S. Kann Sons Co., Washington, D.C.


Kann's Pennsylvania Avenue Store received  a new
front in 1959.

Before the resurfacing, the original store appeared
as a combination of buildings.


S. Kann's Sons Co. (Kann's) (1893)
Pennsylvania Ave., 8th and D Streets N.W.
Washington, D.C.


DIstrict 7-7200




Lower Level
The Bookstore • The Appliance Store • Records • Photographic Studio • Kanteen


Street Floor
Fine Jewelry • Silver • Costume Jewelry • Better Jewelry • Handbags • Gloves • Small Leather Goods • Fashion Accessories • Main Floor Sportswear • Hosiery • Scarves • Cosmetics • Toiletries • Hat Bars • Wig Bar • Millinery • Lingerie • Notions • Candy • Stationery • Cameras • The Linen Closet • Sewing Machines • Men's Furnishings • Men's Sportswear


Second Floor
Sportswear • Dresses • Daytime Dresses • Better Dresses • Better Sportswear • The Avenue Shop • Coats • Suits • Rainwear • Furs • Young Juniors • Junior Dresses • Junior Sportswear • Foundations • Loungewear • Infants' Wear • Children's Wear • Boys' Wear • Girls' Wear • Teens' Wear • Men's Clothing


Third Floor
Housewares • Small Electrics • China • Gifts • Draperies • Curtains • Upholstery • Broadloom • Floor Covering • Fabrics • Needlework • Sewing Machines • Trim-A-Tree Shop • Beauty Salon


Fourth Floor
Fashion Shoes • Men's Shoes • Luggage • Toys • Sporting Goods • Lamps • Pictures and Mirrors • Bedding • Furniture

(250,000 sq. ft.)




Arlington
North Fairfax Drive,
Clarendon Circle
November, 1951
130,000 sq. ft.
The Kanteen



Coming in Due Course








38 comments:

  1. What a department store! It was one of those stores that you would find most things but they may have been more affordable there than the other department stores. You could always check here to find comparable items much more reasonable.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I went there often with my mom since I was a toddler. I miss Kann's and Korvette's!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I shopped here at the Arlington Kanns location with my grandmother when I was a small child in the 1960s and one of my fondest memories of Kanns was the Squirrel Monkeys in the shoe dept they had to entertain the children such as myself.

    ReplyDelete
  4. My father worked for Kann's - he began his career in the D.C. store (where my mother worked in the Lamp Department) and joined the Arlington store when it opened; he worked with the same group of salesmen until the Arlington (Virginia Square) store closed. So many good memories - too many to list here :) I remember the Squirrel Monkeys in the Shoe Department and also the escalator in the middle of the store ! One day someone thought my dad was John F. Kennedy since he did resemble our beloved late President and this WAS the 1960's after all. My deja vu - I attended school in the Arlington location of George Mason Law School and am pleased to report the department store - although changed somewhat - is still standing - who else remembers the Kannteen and the Toy Department on the lower level? Hopefully others will post to this site - and thanks for the lovely walk down memory lane !

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh yes - and Korvette's - who doesn't miss the record department on the lower level? So many records to choose from and the stereo department was the best around ! The store in Bailey's Crossroads was the closest one to where I lived and those of us native NOVA people STILL talk about it ! I am sorry those who did not have the experience and delight of shopping at Kann's and Korvettes have missed so much !

    ReplyDelete
  6. By the way, does anyone remember Woodward & LOthrop? Their motto used to be "our friends call us Woodies" - another wonderful memory for us and please post anything you remember - we shopped in Seven Corners (VA) at their Woodies store but also downtown (remember the delightful Christmas windows?????)

    ReplyDelete
  7. If the work I've put into this site causes people like yourself to consider it a "lovely walk down memory lane," then it was really worth every minute!

    Bruce

    ReplyDelete
  8. I worked there, right out of high school in the linen dept in 1941,1942 first as a stock boy, then salesman before going into the service.You could enter the department through an entry on 8th street as I remember. I remember eating lunch nearby for 35 cents.
    A great friendly store.

    Clint

    ReplyDelete
  9. Kann's was the first DC Department store to have black mannequins and was the first to use them in windows.

