Diamond's, Phoenix, Arizona

Downtown Phoenix was once the shopping center
of Phoenix, and surprisingly declined during the 1950s.
In addition to three local department stores (Goldwater's,
Korrick's, and Diamond's) major branches of
Sears, Montgomery Ward, and Penney's were
located on or near Washington Street.

 1941 view of the interior of Diamond's
downtown store shows the large main floor,
mezzanine, and second floor.

Diamond's, so-named since its fiftieth anniversary in 1947,
was originally known as The Boston Store.

Diamond's (1897)
Washington at Second Street
Phoenix, Arizona

Alpine 4-5533



Basement
Downstairs Store

Street Floor
Fine Jewelry • Jewelry • Handbags • Small Leathers • Gloves • Fashion Accessories • Scarves • Hosiery • Cosmetic • Toiletries • Blouse Bar • Boulevard Coordinates • Boulevard Tops • Stationery • Books • Luggage • Candy and Gourmet Shop • Bakery • Pharmacy • Women's Shoes • Children's Shoes • Men's Furnishings • Men's Sportswear • Men's Slacks • Men's Suits • Men's Outerwear • Trend Shop • Men's Shoes • Men's Hats • Boys' Wear • Fashion Fabrics • Needlecraft • Housewares • Decorative Housewares • Gourmet • Small Electrics • China • Glassware • Silver • Table Linens • Bedding • Bath Shop • Clost Accessories • Decorative Pillows • Draperies • Sight & Sound

Mezzanine
Lingerie • Daywear • Sleepwear • Robes & Loungewear • Body Fashions • Millinery
Sunshine Children's Shop Infants • Toddlers • Girls' Wear • Pony Tail • Girls' Accessories • Toys • Teen-Town Ship • Your Place

Second Floor
Caliente Coordinates • Caliente Dresses • Waverly Dresses • Waverly Sportswear • Valley Dresses • Valley Sportswear • Custom Fashions • Imagery • Coats • Suits • Belman Shop • Fur Salon • Bridal Salon • Maternity Shop • Beauty Salon
Junior Shops Junior Dresses • Junior Sportswear • College Hi Shop




Street Floor
Fine Jewelry • Jewelry • Handbags • Small Leathers • Gloves • FashionAccessories • Scarves • Hosiery • Cosmetic • Toiletries • Blouse Bar • Boulevard Coordinates • Boulevard Tops •
Lingerie • Daywear • Sleepwear • Robes & Loungewear • Body Fashions • Infants • Millinery • Stationery • Books • Luggage • Candy and Gourmet Shop • Bakery • Pharmacy • Women's Shoes • Children's Shoes • Men's Furnishings • Men's Sportswear • Men's Slacks • Men's Suits • Men's Outerwear • Trend Shop • Men's Shoes • Men's Hats • Boys' Wear

Second Floor
Caliente Coordinates • Caliente Dresses • Waverly Dresses • Waverly Sportswear • Valley Dresses • Valley Sportswear • Custom Fashions • Imagery • Coats • Suits • Belman Shop • Fur Salon • Bridal Salon • Maternity Shop • Beauty Salon • Crimpers for Hair • Portraits by Rockwell
Junior Shops Junior Dresses • Junior Sportswear • College Hi Shop
Sunshine Children's Shop Toddlers • Girls' Wear • Pony Tail • Girls' Accessories • Toys • Teen-Town Ship • Your Place

Third Floor
Fashion Fabrics • Needlecraft • Housewares • Decorative Housewares • Gourmet • Small Electrics • China • Glassware • Silver • Table Linens • Bedding • Bath Shop • Clost Accessories • Decorative Pillows • Draperies • Sight & Sound • Toys • Diamonds Tearoom





Park Central
North Central near Thomas
1957
200,000 sq. ft.
Tea Room
Thomas Mall
East Thomas at 44th St.
September 23, 1963
213,000 sq. ft.

Diamond's Tea Room

Tri City Mall 
Mesa
1968
122,000 sq. ft.
Metrocenter
1973
180,000 sq. ft.

Park Mall 
Tucson
1974
Fashion Square
Scottsdale
 March 18, 1974
200,000 sq. ft.
The Meadows
Las Vegas, NV
1978









41 comments:

  1. We use to have a Diamonds Craft store in Miami. I use to go there in the late 1950 to the 1970s. I know it was there in the 1940s.The store was on 7 street N.W 57 Ave.

