D. H. Holmes Co. Ltd.

Even though its address was 819
Canal Street, Holmes had a narrow
frontage on the fabled avenue; the
bulk of the store filled the rear of
the block bounded by Dauphine,
Iberville, and Bourbon Streets.
In 1964, Holmes covered its 1913
facade with a modern facade.
The new facade incorporated details
reminiscent of New Orleans' French
Quarter, which adjoined the store
at its rear past Iberville Street.

In the 1950s, many improvements
were made to Holmes' physical
plant, including a new men's store
entrance on Bourbon Street.

The Dauphine Street side of Holmes was in a Neo-Ren-
naissance style.

The long rear facade of Holmes
dates from the early 1900s; a
bridge crossed Iberville Street
to the 1923 warehouse on the opposite side.

Holmes rebuilt the buildings across Iberville Street in
1969, incorporating the warehouse and several historic
buildings.  The expansion housed a parking garage,
retail space for fabrics and young men's clothing, and
a new French Quarter Cafeteria.

"There's no place like Holmes"

D. H. Holmes Co., Ltd. (1847)
819 Canal Street
New Orleans, Louisiana               


First Floor
Fine Jewelry • Diamonds • Jewelry • Watches • Hosiery • Gloves • Belts • Neckwear • Handbags • Cosmetics • Toiletries • Notions • Rain Bar • Hat Bar • Shoe Bar • City Park Sportswear • City Park Lingerie • Candies • Bakery • Candy Shop • Russell Stover Candy Counter • Gourmet Shop • Stationery • Art Goods • Cameras • Optical Shop • Zenith Hearing Aid Center • D.H. Holmes Travel Bureau • Watch Repair
Dauphine Street: City Park Shoes
Bourbon Street: Holmes Store for Men Men’s Furnishings • Men’s Sportswear • Men’s Clothing • Men’s Shoes • Men’s Hats • 121 Shop • Creole Restaurant

Park & Shop on Iberville Street
French Quarter Cafeteria  Holmes Sewing Center • Dress Fabrics • Art Needlework • Outback • Mustang Shop

Dauphine & Iberville
Holmes Garden Center

Second Floor
City Park Dresses • Daytime Dresses • City Park Coats • Woman’s World • Pontchartrain Dresses • Pontchartrain Sportswear • Pontchartrain Coats • Splendido Dresses • Esplanade Shop • The Corner • Miss D.H.H. Sportswear • Miss D.H.H. Dresses • Little Shop • Caché • Ladybug Shop • Designer Room • Bridal Salon • Fur Salon • Millinery Salon • Shoe Salon • Coat Salon • Suit Salon • Junior Dresses • Junior Sportswear • Junior Coats • Young Juniors • Young Circle Shop • College Boutique • Campus Shop • Sleepwear • Robes • Foundations • Daywear Lingerie • Maternity Shop • Uniforms

Third Floor
Books • Boys’ Wear 3-7 Shop • Boys’ Wear 8-20 Shop • Mustang Shop • Girls’ Wear 3-6x Shop • Girls’ Wear 7-14 Shop • Girls’ Lingerie • Girls’ Accessories • Children’s Shoes • Toddlers’ Wear • Infants’ Wear • Housewares • Small Appliances • Major Appliances • Hardware • Television • Stereos • China • Glassware • Silver Salon • Gift Gallery • The Entertainers Shop  Rugs • Floor Coverings • Bedding • Linens • Bath Shop • Trim-the-Home Shop • PhotoReflex Studio • Coiffures Americana Beauty Salon • The Trimmers

Fourth Floor
Auditorium • Toyland • Sporting Goods • Records • Furniture • Siesta Shop • Infants’ Furniture • Casual Living Shop • Pictures • Mirrors • Lamps • Paint and Color Center
(265,000 s.f.)

First Floor

Second Floor

Third Floor

Baton Rouge
3rd and Florida Streets

Acquired Dalton's May, 1955
Tea Room

Delmont Plaza
5151 Plank Road, Baton Rouge

September, 1955

March, 1960
165,000 s.f.
The Potpourri

Bon Marche
Florida Highway, Baton Rouge
August, 1961

150,000 s.f.

