The Hecht Co., Baltimore, Maryland

Click in the picture to
read about The Hecht Co.
in Michael Lisicky's latest
book about Baltimore
Department Stores.

Originally known as Hecht Bros., the Hecht business in
Baltimore consisted of various names and locations.
The Baltimore and Pine Street Store was first
opened in 1885.

A six-story addition was added to
the store in 1928.

The Hecht Co. - Baltimore and Pine lasted until the merger
with the May Co. in 1959.

Another Hecht Bros. business, dating from 1926,  was the
 home furnishings store at the corner of Howard and
Lexington Streets.

The Hecht Bros.' Hub store opened in 1897, and was
located at Baltimore and Charles Streets.

The often-expanded store had an out-of-the-way location
in Baltimore's financial district; as a result, it was a
particularly strong seller of mens' wear.

It was intended to keep The Hub, by that time known as
THe hecht Co. - Baltimore and Charles, open after the
May Co. merger in 1959, but by 1960, the store (shown
in its final form, was closed.
The May Co. established itself in Baltimore in 1927
by purchasing the Bernheimer-Leader store which
occupied a large, palace-style building on the south-
west corner of Howard and Lexington Streets. In
1941, the store expanded westward as shown in
this illustration.
In 1946, the store expanded again, this time up to
Eutaw Street.

The store was briefly known as the Hecht-May store
after the 1959 merger of The Hecht Co. into the
May Department Stores chain.  The Hecht Co. got
one large downtown plant (the biggest in Balti-
more, in fact) and the May Co. got suburban branches,
which it lacked previously.

The Hecht Co. became a fixture at the "100%
corner" of Baltimore, Howard and Lexington

The Hecht Co.
118 N. Howard Street
Baltimore, Maryland

MUlberry 5-8040

Main Floor
Fine Jewelry • Watches and Clocks • Costume Jewelry • Real Thing Jewelry • Scarves • Umbrellas • Handbags • Small Leather Goods • Belts • Gloves • Hosiery • Sunglasses • Fashion Accessories • Cosmetics • Wig Boutique • Main Floor Sportswear • Blouses • Sweaters • Calculator Boutique • Cameras • Stationery • Notions • Candy • Gourmet Foods • Bakery • Telephones • Calculator Boutique • Cameras • Optical Dept. • Men’s Furnishings • Men’s Sportswear • Men’s Accessories
Fayette Street
Men’s Clothing • Men’s Outerwear • Men’s Hats • Men’s Shoes • Trend Shop

Boulevard Shoes

Second Floor

Forecast Dresses • Forecast Sportswear • Forecast Coats & Suits • The Scene • Charles Room • Sports Apparel • Beach Shop • Casual Shop • Better Dresses • Better Sportswear • Young Sophisticate Shop • Junior Dresses • Junior Sportswear • Junior Coats • Junior Shoes • The Knack • Rainwear • Better Coats • Fur Salon • Bridal Shop • Bridal Bureau • Forecast Millinery • Forecast Shoe Salon • Casual Shoes • Shoetique • Forecast Lingerie • Bras and Body Fashions • Misses’ Loungewear • Misses’ Sleepwear

Third Floor
Youth World Tots’ & Toddlers’ Wear • Infantswear • Infants’ Furniture • Girls’ Wear • Girls’ Sleepwear • Sub-Teen Wear • Boys’ Wear • Hi-Shoppe • Children’s Shoes • Maternity • Official Scout Headquarters • Books • Photographic Studio • Toys

Fourth Floor
Nanette Dresses • Nanette Coats • Nanette Dresses • Pocket Money Dresses • Women’s World • Nanette Shoes • Art Needlework • Creative Hand Shop • Fabrics • Singer Sewing Center

Fifth Floor
Housewares • Electrical Appliances • Dinettes • The Loft • Hardware • Garden Shop • Vacuums • Cleaning Supplies • Stereo Salon • Televisions • Radios • Appliances • Domestics • Blankets • Pillows • Linens • Bath Shop • Sporting Goods • Piano & Organ Salon • Luggage

Sixth Floor
China • Glassware • Gifts • Silver Shop • Lamps and Shades • Bedspreads • Curtains • Draperies • Slipcovers • Decorative Pillows • Pictures and Mirrors • Rugs and Broadloom • Slipcovers

Seventh Floor
Furniture • Bedding and Sleep Furniture • Pavone Gallery • Concord House • Interior Design Studio

Eighth Floor

Courtyard Restaurant • Hecht Co. Art Gallery • Toyland • Beauty Salon

(555,000 s.f.)