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  2. I do not believe that this store in Miami had any relation to the original Diamond's in Phoenix, which was originally known as the Boston Store. The name was changed to Diamond's in 1947, to celebrate an anniversary.

    I will post more information about the Phoenix store in due course.

    BAK

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  3. There was Goldwater's department store in Phoenix also, as upscale as Diamond's used to be (or slightly more, but Diamond's was a great department store). Goldwater's became Robinson's May and then Macy's bought most of them, and Dillards bought the Diamond's stores.

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  4. Barry Goldwater was related to the Goldwaters founers. One other Arizona politician, Bruce Babbitt, is related to the founder of Babbitt's from Flagstaff.

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  5. I worked at Diamonds Department Store, Phoenix-Park Central in 1962-1963. It started my 20 year career in retail. We (as extras) would come in on Thanksgiving and hang the fresh trim in the store for the holiday season: It was fantastic. Can you imagine today walking into a major store the day after Thanksgiving and smelling the aroma of fresh cut wreraths? I met my now wife at Diamonds and now many years later we are still married. Our major competition was Goldwaters, but Diamonds was the store to work for. The comment above is correct that DAyton Hudson bought the Diamond stores in Phoenix and these stores became part of the Dillard Brand. They are also corrrect in saying that Goldwaters was more upscale but we were the store to work for. Jim

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  6. My dad was the Director of Visual Merchandising at Diamond's in the early '70s (about 1970 to 76). I have wonderful memories of Christmas in America, Giant Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls, clown camp, and all sorts of other wonderful things. It was an amazing time for store design, and I was so lucky to grow up around these amazing, talented artists.

    Incidentally, he was also visual director at J. Magnin (Minnesota), I. Magnin (San Francisco), B. Altman (New York) and The Denver Dry Goods Co. (Colorado)...quite a career!

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  7. Pricklygirl, who was your dad? My father was Duane Nathe, he was VP of Sales and Promotion for Diamond's in the early 70's. I bet they knew each other!

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    1. You're kidding! My dad was Jerry Greenwood -- we all loved Duane:)

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  8. Pricklygirl, my parents worked in the art department too. My Dad was an art director and my Mom was an illustrator and did display. We probably played together because I remember all the kids of the artists in the department! I have a lot of memories of the Christmas in America costumed dolls they made for the store and playing dress up with the left over fabric remnants from that project!

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    1. I bet we did! My dad was Jerry Greenwood -- he adored his "Dismond's family".

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  9. Phoenix was the first US city to experience an "exodus" of their downtown department stores.

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  10. was it not Stan G that was the Visual Director..they had the best windows. Chrinstmas in America was Fabulous-but the amount of Rootstein mannikins they had was incrdedible! The Park Central store was great i still remember a window with Halston in it with an Elevator scene. Very Candy Pratts!

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  11. I grew up shopping at the Diamond's in Park Central Mall. Miss that store! I always felt like a special, valued guest there.

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  12. I purchased a beautiful coat this morning at an estate sale. It is marked "Valley of the Sun" fashion, Korricks Phoenix. Just thought you might be interested! ~ Lynda

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  13. Prickleygirl,
    Was your dad Jerry Greenwood?
    I seem to remember that during the years he was at Diamonds he was brought in from (as I recall) Dayton-Hudson to cut back and simplify the display department which was constantly going over budget thanks to the undisciplined spending habits of the most talented display director Diamond's ever had, Chuck Parisella.
    I started with Diamond's in 1967 or '68 and was the Men's Display Director for the Phoenix area stores when I made my final exit about 1973. I left Diamond's for greener pastures on several occasions but they kept hiring me back with pay raises every time.
    I will post some stories here when I have time. I could write a book about the amazing adventures at Diamond's!

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  14. I worked at Diamond's Park Central in the stock department around 1965 and, later, 1968. Dick Vollmer was my supervisor. Off loading and loading trucks at the bay and bringing out clothing racks and other products was a busy business, but there was a certain fun and esprit at Diamond's. Lot's of cute girls in dark outfits with colorful scarves wrapped around their necks. I got good deals on suits and clothing and 20% off most merchandise. I miss "Miss O'Hockey" - not sure of the spelling. She was one of the "senior" floor people...always very nice.

