The Age of the Downtown Department Store

July 24, 2012 46 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Before shopping malls took over the Jacksonville region, downtown's streets were once lined with grand department stores. In honor of the upcoming 100 year anniversary of the Cohen Brother's St. James Building (now city hall), and with our second book currently in production, Metro Jacksonville takes a look at a few retailing landmarks from yesteryear and encourages our readers to share their memories of a retail era gone bye.

Levy's Department Store

Levy's Department Store during the 1930s. Photo by Jack Spottswood. Courtesy of State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory,

Levy's Department Store was founded by Benjamin S. Levy in 1912.  Originally located at Bay and Hogan, Levy completed construction on this four story department store in 1927.  Levy's which had a reputation for carrying some of the most exclusive and luxurious merchandise, billed itself as the store "where the styles are shown first." During the mid-20th century Harold Wolf served as the company's president.  After his departure in 1969, the store was renamed Levy/Wolf.  After 57 years of operation at the intersection of Adams and Hogan Streets, Levy/Wolf closed in July 1984.

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