West Bank Expressway at Terry Parkway, Gretna
August, 1966

143,000 s.f.

Baton Rouge

Southland Mall
September, 1970

Bel Air Mall
Mobile, AL
July, 1973
210,000 s.f.
Potpourri Restaurant

Lake Forest Plaza

165,000 s.f.

Hammond Square Mall
Occtober, 1977
70,000 s.f

Uptown Plaza
October, 1977
32,000 s.f.

Coming in due course.


  1. The Bel Air Mall location in Mobile looked rather similar to the modernist design of the Lakeside location.

  2. I worked for this company for several years prior to it being purchased by Dillard's. Some of the stores are still open as Dillard's branches, but the atmosphere is gone. As far as the locations listed above, in addition, the downtown Baton Rouge store on Third St. and Delmont Village stores were opened by Dalton's of Baton Rouge and Holmes purchased these stores in 1955. The downtown Baton Rouge store closed in 1963 or 1965. The opening order of the Lakeside store in Metairie and Bon Marche store in Baton Rouge are reversed. Lakeside opened in 1960 as the first branch in New Orleans and Bon Marche in 1961. In 1968 Holmes again purchased another Baton Rouge company named Rosenfield's and closed all of its locations except for Westmoreland in Baton Rouge. That store was converted to Holmes. Holmes purchase L. Hammel and Co. of Mobile, AL in 1973. It closed the downtown Mobile store, and converted and enlarged the Bel Air Mall store. I think the Hammond Square store actually opened in 1977 as well as the Uptown Square store in New Orleans. The first Jackson.MS store, Metrocenter, opened in 1978. Belle Promenade Mall store opened in 1982, A second Jackson, MS store, North Park Mall, opened in 1984, In 1985 two stores opened, The Esplanade in New Orleans and North Shore Square in Slidell, LA. The last stores to open were Cordova Mall, the first store in FL, and a store in Alexandria, LA. (1986). Holmes was forced to open the store in Alexandria by a member of the board who owned the shopping center, which was a dead shopping center. That, along with a bad and very large investment in the 1984 New Orleans World's Fair crippled the company. Several new stores were planned to open but never did like a store at Edgewater in Biloxi, MS and Turtle Creek in Hattiesburg, MS. Dillard's had promised to keep all stores open if the stock holders of Holmes voted in favor of a buyout, except the very bad Alexandria, LA store was to be closed as part of the deal. But as soon as the buyout was excepted, the Canal Store advertised a Store Closing Sale. Dillard's never kept its word. The Holmes board of directors tried to keep the Canal Street and Lakeside stores in New Orleans out of the sale, to retain only these two stores as Holmes and sell only the remaining stores to Dillard's. However, Dillard's wanted the Lakeside store since over 33% of the whole companies volume was done out of this one location.

  3. I worked there as well starting in the early 80's as the first African American on the visual merchandising staff ( better known as display). Growing up in New Orleans, Canal St. was the place to go shopping with it's many fine stores,including Maison Blanche,Gus Mayer (where I got my start)Gand Godchaux and of course when you went downtown,you always had to check out the windows of the stores. Holmes' windows were especially impressive flanking the arcade entrance to the store. They were 30 ft. long, 8 ft. wide and the floors could be lowered by 4 ft. There was a smaller window in the middle of the arcade. Most spectacular though were their animated Christmas windows so you can imagine what a thrill it was to be on the other side of the glass producing those wonderful vignettes combining retail and fantasy.
    Back then all the display people knew when each store would change their windows and being as competitive as we were we'd always have to check out and critique each others installations.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. New Orleans locals would pronounce the name of the store as "Home-zez".

  5. Help, please -

    I have been fortunate enough to remain in contact with several of my Franklin classmates. Just having a short vacation with one, we both discussed our missing the fruit slice candies sold at D.H. Holmes.

    These were essentially jell slices with 'rind' on them. They were wonderfully flavored and nothing like the jell slices we have been able to find today.

    If anyone has any suggestions as to where I could find these candy slices, I would really appreciate the info (as would my old friend who would receive a wonderful surprise).

    Thanks in advance.


