Dayton's, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Read the new History Press book
about Dayton's

Or, choose the well-done
Arcadia Book about Dayton's

The oldest portion of Dayton's enormous store,
on the southwest corner of Nicollet and
Seventh Street.  The original Radisson
hotel can be seen to the right of the store.

The store was expanded along Eighth Street in the
1930s and again in the 1950s, resulting in a massive,
twelve story block, crowned by the renowned
Sky Room restaurant.

The newer block presented an
imposing face on Nicollet Avenue.

The newer block closed a vista along Lasalle Avenue.
It began as a two-story parking garage which
eventually formed a base for the tall store building.

"The Northwest's Great Store"

The Dayton Company (Dayton's) (1902)
700 Nicollet
Minneapolis, Minnesota

FEderal 2-6123

Dayton's Downstairs Store • Shoe Repair • Portrait Studio • Downstairs Lunch Counter • The Beauty Break

Main Floor
J.B. Hudson  Jeweler • Fine Jewelry • Diamonds • Clocks and Watches • Costume Jewelry • Better Jewelry • Handbags • Small Leather Goods • Belts • Gloves • Umbrellas • 
Cosmetics • Dress Accessories • Neckwear • Hosiery • Notions • Main Floor Blouses • Main Floor Sweaters • Main Floor Lingerie • Main Floor Foundations • Miss Dayton Shoes • Salon Shoes • Casual Shoes • Hat Bar • Out of Sight 1 • Out of Sight 2 • Stationery • Twixteens • Debster ShopLuggage • Candy Shop • Food Shops • Flower Shop • Men's Furnishings • Men's Sport Furnishings

Second Floor
Boy's Store • Men's Sportswear Winter Vacation Shop • Twixteens • Debster ShopMen's Clothes • The Varsity Shop • Northbriar Shop • The Pro Shop • 700 Shop • Carnaby Street Shop • Twixteens • Debster Shop  Men's Shoes • Men's Hats • Sporting Goods • Fishing Shop • Ski Shop • Dayton's Golf Store • Cameras • Toys
Fashion Village Village Sportswear • Village Dresses • Village Coats • Village Shoes • Village Half-size Dresses • Hat Bar • Village Daywear • Village Foundations • Village Warmwear  Casual Corner  Focus Shop

Third Floor
Sno-Fun Shop • Beach Shop • Resort Shop • Sun Fun Shop • Hat Bar • Town and Country Separates • Town and Country Blouses • Town and Country Sweaters • Town and Country Shop • Little Couture • Classic Place • Indeed! Shop • Status Separates • Misses' Dresses • Social Shop Misses' Coats • Misses' Suits • Everiday Dresses • Uniforms • Maternity Shop • Women's World • The Oval Room • Oval Room Country Clothes • Bride's Bureau • Bridal Salon • Fur Salon • Millinery • Living Wig Salon • The Looking Glass (Beauty Salon)

Fourth Floor
Dayton's Book Store • Stamps and Coins • Dayton's Travel Service • Shaver Shop • Hearing Aid Center • Drugs • Optical Center • Dayton's Snack Stop • Bras and Girdles • Figure Beauty • Lingerie • Sleepwear • Loungewear • Bra Bar • Young Juniors • Twixteens • Debster ShopJunior Sportswear • Junior Dresses • Junior Coats and Suits • Miss Dayton Shop • Junior Lingerie • Junior Shoes

Fifth Floor

Linens • Domestics • Bedding • Bath Shop • Fashion Fabrics • Art Needle • Singer Sewing Center • Glitter Shop • Felt Bar • Craft Shop • Dayton's Snack Stop
Childrensville Infants' • Infants' Toddlers • Children's Accessories • Twixteens • Debster ShopGirls 3-6x • Girls 7-14 • Junior High Shop • Twixteens • Debster Shop • Children's Shoes • Snoopy Shop

Sixth Floor
China • Gift Shop • Silverware • Mirrors • Pictures • Lamps • Home Accessories • Artificial Flowers • Carpeting • Area Rugs • Floor Floor  Draperies • Young Idea Center

Seventh Floor
Television • Radios • Records • Pet Shop • Sleep Shop • Summer Furniture • Furniture • Traditional Furniture • Contemporary Furniture • Early American Furniture

Eighth Floor
Auditorium • Housewares • Gourmet Shop • Cookware • Small Electrics • Vacuum Cleaners • Appliances • Hardware • Paint

Ninth Floor
Employment Office

Tenth Floor

Eleventh Floor

Twelfth Floor
The Sky Room • The Oak Grill • Tiffin • Gallery 12
(1,200,000 sq. ft.)