1127 West Street at Russell
27,000 sq. ft.

September, 1954
186,000 sq. ft.
Roof-Top Restaurant

October, 1956
182,000 sq. ft.
Hot Shoppes Restaurant

Reisterstown Road Plaza
January, 1962
184,000 sq. ft.
Silhouette Room Restaurant

October, 1968
89,000 sq. ft.

Golden Ring Mall
October, 1974
150,000 sq. ft.
The Lamp and Ring Restaurant

The Mall at Columbia
August, 1975
152,000 sq. ft.
Columbia Tavern


  1. This is a really interesting site. Would anyone have any photos or other info on the downtown DC store?

  2. You will find a picture of the downtown store and branches in DC in that section of this site. I have recently found some beautiful illustrations of the store when it was built, and I will post them in due course. I had more information about the Baltimore stores, but they were lost in the crash of a hard drive, and I have lost my ability to access the Baltimore archives, so it may take me a while to get more information.


  3. This is a fantastic site! I am in awe of the amount of effort that you put into it, and the depth of your research is staggering. You have answered many questions that I had about what things once were.

    One question - would you happen to know the location of the original 1949 Annapolis Hecht's?

  4. The building still exists at 1125 West Street in Annapolis. Opened as a furniture-only store, it was expanded and remodeled into a junior branch at a later date.


  5. I have 2 chairs from the hecht brothers in baltimore,maryland.I was looking up where their from and If their antiques.They are mahogany and nice.I like them.Michelle

  6. Do you know what year the Baltimore Hecht's division was consolidated with the one from Washington, D.C.?

  7. A friend of my Aunt's just gave her 6 hats that she purchased from this department store when she worked there in Baltimore over 75 years ago. Two are from Christine's, one is a Kurz, two are Merrimac. The other is unlabeled. They are very chic. All are in the original store boxes. Five are felt and one is straw.

  8. The original Hecht's Annapolis building became a Luskin's Home Electronics store until that chain went bankrupt in the 90's. It's currently a Gold's Gym. As to the location (for the previous comment), it's right across the street from Koons Toyota. From the original store, it moved to be the second anchor of 3 in Annapolis Mall, constructed in 1979 onto an existing Montgomery Ward. It's now a Macy's.

  9. Can anyone tell me if there are any archives of photos of the Miss May Company girls? my mom was Miss May company in I believe 1961, and was searching for old articles or pictures for her. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!

  10. Proquest Historical Newspapers offers The Baltimore Sun. If your library subscribes, you can search for her name or "Miss May" and you may find what you are looking for.

    Good Luck.


  11. I was Assistant Buyer in The Thrift Center Shoe Department during 1965 and 1966. Our sales staff was renown and included Sally, Kitty, Mrs. Abel, Mrs. Hobbs and Mrs. Banker. Our sales were legendary. I remember the lines that would form at the Howard St. entrance and wend up the street to Lexington Ave. when we ran ads for women's famous designer shoes for $3.33. Women would bound down the escalator to the tables and grab arm fulls. Mr. Mogel, our buyer was responsible for all of those great sales. I bought a few women's shoes, but my concentration was on the men's lines. I fazed out the pointed toe cuban heeled 'tip toe blades' in favor of all leather soled and leather upper men's lines resembling those that could be found at much more expensive men's stores. I may have been the first African American to buy shoes for a major Baltimore retailer. I was drafted into the army and worked very briefly in retail afterwards. I moved and went to college and became a computer programmer. I am retired now, but I keep the fondest memories of the friends I made at The Hect Co.

  12. There was a gallery that occupied a large area on the 7th floor that sold pianos and organs. There was also a rooftop employee restaurant that served some of the best crab soup and shrimp creole in town and a fenced in lounge overlooking Howard St. during the mid 1960's.

  13. Hi I have found and very interested in buying a buffet that has the tag on the inside of a drawer that reads HECTH Brothers and below it says Balyimore. Can u tell me what it's worth?

  14. Just courious...can u tell me what a buffet is worth that says HECHT Brothers is worth? Thank you, Carol

  15. I inherited a Hecht Bros decrative sword inscibed with the name Gertrude Hayes on one side and GUOOF on the other and on the gold/polished brass handle. The sword itself is stainless steel. and is in a brass cover. Would you have any information on this and how Gertrude Hayes who was a famous dancer who moved to Baltimore and performed at the Lyric Theatre relates to Hecht Bros? Could the sword possibly be worth anything?

