J.L. Hudson’s Dept. Store: Detroit, Michigan 1881-1998
Who of you is old enough to remember watching the annual J.L. Hudson Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV?
For that matter, how many of you even shopped at Hudson's at some time in your life?
Hudson's department store's worldwide fame began with Joseph Lowthian (J.L) Hudson, who worked with his father at a clothing store in Ionia. When the Panic of 1873 occurred, jobs were lost, and customers couldn't pay up their bills. Going bankrupt three years after his dad passed away, J.L. Went to Detroit and opened his first store in 1881 at the old opera house. Ten years later, the very first part of what would become a garish mammoth structure at Woodward & Gratiot was constructed.
FAST STORE FACTS (according to Historic Detroit):
2,124,316 square feet
25 floors, 2 half-floors, 1 mezzanine
410 feet tall (the tallest in the world)
39 men's bathrooms
50 women's bathrooms
10 private bathrooms
A women's lounge on the fourth floor had 85 stalls
705 fitting rooms
The dining rooms served 10,000 meals a day
49 acres of floor space
Anybody remember that colossal flag they displayed?
Every year, Hudson's exhibited the biggest stars & stripes flag in the U.S. on Armistice Day and for other patriotic holidays, a tradition that started in 1923.
FLAG FAST FACTS:
235 feet long
104 feet high
Each star was 5.5 feet tall
Each stripe was 8 feet wide
To hang it, a full mile of rope was needed
A new flag replaced the old one in 1950, taking 55 men to display it. The last time the public saw the flag was during the 1976 bicentennial.
Hudson's closed on Jan. 17, 1983, after approximately 100 years.
There were people who tried to save the old building but it was not to be...the ever-famous J.J. Hudson's department store was blown up and destroyed on Oct. 24, 1998.
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