D. M. Read Co., Bridgeport, Connecticut


D. M. Read store, built in 1925 at Broad and John Streets

D. M. Read Co. (1857)
Broad and John Streets
Bridgeport, Connecticut

EDison 3-1151


BRIDGEPORT STORE DIRECTORY

Downstairs
China • Glassware • Silver • Gifts • Lamps • Housewares

Street Floor
Jewelry • Watch Repair • Cosmetics • Gloves • Small Leather Goods • Belts • Handbags • Fashion Accessories • Neckwear • Hosiery • Casual Shoe Bar • Hat Bar • Umbrellas • Blouses • Street Floor Sportswear • Street Floor Lingerie • Fashion Shoes • Corner I • Notions • Stationery • Cameras • Luggage • Confections • Snack Shop
John Street Men's Furnishings • Men's Sportswear • Men's Clothing • Men's Shoes • Men's Hats
East Building Appliance Center
Post Ofice Arcade Casual Shop

Second Floor
Domestics • Curtains • Draperies • Slipcovers • Portrait Studio
Young World Shops Infants' Shop • 2-to-6 Shop • Boys' Shop • Girls' Shop • Subteen Shop • Teen Shop • Young World Shoes • Children's Furniture

Third Floor
Sportswear • Dresses • Daytime Dresses • Coats • Suits • Town and Country Shop • Fairfield Room • Millinery • Fur Salon • Bride's Shop • Uniforms • Maternity Shop • Lingerie • Foundations • At Ease Shop
Jr. News Jr. Dresses • Jr. Coats • Jr. Sportswear

Fourth Floor
Bedding • Furniture • Rugs • Broadloom • Photo Studio • Trim-a-Home Shop • Beauty Salon

Fifth Floor
Toyland • Bicycles • Outdoor Equipment • Books • Venetian Tea Room • Offices

BRANCH STORES

Trumbull (1964)
Trumbull Shopping Park
220,000 sq. ft.
Jonathan Trumbull Restaurant




Danbury (1967)
1967
177,000 sq. ft.

39 comments:

  1. Thank you for your site - these description of DM Read's brought back so many childhood memories that I got teary. As I read your descriptions of the Bridgeport store, I could see each floor in my mind's eye.

    Karon

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  2. The Danbury store was on Federal Road - I beleive #114, at the corner where Nabby Road meets it. The space is now a Bob's Store.

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  3. Thanks for this site . In the late 40's and 50's my great uncle Micky ( James V. Beach ) work for Read's as custodian and for 11 years was both santa Claus and the Easter bunny . If any one has any info and / or photo's I would love to see them . He was before working for Read's , a professional clown with Ringling Bros. - Barnum & baily's circus . Contact me , Keith Beach of Buna Tx , @ billygoat45@yahoo.com - thanks

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    1. Always knew that the 'real' Santa Claus was the one at Reads, so our mother told us, when we saw another Santa at Howlands. Glad to know that Santa had a name and was your uncle. Best wishes.

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  4. I love the old malls and dept store memories. i had worked in the reads store in trumbull when I was a teenager I worked in the restaurant and also waited on tables.I think it was so cool back then to have a restaurant in the store .And slso the employee lunchroom.Does anyone remember Skydells dept store in bpt i had brought my first 3 piece suit.Also anyone remeber lofts candy store?/ Billy Liebel liebel99@aol.com

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  5. Does anyone remember that they moved reads to the old Gimbell store in bpt laff plaza ?

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  6. I worked at Read's Bridgeport store for about a year in 1976 and 1977. It was a great store. The elevators were operated by wonderful women and the doors of the elevators had metal grates. Even in the 70's there was a sense of style that the Trumbull store lacked. I was just out of college and worked in the Men's Department with 3 terrific women: Jean, Helen and Eleanor.
    Donna Kruszewska

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    1. I was just a kid in 1970s I was scared of elevators til one of the operators was so nice. I then loved to ride elevators.they were indeed angels. Remember cars 4 and 5 dod not go to the basement. Its amazing I can forget things from yesterday but I can still see this vividly from over 40 years ago.

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  7. My uncle was the policeman (special police) that stood in front of the elevator on the main floor. That was back in the late 50's.