  16. My maternal great uncle George Taylor (wife Matile) emigrated from Tipperary, Ireland. He worked for a Baltimore department store from at least the 1930s -1950s. It may have been the Hecht store. He was a glove buyer. He wrote about glove buying trips to Europe including to Hitler's Germany in the 1930s. I woould like to contact any of his relatives. He had at least two sons, "Dickie" & "George Henry". I have photogrphs of them as children.

  17. Sometime in the mid 60's..maybe 1967 there was some sort of mock beauty shop on the 7th floor for teen girls to come try out make up and new hair styles. Does anyone remember this or have any more info?.

  18. I'm pretty sure when I was growing up in Silver Spring, MD, that in the nearby Wheaton Plaza there was a Hecht's -- it was on the eastern end of the mall (nearest Viers Mill Road & Georgia Avenue). There was also a Woodward and Lothrop store in the mall (the two department stores there from what I recall). My memories are probably back to the early to mid-70's (I graduated high school in '76). This was all well before the Wheaton metrorail stop was built, which now shares a garage with Wheaton Plaza.

  19. My nearly 30 year old memories are inaccurate; Hecht's didn't arrive in Wheaton Plaza until 1987. See for some history.

  20. I worked at the Freestate Mall HK in Bowie from 1981 to 1983 while I was attending Anne Arundel Community College. I worked in the Jrs Dept and helped out on busy days at the front registers. The store was always busy especially around the holidays. I loved working there. My mom would make special trips to the HK in Glen Burnie in the late 60's and it was a treat as a little girl to go to a big store like that. When I was 5 years old, I put a silver spoon in my little purse. While were driving home in our 1962 Dodge Dart station wagon, I pulled out the spoon and my mother freaked ! We had to drive back to the store to return it. My mother was so mad and she made me cry all the way back to Crofton. I left Maryland/Virginia in 1989 and was so sad when all the stores closed.

  21. I worked at the Hecht store in Dec.of 1955 at Howard and Franklin...We were in the basement and were called checkwriters as all purchases were written up.. It was the toy department..Then until Christmas eve I worked right by the exit with Christmas decorations...I had a little metal cash box...I remember a shoplifter that I had to report..He was followed outside and arrested...I was 17 years old and took the bus to Baltimore from Severn Maryland...I have good memories of that winter...I walked by Johns Hopkins from the bus stop...

  22. Good memories of Baltimore..

  23. My mother loved the Northwood store, and shopped there for over 20 years. I remember getting lost in the massive place as a child. She said it "something to see" when it first opened in the 1950s.

    1. I went to Morgan State University from 1975 and graduated in 1980. The Northwood Hecht's was across Hillen Road. We loved buying clothes there. I sold shoes in the Golden Ring Mall Hecht's. Loved the commissions!

  24. Apparently the Northwood store building was razed recently, because you can still it in Vpike images at the location on Havenwood Rd Baltimore. As you go down the road on Vpike the image changes and the area is a new building site with the Hecht Co. building now gone.

  25. Does anyone know the identity of the bakery for the Silver Spring Hecht store in the 1960s? They sold the best brownies. My mom and I would buy 4 and they came packed them in a white bakery box with the old fashioned tie. Wonderful memory.

  26. I found from the attic at my mothers home a Toastmaster 2 Slice Wide Slot Toaster with a inventory/for sale sticker on the box that sold for $24.99. I cannot remember if a store was in the Harundale Mall on Ritchie Highway or not?

  27. Hello, I just purchased some animated dwarfs with a tag that says Hecht Co. I was told they were Silvestri. Anybody remember their Christmas display or have any pictures? These were probably part of a window display.

  28. The main two downtown department stores my family shopped at back in the 1950s, '60s and '70s were Hecht's and Brager-Gutman's. We weren't that well off and those stores were a little less expensive. Is there any information about Brager-Gutman's on this digital museum? I looked but didn't find any. The store was a merger of Brager Eisenberg's and Julius Gutman & Co. Their store was at the SW corner of Lexington St. & Park Ave. I believe it was the last, or nearly so, of the big downtown stores to close - 1983. When my wife and I were married in 1977 we bought our first home furnishing - an oriental style rug - at Gutman's. The flooring dept. was on the 5th floor and it was THE place to buy rugs. It is notable that the store kept its manually operated elevators with ladies operating them until store closing. I thought it was commendable that those jobs were retained when all the other stores automated their elevators in the early to mid 1960s. The old gated elevators were an attraction to me and fun to ride! The store had eight floors (six were retail and two were admin) and basement, with a tea room restaurant at the basement level. Still remember what was on each floor. Miss those BIG stores...


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