M. O'Neill Co., Akron, Ohio

The M. O'Neil Co. (1877/1927)
226 S. Main St.
Akron, Ohio

Full exhibit coming in due course.

A. Polsky Co., Akron, Ohio

A. Polsky Co.
225 S. Main Street
Akron, Ohio

Full exhibit coming in due course.

The McAlpin Co., Cincinnati, Ohio

Unusually, an illustration of the store on the occasion
of McAlpin's 75th Anniversary in 1928 showed both
buildings as identical in design and height.
Photo of the West 4th Street store, showing McAlpin's
two adjacent buildings, and the store's famous clock.
Advertising image of McAlpin's.
Where Fashion is Foremost
The McAlpin Co. (McAlpin's)
13 W. 4th Street
Cincinnati, Ohio (est. 1852)

DUnbar 1-4400

Lower Level
Housewares • Small Electrics • Paints  Trim-the-Home Shop • Sporting Goods  Toys

Main Floor
Jewelry • Fine Jewelry • Cosmetics • Handbags • Small Leather Goods • Gloves • Rainwear • Hosiery • Scuffs ‘n Socks • Neckwear  Accessories • Blouse Bar • Popular Sportswear • Popular Lingerie • Popular Foundations • Casual Dresses • Cameras • Stationery • Candy • Bakery Counter • Health & Beauty Aids • The Kopper Kettle
Gentleman's Corner Men’s Furnishings • Men’s Shoes • Men’s Clothing • Young Men’s Shop

Second Floor
Infants’ Wear • Nursery Furniture  Tots 'n Toddlers’ Shop • Girls’ Wear • Boys’ Wear • Children’s Shoes • Children’s Accessories • Tweenteen Shop • Maternity Shop • Uniforms • Fashion Fabrics • Necchi Sewing Center  Art Needlework • Linens • Bath Shop

Third Floor
Sportswear • Dresses • After Five Shop  Half-Size Dresses • Large-Size Sportswear • Coat Salon • Fur Salon • Contemporary Sportswear • Better Dresses • Better Sportswear • Designer Dresses • Designer Sportswear • Sophisticate Shop • Young Juniors • Junior Sportswear • Junior Dresses • Loungewear • Body fashions  Lingerie • Millinery • Wig Boutique  Beauty Salon

Fourth Floor
Rugs • Furniture • Draperies • Bedding

Fifth Floor
The Tea Room • Gentlemen’s Grill • Prime Rib • China • Silverware • Glassware • Gifts • Lamps • Pictures • Mirrors • Luggage • TVs/Stereo • Radios • Appliances

Sixth Floor
Offices • Personnel • Credit Office
(250,000 s.f.)

Central Avenue
(Acquired William T. Knott Company)
July 2, 1951
Western Hills
November 17, 1954
102,000 sq. ft.
The Kopper Kettle

Kenwood Plaza
September 20, 1956
240,000 sq. ft.
The Kopper Kettle

Cherry Grove Plaza
Sepember 24, 1959
126,000 s.f.
The Kopper Kettle

Middletown Plaza
November 5, 1959
80,000 s.f.

Harrodsburg Rd., Lexington KY
August 9, 1967
168,000 sq. ft.
The Kopper Kettle

Lexington Mall
Richmond Rd., Lexington KY
October 14, 1971
The Kopper Kettle

Northgate Mall
June 4, 1972
175,000 sq. ft.
The Kopper Kettle

Towne Mall
Rte. 122 & Dixie Hwy.
February 16, 1975 
The Kopper Kettle
Kenwood Home Furnishings Store
Kenwood Plaza
September 9, 1976
Crestview Mall
I-275 at Dixie Hwy., Crestview Hills, KY
August 1, 1979

The Kopper Kettle

McAlpin's, one of Cincinnati's favorite department stores, was officially founded in 1852, when Cincinnati native George Washington McAlpin (1827-1890) became a partner in the Wholesale firm of John W. Ellis & Co, and the firm changed its name to Ellis, McAlpin & Co. McAlpin, one of three sons of Glasgow native Andrew McAlpin, attended Woodward High School and Cincinnati College before embarking on a business career in 1842 at the wholesale house of John Taylor in the Queen City.

In 1880, the company moved to a 5-story building at 13-17 West 4th Street, formerly occupied by the John Shillito Company.
13-17 West 4th Street
George W. McAlpin lived at a capacious mansion at 318 Lafayette Avenue known as Oak Hall. In addition to directing his own firm, he was a member of Cincinnati city council for 15 years, and a director of the First National Bank in his home town. McAlpin died on April 20, 1890. He had been in Old Point Comfort, Virginia, visiting his daughter, where he contracted a cold. After his return to CIncinnati he died suddenly at his home.

George McAlpin's younger brother WIlliam took over the company and in two years, converted it into a combined wholesale and retail firm. McAlpin's prospered under the Yale-educated William, who was for 16 years head of the Cincinnati YMCA and also served on the board of the University of Cincinnati. In 1887, he married Mattie Woodruff, a noted opera singer. From that time the couple was very active in the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music.