South Broadway at 2nd St.
October 8, 1956
238,000 s.f.
The Valley View Room
St. Paul
6th St. at Wabasha
383,000 s.f.
The River Room
The Iron
The Cup and Saucer
Brooklyn Center
195,000 s.f.
Brookdale Inn
173,000 s.f.
Apache Mall
155,000 s.f.

Fargo, ND
West Acres Shopping Center
115,000 s.f.

202,000 s.f.
St. Cloud
Crosroads Mall

Burnsville Center

Sioux Falls, SD
Empire Mall

Grand Forks, ND
Columbia Mall


  1. From 1985-2005 there was an 80,000 sq ft store at Kirkwood mall in Bismarck, ND.

  2. I don't think we can discuss Dayton's without a mention of Dayton's Downstairs, which of course became Target and completely changed the game and quite possibly accelerated the demise of the great local department store. I like Target, but I miss the big stores too. Oh well, progress I suppose.

    1. That was called 'The Budget Store'. The 'Target' idea sprang from the 'Target Bargain' sign toppers where a three-ringed illustrated target bulls-eye was being pierced by an arrow. It was a great place for a bag of popcorn or a hotdog.

  3. Does anyone have a list of the Dayton's 8th floor auditorium's Christmas shows down through the years?

  4. I remember Dayton's flagship store in downtown Minneapolis as a kid. They actually had a day-care center where suburban moms could drop the rug-rats off while they went shopping. I seem to recall they actually had an elephant you could climb into and then slide down the trunk. It was a great way to spend a day.

    I also recall going to "Breakfast With Santa" in the Sky Room. As I recall, Santa arrived by helicopter, climbed down a rope ladder and crawled through a window - much to my delight.

    1. I remember the day care; I loved it when my mom will drop us off there. If I remember correctly, the interior was yellow and orange rooms that you could run in and out of.

    2. I remember playing in the elephant slide as a child. I loved going downtown shopping with my Mom because I would get to play in the child care center. I wonder what happened to that elephant slide?

    3. YES!!!! The elephant slide! The ladies who worked in the Kids Kare were so nice. My mom brought me there often just so I could have the opportunity to play with other children. I think those fond memories may have fueled my destiny as an adult to work in early childhood education. I often wonder what they ever did with the elephant slide . . . is it still hidden in storage somewhere on site?

    4. I am so glad to hear this wasn't in my dreams. I would take the bus downtown with my Mom. She woudl drop me in the daycrae- and I remember climbing into the Elephant- cahtting with kids in the head part0 looking out from the eyes. Then YES- sliding down the trunk.

      This is a great example of pre-litigious society- leaving lots of kids semi supervised at a non- licsensed facility- and not even worried about it.

    5. That is my exact memory too! Would love to see a picture.

  5. Can they at-least change or Flagship store back to Dayton's is that to much to ask?

  6. The Daytons store in Sioux Falls South Dakota was opened in August of 1978 not 1971. I was one of the first employees hired for the opening of the store.

    1. Where was it located? I never heard of this department store chain from Minnesota in Sioux Falls!

  7. Kirkwood Mall in Bismarck, ND had a Dayton's open in 1985

  8. also LA CROSSE WISCONSIN , I Believed they opened the 1970's

  9. I just purchased a wool overcoat with a beautiful reddish lining from a second hand store. It is in very good condition, minus on button, and I was wondering if it was worth anything over the $12.65 I paid for it. Does anyone have info on this?