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  15. I worked for Diamond's at Thomas Mall from 1977 to 1981; and then for the new Paradise Valley Store 1981 to 1983. I worked in Men's Furnishings and also was one of the Tea Room / Gazebo models. This time period was late 70's men's underwear was expanding, the Trend Shop for Men across the way had men buying clothes for Disco Dancing!
    We also had many local dignitaries buy their shirts from us: Barry Goldwater, Speaker of the House Frank Kelly, local sport newscasters and other TV personalities. I worked with Rick Rodarte who was the store manager, Carol Sullivan was in personal, Mike Mitchell was one of the floor managers.
    Diamond's was one of the best department stores ever in Arizona - nothing compares to it today. A smaller version of a local Marshall Field's but it was pure quality and service.

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  16. OH Yes! Diamonds's Thomas Mall! My mother worked in the China dept, and my younger brother worked there in the mid-late 70's to pay for his college education!
    THERE IS NOW/OR NEVER A BETTER DEPT STORE LIKE D I A M ON D'S!!!
    We now have only ONE DEPT Store to choose from!! MACY'S MACY'S MACY'S!!
    Only "takeover , takeover, takeover!!!! IF IT IS NOT MACY'S, WHAT'S LEFT? WE USED TO HAVE A LOT MORE OPTIONS! I am not happy now that we only have MACY'S to choose from!
    Typical USA Corporate "takeovers" ! Not only that, LOST JOBS FOR MANY!! In addition, NO COMPETITION LIKE IN "YESTERYEAR''!
    It is either MACY's/or Chico's (love them, but expensive) Ross (consider quality) and getting less quality/or more expensive because there are not ANY Good Quality store for "middle America" left! Thanks to 'TAKEOVERS, GREED, A N D MAY I ADD, LOSS OF JOBS DUE TO THE TAKEOVERS!! I lived within 1mi from Diamond's in central Phoenix, class place and I had 2 family members' work for them! It was a class store! Dayton-Hudson owned them, not only that, Dayton-Hudson owns Target! Also a great store, but, u cannot buy the "high end" clothing etc that u could at Diamond's!! Not only that, MACY'S SUCKS!
    PDRBB

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  17. I enjoyed reading the comments about Diamond's Stores and seeing the names of the people connected. My father founded the Boston Store. My position, over the years, was from stock boy to company officer. As stock boy in our bargain basement at the Boston Store, I sorted sizes for "501" Levi Jeans...the price was $2.25 a pair. When the price increased to $4.25 a pair, we thought yhat would end the sale of Levi Jeans..Now "501" Levi Jeans sell for $29....little did we know.
    Some of the people who helped make growth possible were named in the blog from years past and bring very good memories. Also, seeing names like Goldwater's and Korrick's are good friends, not competitors.
    Ralph Diamond

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  18. Hello, Ralph!
    Thank you for your kind comments. Do you possibly have any better pictures of Diamond's stores, especially the downtown one? Also, My publisher is looking for authoritative people that could write histories of various department stores - you would certainly be an authority on Diamonds! My email address is bakgraphics@comcast.net.

    Bruce

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  19. I worked at Diamond's while in high school in 1959 and then in college from 1962-1965 before going in the Navy. In 1963 or 64, I believe I was the first part time person at Diamond's to ever work on straight commission in the men's clothing department and did very well working 20 hours a week for the 6% commission received on sales.
    Karl Plock was the men's buyer and Carl Kaufman was one of the salesmen. Jim Casler was my first boss in men's furnishings, a big bear of a man who was a hard task master, but fair and I ended up really liking him.
    I started at Park Central and then opened Diamond's in Thomas Mall. I always remembered the fountain with colored lights on the west side of the store.
    Ray Smucker who was the GM at Channel 12 came in one night and I sold him three suits and two pairs of trousers. From that contact I reconnected with him when I left the Navy and in 1969 began a 31-year career in TV news. So, Diamond's played a pivotal role in my life.
    I enjoyed seeing Ralph Diamon'd name above. I remember him as a "floor walker."
    John Culea

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  20. I worked at the Park Central Store 73-75. I remember back then, they had an employees only cafeteria on the second floor where you could buy hot lunches.

