April 23, 2013
NOT TO WAX nostalgic, but Center City used to be the place to shop. There were four major department stores - Gimbels, Lit Bros., Strawbridge & Clothier and John Wanamaker's - all within a few blocks of each other. To a young James Kenny, department stores were exciting places. He fell so in love with the business during the early 1970s that he skipped medical school to focus on retail, never dreaming how drastically things would change. Kenny retired this month from Macy's after almost 42 years in an industry that's undergone huge transformations.
November 13, 2012 |
Ann Gimbel-Goff, 85, a "no nonsense" mother who raised six children and became a long-distance runner, died at Rydal Park in Jenkintown on Wednesday, Nov. 7, of complications from Parkinson's disease. She had fought the disease for the last 15 years of her life. Mrs. Gimbel-Goff was born in Abington Township in 1927, and was a great-granddaughter of Adam Gimbel, founder of Gimbel's department stores. She was the third of seven children, and was predeceased by a brother, Roger Gimbel, and sister Joyce Trifield.
November 30, 2011 |
The original Gimbel Brothers building on Market Street between Eighth and Ninth is now a parking lot. There is no trace of the defunct department store in what is now the Gallery, or in any suburban mall for that matter. The once-bustling chain, which once owned Saks Fifth Avenue, closed its doors in Philadelphia 25 years ago. So why write a book about Gimbels now? "Because just hearing the name makes people happy," said Michael J. Lisicky, author of Gimbels Has It!
November 17, 2011 |
I was examining our old piano the other day, a 1924 Sohmer that we bought when my father-in-law died and we wanted something lasting to remember him by. Through its serial number, we tracked its provenance to the piano department of Strawbridge & Clothier at 801 Market St. Why shouldn't Strawbridge's sell baby grands? It had everything else: an employee chorus and radio station. Uniformed doormen and elevator ladies. Cash boys to run between the counters and registers, which is how the venerable emporium came to hire the 13-year-old W.C. Fields.
April 29, 2011 |
LOS ANGELES - Emmy Award-winning TV producer Roger Gimbel, who worked Bing Crosby, Sophia Loren and other stars, has died. He was 86. Gimbel died on Tuesday of pneumonia at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Gimbel's wife, actress Jennifer Warren, was at his side. Gimbel, a Philadelphia native, was a member of the Gimbels department-store family. Gimbel's 500-plus productions received 18 Emmys, including one for 1973's "A War of Children," about Irish and Protestant friends engulfed by strife in Belfast.
November 26, 2010 |
FOR 48 years, Lou Dallago has bundled up with his family and come into Center City for the annual Thanksgiving Day parade. Dallago, 78, started taking his kids when they were young, carrying a ladder on the subway so that they could get a good view of the traditional floats, bands and, of course, Santa Claus. But this year, he wasn't so sure he wanted to go. "I was going to take a break this year, because it was supposed to rain, but we had the little guy," said Dallago, pointing at his 10-year-old grandson.
November 13, 2008 |
Philadelphia's annual Boscov's-6ABC Thanksgiving Day Parade, in jeopardy since the Boscov's department store chain declared bankruptcy in August, has a new sponsor and yesterday secured a commitment for city aid. Swedish retail furniture giant IKEA, whose North American headquarters are in Conshohocken, agreed to replace Boscov's as title sponsor of the parade after being approached by WPVI-TV, the Disney-owned ABC affiliate that produces and...
April 27, 2008 |
Elizabeth Tremmel Mills, 105, of Upper Gwynedd, a confectioner who created fanciful figures with sugar and chocolate, died April 19 at the Golden Living Center in Lansdale. Mrs. Mills was raised at St. Vincent's Orphanage in Philadelphia after her mother died when the girl was 8. At 15, she went to work as a chocolate coater at the Goldenberg Candy Co. in Philadelphia. During World War I, she briefly worked at a DuPont-run munitions factory. She married Richard Mills in 1926.
June 11, 2007 |
Mary Stansell McGowan, 92, of Devon, a retired department-store manager who was honored for her service to the United States during World War II, died of pneumonia May 20 at Paoli Hospital. Mrs. McGowan was appointed manager of the Gimbel Bros. store in Center City in 1963. According to newspaper accounts, she was the first woman in the city's history to manage a major department store. Previously, she had been personnel director for Gimbels' Philadelphia-area stores. The head of Gimbels' operations in Philadelphia, H.J. Grinsfelder, told a reporter that Mrs. McGowan had the experience for the job and "adds the woman's touch to a business essentially cliented to women.
May 28, 2005 |
Charles C. Miller, 88, a multitalented interior designer who was awarded the Bronze Star for planning reconstruction of railroads and roads near Paris devastated by the Nazis during World War II, died of heart failure at Burdette Tomlin Memorial Hospital in Cape May, N.J. He was a longtime resident of Newtown, Bucks County. Born in Warren, Pa., Mr. Miller was raised in Cortland, N.Y. After earning a bachelor's degree in industrial design in 1937 from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, he began working for a design firm based in New York's Rockefeller Center.