  10. Were there any Dayton stores in Ohio or western Penn? I seem to remember this store.

  11. No Dayton's stores in Ohio or PA.

    And here are the 8th Floor Christmas themes from 1963 through 2008 (PDFs): (1963-89) (1990-2008)

  12. No Dayton's in Ohio or Pennsylvania.

    *mb: here are the Dayton's downtown Minneapolis 8th floor Christmas themes from 1963 through 2008:


  13. May's owned Dayton's, Hudson's, Marshal Fields, and Target. (I believe there may have been Hudson's in Ohio, but I don't recall PA having any stores within the chain.). I remember when Target was such a low budget embarrassment, which was terribly merchandised and extremely poorly stocked. How did it outlive Dayton's??? At TarGhetto I am treated almost as a criminal, where at Dayton's I was literally their Guest. In fact during my employment there (which was the highlight of my life) we were instructed to not just help but delight our guests. To know that it is gone forever almost makes me cry. It was truly one of the most special places to work or shop which any former shopper or employee could tell you and many of them are still there at trashy Macys. Ask them about Daytons, though, and a special pride and glowing smile will come over their face instantly.

    1. May's never owned Dayton's or Target

    2. May Co (now defunct) bought Marshall Field's from Target Corp. Marshall Field's was the consolidated name of Dayton's and Hudson's after they bought Chicago's Marshall Field's. Macy's bought May Co in 2009. The beginning of the end.

  14. I have some Dayton's ephemera I would like to donate to the museum. Who do I contact?

  15. I used to work at Daytons. it truly was the highlight of my life :-) I will forever miss Daytons :-(

  16. Re the earlier comment of April 19:

    For the record, Dayton's and Target were never owned by May. Dayton-Hudson became Target Corp in 2000, and Dayton stores remained Dayton's until 2001, when they were re-branded as Marshall Field's stores (DH had acquired MF a decade earlier). May then acquired the DH department stores from Target in 2004. So no Dayton's stores under the Dayton name were ever owned by May. Former Dayton stores, yes.

  17. i have a picture of the apache mall store it may take me awhile to find it

  18. I have had a vintage dressed young girl mannequin for 40 years that came from the old Daytons department store in down town Rochester Mn---I am wondering if anyone collects these unique display mannequins---she has a hand painted face and dressed in clothing from the 50s or earlier I think---her hair is made from twisted brown paper---does anyone collect vintage Daytons items?

  19. I have had a young girl ( forties or fifties vintage dressed ) mannequin for forty years that came from the old downtown Dayton department store--she has a hand painted face and her hair is made from twisted brown paper--she is very unique---I am wondering if anyone collects these as Daytons collectables?

  20. All you people crying in the cups about Dayton's (I'm one of you), should be forever grateful to the Macy's corporation for hanging on in downtown Mpls while all of you stay away in droves. Do you realize that the Oak Grill Room is nearly identical to what it was 50 years ago, and their popovers are better than ever. How about giving what remains of our beloved Dayton's a little patronage before we have nothing left but our memories!

    1. Just went to the Oak Grill today with my mom for our "last supper". The 12th floor restaurants will close permanently on Jan. 27 2017. And yes, the popover was terrific. Oak Grill will be very missed by my family.

  21. There was nothing better to get into the holiday spirit than to walk into Dayton's in downtown Minneapolis after Thanksgiving and see how the store had been decorated. Everything about the store was class and it would be an interesting course for college students today who are pursuing a Marketing degree to have a course studying Dayton's approach back in those days. I'm 71 and truly miss the marketing approach of those days. Sad that the new generation will never experience the days of shopping in a classy store rather than on line.

  22. Dayton's Department Store in downtown Minneapolis will ALWAYS be one of my MOST cherished memories...I have so many FAB memories of times there....going to the Skyroom....the Oak Grille...the 8th floor auditorium for all the events....Bachmann' s used to put on some spectacular holiday events there....seeing the Ukrainian Gift Shop demonstrate Ukrainian eggs in the candy department or getting a lady Baltimore cake for my Birthday from Dayton's will reighn supreme....:)

  23. Anyone know what happened to the statue that was in the large area by the front 'air door' at Dayton's Downtown St. Paul store?