  6. My grandmother Pauline D'Antoni Marchadie was a sales clerk for the Junior Department at the Canal St location in New Orleans for many many years all the way to the last day of being open for business.
    She is still with us at the age of 87 and still to this day she wears a necklace that says D.H. Holmes

  7. Liked that old mechanical scale across the aisle from those fruit slices. Was just a kid right before it closed. Got a quarter to play with it on each visit.

  8. There was another location at Acadiana in Lafayette that opened in 1980, a year or so after the mall's opening. That store continues as a Dillard's.

    1. Wish there was a website to find old photos of the interior of this (The Lafayette, LA location) store. In particular, the Potpourri restaurant located inside.

    2. There is a DH Holmes Facebook page run buy a former buyer, Henry Beck. Try your luck there.

  9. I have a really old chain which looks like it could be Silver. It's reasonably thick and very heavy for it's size. It is quite short and looks as though it could be for a pocket watch?? On the clasps is a stamp, DH & CO. can anybody tell me if it was possibly from this location please? My father recently passed away and I got it in a box of his belongings. I'm merely curious. I also have a pocket watch which miraculously still works, a Clementine, which I think might be the mate for the chain. Nadene, South Africa.

  10. The Spanish Umbrella07 August, 2013 22:54

    I had the pleasure of working at Holmes Lake Forest during its last year in business. We often transferred merchandise for customers from store to store, using slips of paper with giant numbers that corresponded to each store. As far as I can recall, this is how they went:

    4-Delmont Village
    5-Bon Marche
    8-Lake Forest
    9-Bel Air
    I don't remember the numbers of the others, but I think these complete the list:

    Uptown Square
    Hammond Square
    Elmwood (Warehouse Store)
    Belle Promenade
    Metrocenter (Jackson)
    Metrocenter (Alexandria)

    Please let me know if I left any out!!

  11. If I remember correctly the remaining numbers were:
    10-Hammond Square
    11-Uptown Square
    12-Metrocenter Jackson
    13-Elmwood Furniture Clearance Center
    14-Acadiana Lafayette
    15-Belle Promenade
    16-North Park
    After this I am not sure of the numbers but they might have been:
    17-North Shore Square
    18-The Esplanade
    19-Slidell Clothing Clearance Center
    20-Cordova Mall
    21-Metrocenter Alexandria

  12. I worked for DH Holmes for ten years starting in 1971! I worked at Lakeside in the fabric department, then the stereo department, appliances, Fitz and Floyd, China, Silver & Gifts all before I moved to the Canal Street Store as assistant buyer. Wonderful memories!! Especially of the Christmas displays.


    1. Hi anonymous do you remember a Carole Fridman that worked there?

    2. Do you remember Lillian Davis? She was buyer, too, I believe.

    3. Lillian retired to her home in Atlanta. She has since passed away.

    4. I thought that Shreveport, Louisiana had a D.H. Holmes in Shreve City Shopping strip mall. Does anyone remember this? I know that Dillards took whatever store was there. It was next to a movie theater. I took my son to see the first Star Wars at that theater?

  13. " We can never go back to Manderley, that much is certain." Daphne du Maurier

  14. I used to hit Bel-air with my family back in the early 80's. The Christmas display was bananas.
    West Mobile never ran, never will.

  15. To Anonymous, regarding the quote from Rebecca, incidentally one of my favorite films and a great book too. I'll never forget the opening line "Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again . . . " (But then again I will never forget the opening of Anna Karenina either - "All happy families are alike; Each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.")
    - Bruce

  16. I have a long women's coat with the label holmes new Orleans in it . Just wondering how I can find its value

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  18. Please get back with me if you remember Carole Fridman

  19. Every autumn when we would go downtown to shop for back-to-school clothes, our shopping trip ended at the DH Holmes restaurant, which I remember being on the top floor. They had amazing food (of course they did, this was New Orleans!). My mother especially loved their French onion soup. Does anyone know the name of the restaurant?

  20. It is wonderful to see so many fond comments about our historic New Orleans institution.

    Some of you may remember visiting the stores on Canal Street or at Lakeside and seeing something unusual in the early 60s.