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  21. Though Dillard's did buy out Diamonds, it is not true that Dillard's is a Dayton Hudson company. I worked for Dillard's while I was in college, and I distinctly remember in my orientation the operations manager stressing to us, that if customers should ask, we are not a Dayton Hudson company, nor a May company. Dillard's is family-owned and based in Little Rock.

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  22. LOVE all of these comments as well...love the Ladies in china at Thomas Mall-Rhea?....taught me everything about Stemware and china,,,,Cedric Dave in HR, Sheryl Petit in LP, and how can you not forget the Ladies in Belman dresses!

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  23. I too worked at Diamond's from 1969 to 1971 in the gift wrap department and Dick Vollmer was my supervisor. A wonderful store and wonderful place to work. I miss the beautiful decorations and store displays. Many cherished memories and how nice to see the post from Ralph Diamond himself!

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  24. Whatever happened to the beautiful glass mosaic wall at Diamond's Tea Room? The loveliest thing ever.
    /AJP

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  25. John Culea...that is a great historical and personal account of your dealings with Diamonds.

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  26. Dayton-Hudson does not own Target; the company is now the Target Corporation. As far as I know, the company has completely divested itself of any department store holdings.

    I worked for Diamond's prior to, during, and after the sale to Dillard's, at Fiesta Mall in Mesa, AZ; Dillard's still has a clearance center at the failing mall. In its heyday, the anchor stores were Goldwater's, Diamonds, and Broadway Southwest, as well as Sears, which lingers on. . .

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  27. It's that time of the year again, and I still recall the awesome Christmas decorations at Diamonds, with the mechanical dolls moving to the sounds of the Christmas songs. It was nothing but the best, simply incredibly awesome. I miss them. *sniff*

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  28. reliving some old memories...spent from Sept 1977 until Dillards came in and bought Diamonds in 84 (?). those years were some of the best of my now 38 years in loss prevention. as security we transferred to all the stores i the Phoenix area ans worked in all of them. my early carreer mentors were Cheryl Jacobs, Cleo Hutter, Don Roughan and the late great Cheryl Pettid, plus many more. any of you still out there? Tap Brown

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  29. Diamonds' entry into Las Vegas was via acquisition of Ronzone's on Fremont Street, and a free-standing branch south of the The Broadway at Boulevard Mall. It became Dimaonds' in the mid-70's. Don't know when the downtown store closed or when they were acquired by Diamonds, before or after Dayton Hudson bought them. Their Fashion Show Mall store opened on Valentine's Day 1981. The Diamonds' name remained for two years under the Dillard's ownership.

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  30. looking for an old friend who worked at the Thomas mall store between 10/75 to 1/75 saw you again later at Willy & Guiermos on central comment "you had your chance" more clues if you contact me torlikowski@msn.com

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  31. Hi Sherpa I worked loss prevention at thomas mall store 10/74 to 1/75 I left as I was going to go to the police academy, I have been looking for a friend she worked women's dept I think but I cannot think of her name, brunette can you remember any names Thought it was Martori but no luck there torlikowski@msn.com

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  32. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  33. I worked at Diamond's at Park Central in the early70's. I mostly worked in the Junior department.. I also filled in at the green stamp desk and sometimes as the store phone operator. That was a blast! My supervisor was Betty Chance. Good times!

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    1. do you remember any of the night shift girls , we went out for awhile but cannot remember her name as Iwas about to start at the academy
      thanks

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    2. I worked mostly night and Saturdays. Where did she work? I knew most of the girls that worked in junior department . There was Julie,Anita,Denise, Nancy, I guess those are the only ones I remember. Thought I would remember more

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  34. have any last names trying to contact an old flame

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  35. I first started as the scheduler at MetroCenter store in 1978-79. I was responsible for the schedules for over 300 employees and tracked their productivity. They had a huge employee cafeteria as well as the Gazebo restaurants. I got to know all the sales people and Department Managers. I remember, one time, getting coffee for Nancy Reagan during her book signing before she was First Lady and I also met Barry Goldwater when he was there signing his book. I moved to Park Central 1981 in HR and then promoted to Housewares manager. Lots of good memories. It gave me an excellent understanding of the finer things in life. So happy to see Ralph Diamond's comment. Dennis Reece

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  36. Trying to remember the name of the teen modeling/ettiquette classes they held at the Thomas Mall Diamonds in the 70s

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