WIlliam McAlpin died in 1899, and the store continued in popularity, expanding westard in 1901 into the adjacent six-story Morgan building. McAlpin's is one of few department stores to occupy the same buildings from its inception as a retail store throughout its whole life. 1901 saw the installation of McAlpin's famous clock on 4th Street.
McAlpin's Clock
McAlpin's became associated with the New York wholesale firm of H. B. Claflin & Co., and when that firm failed, the Cincinnati concern was thrown into receivership, ultimately emerging as a subsidiary of New York-based Mercantile Stores Corp. Under Mercantile leadership, it prospered, and the store was rebuilt in its 75th anniversary year of 1928. By the time of a further remodel in 1934, the company had 500 employees.
McAlpin's remodeled entrance in 1928
Escalators were first installed in the building in 1948, and McAlpin's celebrated its centenary in 1952. For a few years in the 1950s, Mercantile's other Cincinnati store, The Fair, was consolidated with McAlpin's familiar 4th Street store. The store was known as McAlpin's 6th Street, but closed in 1956. At the time of the consolidation in 1951, McAlpin's operated a small store in Paris, Kentucky, and acquired the Knott Store of Middletown, Ohio as a branch operation.

A pioneer in suburban branch development, McAlpin's opened stores in suburban shopping plazas, which were so popular that they were expanded multiple times. In 1967, the store entered the Lexington, Kentucky market and added a second store there four years later.
McAlpin's first suburban branch: Western Hills in 1954
A beloved member of Cincinnati's "big four" department stores, McAlpin's prospered downtown on fourth street for many years. Known as the most value-oriented of the stores, it nonetheless offered familiar service and served a broad clientele who particularly appreciated McAlpin's food services, ranging from the popular "Kopper Kettle" on the main floor to the more elegant Tea Room upstairs. Frequent remodeling, and a modern 1960s storefront helped the building masque its age and remain up-to-date.

Downtown Cincinnati appeared to have a bright future, but by 1980, retailers began to lose the battle in the face of suburban competition and retail consolidation. Across-the-street competitor Pogue's was merged into Indiana's L.S. Ayres & Co., thus loosing its own identity, and closing by 1988. Deterioration of the retail district began to set in with the takeover of Mabley & Carew in 1978 by Dayton's Elder-Beerman. That store closed a few years after, in 1985, leaving only Shillito's as a competitor up on Race Street.

By 1992, McAlpin's had moved its executive offices to its suburban Kenwood location. It was announced that the downtown store had become unprofitable. When the city of Cincinnati subsidized Shillito's (by then named Lazarus) move to smaller quarters on Fountain Square, McAlpin's made it public that it would close the venerable 4th Street store if it could not be accommodated in the same development.

Lazarus prevailed at Fountain Square West, and McAlpin's left downtown in February of 1996. By this time the store had opened large suburban branches at Eastgate (1991, causing the closure of the 1959 Cherry Grove store) and at Tri-County in 1993.

The McAlpin name disappeared from the Cincinnati landscape with the purchase of Mercantile stores by Dillard's in 1998. McAlpin's had served the Queen City for 146 years.

Mabley & Carew, Cincinnati, Ohio

The 12-story 1962 Mabley & Carew store
on Fountain Square.  Previously, the store
occupied space in the Carew Tower
from 1930 to 1962, and on
Fountain Square from 1884-1930. 

Mabley & Carew (1877/1962)
Fifth and Vine Streets
Cincinnati, Ohio

CHerry 1-7400

Lower Level
Hostess Center • Ohio State Liquor Shop

Street Floor
Fine Jewelry • Costume Jewelry • Handbags • Gloves • Small Leather Goods • Accessories • Scarves • Umbrellas • Hosiery • Blouses • Sweaters • Fountain Square Sportswear • Cosmetics • Notions • Stationery • Candy • Gourmet Shop • Men's Furnishings • Men's Sportswear • Cameras

Men's Clothing • Young Men's Shop

Second Floor
The Junior Place Junior Sportswear • Junior Dresses • Junior Lingerie • Junior Coats • Junior Shoes • Thriftmode Shoes

Third Floor
Boulevard Dresses • Boulevard Sportswear • Better Dresses • Better Sportswear • Pacesetter • Town Shop • The Bride's Shop • Fur Salon • Shoe Salon • Millinery • Wigs • Lingerie • Foundations • Sleepwear • Loungewear

Fourth Floor
Coats • Suits • Hide-Out • Thriftmode Dresses • Casual Corner • Women's Dresses • Women's Sportswear
Children's World Infants' Wear • Infants' Furniture • Toddlers' Wear • Boys' Wear • Girls' Wear • Girls' Accessories • Children's Shoes • Teen Shop

Fifth Floor
Furniture • Casual Furniture • Floor Coverings • Rugs • Mattresses

Sixth Floor
China • Silverware • Glassware • Gift Shop • TV Center • Stereos and Radios • Records • Housewares • Small Appliances • Lamps • Picture Gallery • Beauty Salon • Plaza Restaurant • Books

Seventh Floor
Domestics • Linens • Bath Shop • Curtains and Draperies • Fabrics • Art Needlework • Sewing Machines

Eighth Floor
Toys • Sporting Goods • Luggage • Garden Center • Hardware • Major Appliances • Vacuum Cleaners • Unfinished Furniture • Paint and Wallpaper

Ninth Floor
Credit Office • Cash Office • Executive Offices • Advertising • Auditorium

Tenth Floor
Display Workrooms

Eleventh Floor
Employee Dining Room • Nurse's Office

Twelfth Floor
Supply Room • Print Shop (341,000 s.f.)

Western Hills Plaza
Glenway Avenue and Werk Road
September 15, 1955
41,000 s.f.
Swifton Center
US 25 Reading at Langdon Farm Road
(acquired Rollmann's)
November 20, 1960
(150,000 s.f.)
Garden Room
Malt Bar
High Street and Journal Square

March 2, 1964
1101 Central Ave. at Broad St.
March 2, 1964
Beechmont Mall
7500 Beechmont Avenue
October 6, 1969
(117,000 s.f.)
Strawberry Shortcake Shop

Personal Shopper: Norma Fay