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  8. To answer the question about when the downtown Read's relocated, it was 1985. In 1983 BATUS (the parent of Gimbels) merged the NY and Philly divisions into a new business unit, Gimbels-East. In 1984 the Lafayette Square branch was closed (it was never a strong store for Gimbels).
    Read's took over the space after much prodding from the City of Bridgeport, and although it initially survived the transition to Jordan Marsh, the store was closed in 1991. Lafayette Square was one of the many "downtown malls" to fail. Gimbel's as a retail company folded in 1986.
    Ken

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  9. I used to work at the restaurant during high school in trumbull shopping park was lots of fun! does any one have any old pictures of that store. or the location at lafatette plaza

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  10. Does Read's have any connection to Skydel's Department store?

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  11. Skydel's was family-owned store located on the corner of East Main Street and Arctic Street on Bridgeport's East Side. I don't think it had any connection to Read's It carried good quality clothing and jewelry. I still have a pair of earings purchased there. I lived about 2 blocks from it. Skydel's was where we went to buy dresses for such special occassions as weddings or graduations.I liked to just walk through it on the way home because it felt special.
    Donna Kruszewska

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  12. Thank you, Donna, for your comment. I did not know it before, but Bridgeport must have had a large Eastern-European population. A fellow from Slovakia recently contacted me because he found an old portrait of a realtive, that they couldn't identify, in his grandmother's belongings - the portrait came from Read's!

    Bruce

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  13. I worked in both Read's stores in the mid !960's. First Bridgeport then onto Trumbull store to help with the opening. Many fond memories of both of both locations. Great times. I believe my dad was credit manager for Read's
    at the time also. We moved to Ct. in 1962 so he could take that position...









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  14. I also remembered the nice women running the elevators in the Bridgeport Reads, as My Dad moved our family out to Trumbull from Jackson Michigan in 1964, so he could run the personel Department of the Trumbull Reads store. He took me downtown to the Bridgeport store at times and we got to ride the elevators, it was so cool! He first started in the Bridgeport store until the Trumbull store was finished being built. He later moved on to be district personel manager for the Trumbull, Bridgeport, and Danbury stores, and soon after the Derby, Southbury, Yorktown heights, and Poughkipsie stores. Dad had many wonderful years at Reads and worked with so many wonderful people through the years. It was sad to see it end in the late 80's.

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    1. I worked for your dad for many years at Read's in Trumbull in Personnel(Human Resources now). He was a great guy. I learned a lot from him that helped me throughout my career. We have a Facebook group called DM Read's Alumni if you are interested in joining. Thanks...Peter Albrecht.

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  15. It really wasn't Christmas until the two large Christmas trees went up in D M Reads on either side of the large double staircase that went downstairs to Housewares.

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  16. Bridgeport had a very sizable Eastern European population, most coming from the eastern Carpathian Mountains, Besides the large Polish RC Church (St. Michael the Archangel) which still exists, there was St. Joseph's Polish National Catholic Church now out by the airport in Lordship, three Slovak RC Chruches (St. Cyril's--still there---and St. John Nepomocene,,,closed) and Holy Name of Jesus (actually just over the boarder in Stratford), a Slovak Lutheran Church (now in Trumbull), a very large Byzantine Catholic Church (Carpatho-Russian) St. John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic (now in Trumbull) and its offshoot (after the troubles of the 1930s) St. John the Baptist Carpatho Russian Greek Orthodox Catholic Church (on Mill Hill Avenue with the dome) and the two other offshoots also called St, John the Baptist CROGC in Stratford; a Ukrainian Catholic Church and two Ukrainian Orthodox Churches; a Russian Orthodox Church (on East Main Street with the domes) and numerous synagogues all on the East Side. On the West Side was one of the largest Hungarian settlements in the US with two RC churches (one in Fairfield), one Byzantine Catholic Church (now closed) and three Hungarian Reformed Churches (one in Fairfield) and at least one Orthodox Synagogue (now in Fairfield). In addition, there was a Slovenian RC Church (now in Fairfield).

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  17. The original D. M. Read store was located at the NE corner of Main Street and Fairfield Avenue. It was two or three stories with a mansard roof. When I was a child, the building was the home to Leavitt's, another department store. My mother used to buy my uniform for St. Anthony School (Fairfield) there. The building is still standing, though sheathed in glass , functioning as an office building of some kind.

