bakery counter girls. They would talk about the old days at Wieboldt's and it cheered my dad up ! I have fond memories of coffee cakes hebrought home on Saturdays, and the pound cakes, oh the pound cakes!!! His fruit cakes were the best! No one even comes close to his pound cakes nowadays. He passed his baking skills down to his daughters and my sister makes his butter cookies for Christmas!

  120. Baker's daughter27 February, 2016 12:00

    Wieboldt's did have Hillman's as a grocery store, but it also had their own bakery with items made fresh daily. My dad was the baker. The first bakery was at Milwaukee and Paulina until the late 60's early 70's. Then it moved to Oak Park and finally ended up at State Steet until mid to late seventies when it closed. He went to work at the Warehouse in DesPlaines on Wieboldt Drive after the bakery closed. At State Street the bakery counter was in the Bargain Basement and baked goods were sent down from the bake shop which was up on the 13th or 14th floors.
    My dad worked Monday thru Saturday and would bring home freshly baked coffee cakes to have with his Sunday morning coffee. A special treat was the pound cake, the loaves were about 7 inches wide and about a 18 in long. They were the best, especially the marble ones!
    A few years after he retired, my dad became ill and had visiting nurses come in to take care and check up on him. One of the nurses, looked very familiar to him. After talking about where he worked, and the nurse worked, the two discovered they both worked at State Street at the same time. She was the bakery counter girl and that's where they knew each other from. They talked about the "old days" and it cheered my dad up! My dad worked for Wielboldt's for 46 years and retired just before things got bad.

  121. The second Evanston store (which relocated from the original 1929 location) opened February 1950, not '59.

  122. My mother, Eloise LeBrecht started working at the Harlem Irving Plaza store before it opened, setting everything up in her department.
    She was the manager of the yard goods department and linen department.
    When I turned sixteen, I also started working at the HIP store in the cashiers office. It was a wonderful place to work. And I met my future husband there. He worked in the grocery department, bagging groceries and collecting carts from the parking lot. That was back in the 60's.