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.


Rosenblums at the corner of Adams and Hogans Streets. Photo by Jack Spottswood. Courtesy of State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory,

Frank Rosenblum founded Rosenblum's in 1898 in downtown Jacksonville, selling pots, pans and linens from a horse and buggy. After the Great fire in 1901, Frank opened one of the first Men's clothing stores in the city at Duval and Main Streets.  In 1937, the store relocated to the intersection of Adams and Hogan Streets, becoming a luxury retailer competing directly with adjacent department stores, Furchgott's and Levy/Wolf.  Rosenblum's would remain a downtown fixture until closing the Adams Street location in 1981 and focusing on their suburban stores.

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