    James Goode's amazing book on lost Washington DC architecture (Capitol Losses) has a wonderful entry for Kann's.

    ReplyDelete
  10. My great-aunt only shopped at Kann's, and after they folded, we carefully hoarded Kann's boxes so that she'd find Christmas gifts acceptable.
    We we'd go downtown as teenagers, we'd often eat at Kann's because we loved the barbecue they served.

    ReplyDelete
  11. It was a great store. My mother had a charge account there and she would buy all her fabric there for sewing. One day my mother and my brothers went with my mother to the 3rd floor "Fashions by the Yard" and we saw a black mannequin on the right as we walked into the department and my brother and I were all a gasp! We couldn't believe it. I must say Kanns had very neat and well done window displays. I remember the D street Christmas window displays about the "Candy Man" with a Sammy Davis mannequin with music, and big lollipops and candy canes with little beautiful DG Williams children's mannequins.

    ReplyDelete
  12. went there every month with my mother when I was young , grew up in southeast dc

    ReplyDelete
  13. Remember, hot dog counter standing up eat! Didn't mind as a child it was fun! Old fashion elevators with people operating them! Kann's was memorable place in wash d.c. growing up!!!

    ReplyDelete
  14. At Kanns, my mom was a bookkeeper, my dad did the fashion illustrations for the evening news, my Uncle Joe worked on the first floor as the buyer for the men's department, and our friend, Mrs. Pillsbury, worked in home goods. I even have a wooden display drawer from the men's dept. that I use in my home. The German bakery was the best there. Sure miss Kann's.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I loved going to Kann's in Virginia with my parents in the 1950s and 60s. One of my very favorite dolls came from there - I still have her! It was also the store where I got my first pair of "high heels" (3/4" or so - in the early 60s, young girls didn't get heels until they were 10-12 years old - now I see them on 3 year olds!). I had my first non-sweet pickle chip at the Kanteen. Lots of fond memories!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I ran across some s kann furniture at a storage unit auction that I purchased. Its quite beautiful and wildly original. Would anyone know where and how to get it appraised?

    ReplyDelete
  17. Bought my wedding dress there in 1968.

    ReplyDelete
  18. While antiquing one day I came across an old camera with film in it. I'm a collector so I purchased it and brought it home. I carefully unloaded the film and had it processed. Due to the age and the exposure of the film only a few pictures were able to be developed. Examined the photos and determined they were taken outside of Kann's dept. store. I would love to pass these on to anyone who is interested.

    ReplyDelete
  19. If any of the photos would be appropriate for this web site, you could scan them and send to bakgraphics@comcast.net. I will be happy to post them for all to see.

    -Bruce

    ReplyDelete
  20. My family was part of the Kanns employees for many years. My mother was an elevator operator, my dad sold shoes, my aunt worked in the Credit Dept. My uncle worked in the warehouses. My 1st. job out of high school was across the street working in the accounts receivable dept. working with the buyers. We were one floor below the advertising dept. I will always think of Kanns as home.

    Regenia Campbell

    ReplyDelete
  21. My family worked for Kanns. My Uncle Joe worked as a supervisor for their warehouse from the 1940's on, my Aunt the Credit Dept. my mom ran the elevators sat on the little stool, my dad sold shoes. I worked across the street in the accounts receivable dept. payroll was in my office, advertising was the floor above. Still have one of their boxes. I live not far at all from their Md. warehouse location it is a field now.

    Scally

    ReplyDelete
  22. I've still got a 1957 Kann's Christmas catalog with me as a 9 year modeling kids pajamas.
    Jim

    ReplyDelete
  23. I have a Box of Kann's Department Store Soap that my mother kept. Anyone interested email me at creativedreams333@gmail.com


    ReplyDelete
  24. I think there was an entry to the store on D street. Can anyone confirm that ? I think it took you into the linen and curtain department.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I live in PG County, MD and just found a small clear glass bottle in my yard while digging. It has "S Kann, Sons & Co." and "Washington" in raised letters on one side of the bottle. It did not have a twist off top - it looks like it may have been made with a cork top or something of that nature. Does anyone have any idea what may have been in it and how old it might be? I was assuming it may have had some type of scent or oil in it. It's about 3" tall and made of thick glass. I am forever finding old bottles in my yard. Cheryl