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  18. I loved shopping in the Danbury store! Does anyone remember the apple cake served in the restaurant? Since that time I haven't had such delicious apple cake. Any idea where i can get the recipe? Thanks

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  19. I would the restaurant every day have my dinner i would drive the transit bus evening's alice worked in the kitchen she would look out the window when my order came in she knew it was me! Loved DM Read's the BEST store in ct!!! Then would take the elevator to the top flr to pay my charge. Elizabeth ran the elevator was the boss of running all the car's and the women that ran them to! She was my friend a great lady! They don't make store's like this any longer! A lot of arm work running those elevator's then nothing then was push a button! Jim Tomassetti

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  20. Still Have my Read's charge card

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  21. I have a blue bag I'm guessing from the 70's . It has Bridgeport, Trumbull, Danbury printed towards the bottom. Before the times of Yorktown Heights, Southbury, Derby and Orange opening. Don't lose that charge card! That is great!!

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  22. If there is any way you could send a flat photo/scan of the bag to bakgraphics@comcast.net, I will put a Read's bag in the exhibit in 2015. I am slowly updating the page, but like anything, it all takes time. Merry Christmas
    - Bruce

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  23. Amazed to find these comments about Reads Dept. Store. I started going to Trumbull Shopping park in early 70's when I got my license. As with you others, I can see so much in my minds eye and remember the great atmosphere in there. Loved the restaurant, casual but classy place with great food! I also spent most of my childhood shopping with my mother in Skydells. She died recently(89) and there were still things stored in Skydell boxes in her closet. I think my first communion dress came from Skydells. They carried lots of school uniforms etc for the Catholic schools. I remember the dip in the floor between sections of the store!
    Today there is all kinds of shopping and certainly I have more money now than teen years--but nothing is as special as those days of shopping! Fun remembering with you all!

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  24. Read's was a wonderful store.We enjoyed the Danbury store very much ! Yes,indeed there was a full service restaurant on the third floor...and it was wonderful! Also,we remember they still used electro-mechanical cash registers instead of converting over to electronic IBM or NCR point of sale units. What is also interesting is that the outside of the Danbury store looked very similar to a classic Jordan Marsh stor,you know the kind the the beautiful triple copper enhanced entrances..just beautiful ! Thank you.

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  25. What was the name of the woman's clothing store close to Read's in the Trumbull Shopping Park during the late 60s? The store carried very nice casual sporty clothes for woman. The store had wooden floors and was marketing to an upscale clientele. It was located across from Woolworths.

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  26. My clothes in the late 40s, early 50s, for Miss Braden's Nursery School, kindergarten at Pequot School, etc. came from Read's. :-)

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  27. The ladies clothing store near Read's in the Trumbull Shopping center was Celines. My brother and cousin worked there in the late sixties in the stock room.

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  28. When I was little (late 50's), I couldn't understand why my Nana was swearing all the time, I thought she was shopping at Damn Reads!

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  29. That's hilarious!!!
    -Bruce

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  30. Read's was in Southport, where KMart is now

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  31. Anyone remember the warehouse for Reads? It was also located in Trumbull Connecticut ..the building was named Reads Service Building?? I worked there from 1979 till it's closing in 1987??? Loved the people and my job very much! I am trying to connect with my coworkers especially a young man named Bob Radowski??? Not sure of the last name but he resided in Trumbull near the Daniel's Farm Road area? It's important that we talk?? We shared some intimate time together and I need to speak with this man! Any info would be appreciated!

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    1. I worked at the warehouse preparing for furniture clearance sales when I was an assistant buyer in the furniture department. Don't remember Bob.

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  32. @Donna Davis. I have a picture of that Read's Warehouse. There was also a smaller Warehouse on Broad Street in Bridgeport. To this day the sign is still up. I am currently in the middle of selling my home. Stuff all over the place including storage. If I can find the picture I will send it in to this site, along with the picture of the Read's bag Bruce asked for.

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    1. If you do find the bag, I am at bakgraphics@comcast.net

      Good luck with the move!

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    2. Read's in Bridgeport was one of my favorite stores. With their decorated windows. I believe it may be one of the last stores that you did not have to operate the elevator yourself. (Too bad we did not do selfies at the time). I do remember my great aunt Hazel worked there for many years. I would always try to get there when I could, since I was in the downtown area. From 69 - 79 and relocating our business to the corner of John and Main. Everyone remembers Dunkin Donuts. Donna K. I employed your 3 sisters. Barbara, Margaret and Eva. I am sure they remember Reads too. Was it Holland's that was located where our court house on Main St, stands today? If so it was a no match to Reads. Sincerely Barbara Bowman - Bruce thank you for the memories...

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    3. You are very welcome, and thank you for sharing them!
      - Bruce

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