    1. It's in the Sculpture Garden in Minneapolis across from the Walker Art Center.

  24. I am now 73 years old and I remember that when my mother became ill with Arthritis she couldn't do her own Christmas shopping for several years. So at age 10, I think, I began my Dayton's annual ritual, After school a few days a week, she would give me a list of 2 or three items to purchase and send me on the bus, from Lyndale Av N, with her Dayton's card. I was dropped right at the 7th street entrance, and returned the same way. I remember feeling so important, and I would proudly take my list to the department Mom selected to a clerk who would always help me; this was in the 1950's. My Mom always liked the store because a young woman who moved from up state, named Melanie, had rented from up when she first moved to Minneapolis.
    My secret indulgence was to walk ever so slowly past every single decorated window in the store beginning at 8th, then Nicolett Ave., and completing around the corner on 7th. The memory of those windows, the santa wonderland and the Grille will always have a place deep in my heart. It's too bad it couldn't be preserved for the next generation.
    The other thing from those days was my Aunt Mary who spent most of her life at Wonder Bread wrapping all the Hostess Twinkees. On her way home she would often stop at the food court in the basement of Dayton's and buy specialty foods. I especially remember wooden buckets of pickled herring. We were a big Polish family and of course herring is a staple of Northern Europeans.

  25. Those are, of course, great memories! Of course, "śledź" was also a part of our Polish family, too, but my mom preferred creamed herring. Imagine a 10-year old being entrusted with a credit card to go downtown these days! Your comments describe a beautiful, humane, but sadly distant world of which great department stores like Dayton's were a huge part..

  26. I remember as a teenager (and I'm 66 now)shopping often at the Rochester Dayton's. Shoes were my passion, so I always came home with at least two or three pairs!!! LOVED that store and still miss it.

  27. HELP! I'm looking to identify a maker of some furniture that was purchased around 1975 from Dayton's in downtown Minneapolis on France Avenue. I have a dining room table, two leaves, six chairs, and a credenza, all very blocky in style, beautiful wood that is very light (weight) and has "worm-holes" throughout. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  28. Steve Shumaker14 July, 2016 00:57

    My Dad built all of the Dayton's floats that appeared in the Minneapolis Aquatennial and St Paul Winter Carnival parades for a span of some 30 years. He also created many of the Christmas windows and auditorium displays during the 1960s.
    I am currently researching/writing a book about the float business in those days. Is there anyone here who worked on those displays, or has photos of them? I have many, but all I can think on are the ones I don't have!
    Being around these things (and later building them) was sure a unique way to grow up!
    feel free to send info to -

  29. I'm not sure how you can't have Dayton's iconic Oval Room not on the store directory??? Huge miss. Some of the most important designer names in the world were offered in The Oval Room!

  30. The reasin it is not included (and I thought it would be obvious) is that the exhibit is not complete. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune was available online briefly and will be back soon. The work to develop and maintain this site is very intensive, and I only have myself to rely upon, so be patient.
    - Bruce

  31. Does anyone recall when Dayton's first opened on Sundays?

    1. Not exactly.. it was open on Sunday's and 2 evenings a week downtown during the Christmas season as far back as 1975, but sometime in the 80's they stayed open every weekday evening until 8 and had permanent Sat/Sunday hours. Was ALWAYS closed on Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving day and Christmas day.

  32. Does anyone know anything about the private apartment above the Skyroom?

    1. The building stops at the 12th floor.

    2. There are actually 14 floors. The elevators only go to floor 12; floors 13 and 14 can be accessed by a stairwell behind the small museum near the Skyroom. I've been up there! There were replacement pieces of the marble facade, empty office space, elevator parts, and a giant papier mache Santa Bear. It's not at all handicapped accessible, and I assume that's why the floors were closed. With only one exit route, the floors probably fail to meet safety standards as well...

    3. I worked in the building for over 20 years.. the unofficial rumor was that the 13th and 14th floors used to be an onsite apartment for the Dayton family to stay when the weather was bad, or working long hours, etc. It was storage back in the 80's. there is also a sub -basement (loading dock and receiving ) and a sub-sub basement which is mostly building mechanical equipment.. generators, water heaters, etc. The 10th floor was the computer and IT staff.