    ReplyDelete
  26. What a wonderful website and tribute to so many places that no longer stand and for many of us, memories of our childhood. * Kann's was one of my grandmother's favorite stores. Reading through the comments someone mentioned the squirrel monkeys that were at the Arlington store and that brought back a flood of wonderful memories. (I had forgotten all about those wonderful playful creatures.) I also have a photo of me and my brother (1966 or 67) with Santa Claus. * I 'd like to find anyone who remembers the long building at the other end of the parking lot at Kann's Arlington that had several shops. One was a children's clothing store. Mine and my brother's winter coats were bought there for many years. And if anyone knows what has been built on the old Kann's site, I'd love to know so I can see it on one of my trips back to DC area. Thanks, DB dbbourgeois@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  27. Does anyone remember having the German coffee cake? It was the best I've ever had and I've been seaching for something similar ever since. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  28. My grandmother worked for them for 25 years until she retired--first in D.C. and then in Arlington, VA. She was the head of personnel and hired employees for the store. I remember the monkeys in the shoe department too. When I worked downtown starting in 1964 I used to eat lunch at the kanteen in the D.C. store.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Didn't this store have a bakery?

    ReplyDelete
  30. I want to know if anyone remembers the kinds/names of cookies they sold at the German Bakery in Kann's in Washington D.C. I have dreamed of one certain cookie they sold and my great aunt use to work there and sometimes she would bring me some. It was 50 years ago and was a medium brown cookie with glaze sections on it, maybe butterscotch on top. I would give anything to have just one more of those cookies again...

    ReplyDelete
  31. I want to know if anyone remembers the kinds/names of cookies they sold at the German Bakery in Kann's in Washington D.C. I have dreamed of one certain cookie they sold and my great aunt use to work there and sometimes she would bring me some. It was 50 years ago and was a medium brown cookie with glaze sections on it, maybe butterscotch on top. I would give anything to have just one more of those cookies again...

    ReplyDelete
  32. My Dad used to let me off at the Smithsonian, and let Mom off at Kanns and then go to Hains Point and napped until he picked us up at 4 PM in front of Kanns. I always liked the train display at Christmas .
    I went to work for the DC Fire Department years later and was at the fire that burned Kanns. We worked all night chasing that fire.. There were three separate ceiling in the store. or series of store that made up the store. We pulled the ceiling looking for fire and there was none there because there was another ceiling over that then another over that.
    The first was a hanging ceiling above that one was a sheet rock ceiling, and above that an ornamental tin ceiling., We couldn't pull the ceilings fast enough to get ahead of the fire.

    To answer a question, Yes there was a D street entrance. The fire started on the D street side, that was where we made our initial entrance to the building. There were about 3 steps that brought you up to street level.

    ReplyDelete
  33. As a college student, I worked in the Kann's holiday decorations department during the Christmas rush in 1964. I have had many jobs in my life but that was the best one hands down. Such a joyful place and the pound cake from the bakery- oh my goodness.

    Kann's cared about their employees. There were lounge chairs that allowed you to put your feet up in the employee locker rooms!

    ReplyDelete
  34. I was a caregiver for Mrs Bryant who I see shopped at kanns after she passed away a lot of her clothes had the label Kann and sons company and I'm grateful to the family that some of her items were passed on to me I have a beautiful fur and other items thanks. Bryant family.

    ReplyDelete
  35. This was my family's department store and I only wish that I had been old enough to have visited it. Thank you all for the wonderful comments and memories that you have posted. And thank you Bruce for creating this website. It means a lot to me. S

    ReplyDelete
  36. You are welcome Stefanie! If you have anything (history, comments, photos) - that you would like to add, I would welcome it. Eventually, I will update the exhibit like the ones I have completed (see the front page of this site). From the number of comments received (above) you can see that your family's store was very well-loved, and quite well-remembered!
    -Bruce

    ReplyDelete
  37. You can contact me via email - bakgraphics@comcast.net

    ReplyDelete

Comments