    I was the original Mannequin Model. I had always thought I was the only Mannequin Model but after researching it today I found out that it became popular around the country about a decade after it was first done at D. H. Holmes.

    I was a runway model at Holmes on Canal Street in New Orleans in the early 1960s. I also taught modeling and make-up to teens and worked part-time in the Junior department on the second floor.

    One day I was standing in the Junior department, well dressed, as usual, when a woman came up and started inspecting my outfit and looking for price tags. Originally taken aback, I waited for a few seconds and then moved. She let out a yelp and some other workers in the department thought it was so funny they encouraged me to do it again. What we thought was our little joke started to draw an audience as I struck various poses and held them.

    Management began to realize that this could be an attraction and put me in the window on Canal Street and what I had dubbed "Mannequin Modeling" began to draw crowds.

    The performances continued to draw larger crowds to the window where I was outfitted in the latest fashions, struck sustained poses and made transition moves to other poses, often being goaded by crowd members to break character as if I were a Buckingham Palace guard.

    It has come to my attention that New York's Abraham & Straus is credited for this innovation which they introduced in the mid 1970s and also called "Mannequin Modeling." Since it was first begun at D. H. Holmes a decade earlier, D.H. Holmes deserves the credit.

    After the crowds on Canal Street continued to grow, the store decided that the event should be moved inside (as Abraham & Straus also had to do) and I was stationed on a high storage counter located in the Cosmetics department near the main entrance. That continued for a while and attracted an audience but we eventually decided to discontinue that location because the height of the counter induced vertigo and it was unsafe.

    After that I was moved to the Lakeside store's front window and continued the performances until I moved on to other activities as the novelty wore off.

    "Mannequin Modeling" takes intense concentration and physical ability to strike poses, cycle through the transition moves and maintain character for extended periods of time. Glad I had it then. After 50 years I don't think I could still do it.

    D.H. Holmes was a family tradition. My mother, Inez Bundrick, worked downtown in the Lamps, Picture & Mirrors department and at Lakeside in the China department, earning several Top-Salesperson awards before retiring after 25 years. We both loved D. H. Holmes.

    1. I seem to remember this at Lakeside. Is there a photo? Either as a child or when I worked at Holmes Arden cosmetics at Lakeside from 78 through 80. My name is Mary.

  21. Ruth Ganucheau Boudreaux04 July, 2015 07:40

    My Dad was the CFO-head Accountant- for Holmes in the 1950's and 60's. Mom, my sis and I would model in fashion shows. I have a wonderful pic of a mannequin covered in cake and icing in a Sounthern bell "dress" around 1956 that was donated to a charity.

  22. When I was in second grade I did the Christmas commercial for the Enchanted Forest at Lakeside. I've never been able to find anything in the beautiful display. Any Suggestions?

  23. I worked at DH Holmes on Canal for ten years before the buy out. I worked in accounts payable and did the paper work for commission the cosmetics sales people made. This was done by hand on paper. When Dillard's took over this job was going to be done in Arkansas. It's probably done by computers now.

    1. Hi there,do you remember a Carole Fridman that worked there?

    2. Ryan, I remember the name Carole Fridman. Do you know what department she worked in? I worked at Lakeside in the 70's.

    3. I believe, she worked as a buyer in the purchasing department. She died when I was 4 years old at the age of 44. Do you remember anything specific about he? Anything you could remember or add would be appreciated.

  24. I cannot stand either Dillards or Macy's. Neither have the feeling of the old institutions. It is sad the 2 companies have destroyed such wonderful places

  25. I just found this website. I started with Holmes, while I was in high school, as a "stock boy" in 1963 and worked my way up to be the toy buyer,(69-73) thanks to Don Johnston guiding me. Still have many memories of my terrific travels to New York and the Far East. D H Holmes certainly set me on an wonderful path through life.

  26. Oh, this blog has brought back memories. My mom was a loyal Holmes shopper until they closed. I was a kid, she's put me in her 1984 Cadillac Deville and then she'd drag me around the Lake Forest store until my feet were about to fall off (or at least until the trunk of the Deville was
    full of Christmas presents). Thanks for bringing back the memories!