    4. It is extremely sad that this most auspicious store in a once-great shopping district won't serve any longer. I am waiting for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune to return to my newspaper archives so that I can do a complete exhibit on the Minneapolis stores. Dayton's was surely the greatest of them! Somewhere there is a detailed cut-away view of the original building with its basements and all.
      - Bruce

    5. I had heard many rumors too about the building when I worked in the buying offices on the 6th floor. One of the rumors was that there was pool in the building somewhere in the old days that the Dayton's used. Someone on this board mentioned about a children's train tracks still there...I never heard or saw that. I wonder where it is?? I was there yesterday for one last visit and lunch at the Oak Grill. I had to check out the original entry, the JB Hudson iron doors, the ladies art deco bathroom on the 4th floor and so many other little things. I always loved too all the hidden (being off in the corners on 1st floor) staircases that they had. So sad to see it go. Note if you do visit, the restaurants (12th floor and basement are all closed on Jan.27th). After that time, I would imagine the 4th to 12th floors will be closed. Yesterday floors 5-11 were closed off. Floor 4 was almost 1/2 gone (they moved kids to the basement), so when they close the restaurants I bet they will just move what's left on 4 down and close 4 and up. Leaving only 1-3 and possibly the basement open. The final closing date is early March, but I would suspect if they can, they would shut down sooner.) I do not believe it is completely folks shopping online that killed this location. Having to pay plenty for parking when you can shop for free in the burbs is another reason. However the biggest reason was that Macy's killed the store. The subpar brands, poor construction of its products...but still hefty prices, no staff, never gave me a reason to shop there. AND....they never took care of that store. There are hunks out of walls, ripped carpeting, chipped/broken tiles, jewelry displays for higher end jewelry that has broken glass, chipped laminate on displays etc., not to mention those displays were easily there for decades and not taken care of. I am saddened that it has become as run down as it has. I honestly do not know how corporate Macy's ever could walk in the building and not see it falling is evident they never chose to or cared about it.

  33. Richard Ten Dyke19 November, 2016 20:14

    The photographs do not show one of the great contributions to Minneapolis life: the skyway system which initially linked Daytons to a parking garage, and to Donaldson's kitty corner across Nicollet, and from Donaldson's to its parking garage on Marquette. From that sprang the entire skyway system.

  34. Macy's just announced plans to close the downtown store (original Dayton's). I am hoping that preservations can be made for some of the original features that still exist, such as that deco ladies bathroom, and a partial train track in the floor that was once used for a children's train ride.

    1. where is this train track in floor?

  35. Does anyone recall the mezzanine overlooking the first floor. It was there when I moved to Minneapolis in 1857. Also, was there a tram type train at a Christmas show?

    1. Hi - There was a mezzanine in the JB Hudson jeweler on one corner of the store, but I don't recall one in the main store. However, *Powers* - a department store a few blocks north of Dayton's in downtown Minneapolis, very much did have a mezzanine. I remember that one quite well, as it was where I learned what a mezzanine was (and I was fascinated as a child by this odd floor that wasn't given a number).

    2. I believe the mezzanine was closed to the public and converted to office space sometime in the 70's or 80's. Whenever we had fire drills and had to exit via the star well on the 8th street side, there was a door for the 2nd and half floor and it was locked so you couldn't enter from the stairwell but people exited from there. I worked in the store from mid-70's until 1999.

  36. outside the Main entrance of Daytons at Southdale 2nd floor, there was a bronze statue of a donkey the year would be late 60s early 70s. Does anyone remember this statue and know what happened to it.

  37. Can anyone confirm that Mary Tyler Moore's cap toss was shown in front of Dayton's, not Donaldson's? The orange blur in the frozen image is an "Open Tonight" neon sign which was at Dayton's (from the days when it was open two nights a week in the 70s), right?

  38. I hope this response goes under the correct post, that of Anonymous on 28 January 2017 01:15...

    The hat toss shows Donaldson's in the background. The mailboxes were in front of Donaldson's for years and the neon sign was at Donaldson's. That the iconic shot shows Dayton's in the rear is a fairly common belief, but it is incorrect.