Charles A. Stevens Department Store, Chicago, Illinois
17 North State Street
|Postcard published by Gerson
Brothers, Chicago. Back of postcard: "Chas. A. Stevens Department
Store occupies the central building.
On the right it is bounded by Mandel Bros. and Carson, Pirie &
stores. To the left by Marshall Field & Co. Together it
fors a group of largest department stores in the world."
"Charles A. Stevens Building, 17 North State Street, D. H. Burnham & Co., 1912. This stately white terra cotta building topped by five richly ornamented arches has "Stevens Building" engraved across the top. Charles A. Stevens arrived in Chicago in 1886 with bolts of fine silks and soon transformed his business as a silk merchant into a prestigious store featuring ready-to-wear clothing.
"Promoting elegance, the store put on Chicago's first fashion shows, had a doorman to welcome customers on a red carpet, and featured "dark rooms" so that women could examine gowns under dim ballroom light. The first floor was built with an arcade or "style alley" extending from State Street to Wabash. To bring smaller shops to a street famed for department stores, Stevens leased the top 11 floors of its 19-story building to other retailers. "
Note: the building on the left corner is the Columbus Memorial Building.
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