  27. How this came to be, I haven't a clue. But most New Orleanians mispronounced the name of Holmes as Holmes-es. This even though endless TV and radio commercials properly pronounced the name.

    The Canal store had an incredible bakery and a great restaurant. Even though I was a child, I can still remember all the ladies in hats and white gloves shopping in the 1950s. The store also had a very large free scale to weigh yourself near the elevators on the first floor, as well as a branch of the Hibernia Bank.

    I feel sorry for New Orleanians in that the only great department store left in the city is a small Sak's Fifth Avenue. The suburban Dillard's hardly rates as a great department store.

    I'm so lucky. Here in West Los Angeles and Beverly Hills there remain many great department stores.

    1. Saks could never come close to Holmes or MB in the hearts of locals.

  28. I believe it was named The Potpourri “.

  29. I worked at the Canal store in the late 70's with a buyer named Janice Lilly and Sandi Bowman then transferred to the Lake Forest store and worked with Carol Reynolds, Fun times

    1. I was there too. Knew Janice very well.

  30. Does anyone know who did the beautiful Thanksgiving and Christmas decorations in the 80's at D.H. Holmes? Also, during the Easter holidays the delicious chocolate rabbits? D.H. Holmes was the best department store. Miss it sooo much!!!!

    1. The best Easter candy ever!

  31. The display department was directed by Richard (Dick) Roussel. He traveled the world looking for items to include in the beautiful displays. The book, Christmas in New Orleans has photos and stories of the holiday windows and store displays. The team at the Canal Street store was about 5-6 people.
    The candy was made in the candy kitchen behind the Canal Street store. Sis Cassera was one of the lead candy makers. She continued to make many of the recipes after the store closed.

    1. Does she still make candy anywhere else?

  32. Does anyone have any pictures from the Christmas displays at the Bon Marche store from the 70's?

  33. Canal St. looks like a Third World country now...as for the rest of the city, ��

    1. There is no more “New Orleans.”

  34. The old stores on Canal Street are all gone. The street caters to tourists with hotels, t-shirt shops, etc. How will the city exist with the tourism decline? The city has been in decline, especially since Katrina. This pandemic will nail the economic coffin shut.

    1. The locals who voted for mitch then latoya nailed that coffin.

  35. I have an original hand carved double sided sign that hung outside of the 121 shop on rue bourbon. My grand father work for DH holmes, and was top brass for that company for 20 years.

  36. I also worked in A/P ON Canal St. at that time, Mr. Navarre was the manager,co-workers Betty, Hazel, Delores, Charlotte. Transfered to work for Mr.D'Antoni

  37. Hi back in 2009 my grandmother for my 10th birthday gave me this ring that she bought in a trip in New Orleans in a Holmes Store. Unfortunately I lost it about a year ago and I can't find it in the internet. Does anyone who worked there know the jewelry brands or designers that use to be in displayed in the store?

  38. I have a sugar bowl made by Ridgeways (England) specifically for D H Holmes and I would love to find out more information regarding the origin, etc. There is a drawing of St. Louis cathedral on the front, and the old store front of D H Holmes on the other side. It also reads at the top "From the Home of Comus, Proteaus, Rex and Comus" Thanks in advance.

    1. Look anask on the DH Holmes Facebook page

  39. Many thanks for ALL of these fabulous memories of D.H. Holmes Co., truly an American (and New Orleans) institution. Founded in 1942 by mercantilier David Henry Holmes; it was THE DEPARTMENT STORE!

    I'm a native and life long resident of Baton Rouge, LA, nearly 68 years old, and recall visiting and shopping at all the DHH stores in BR and New Orleans -- including Canal St. and 3rd St. in Baton Rouge (which was closed in 1962 at a time when retailers were vacating the downtown area for the suburbs).

    I lament that times evolved and changed, and DH Holmes faded into the twilight. Nowdays, as some of you have likewise commented, I can barely stomach shopping in department stores. They SIMPLY do not possess the charm and open-armed friendliness of yesteryear. No wonder the department store is rapidly going the way of the Studebaker, home milk delivery and the Five-and-Ten variety store.


    1. He doesn’t buy things like that. Try the DH Holmes facebook page

    2. Have you heard back
      I have a jewelry box


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