May-D&F, Denver, Colorado

May-D&F was formed  by a merger of the May Company of Denver and Daniels & Fisher, which had previously occupied separate store buildings.  The dean of the University of Detroit School of Architecture, Bruno Leon, was responsible for the design of the new store, and said that the entrance structure, technically a "hyperbolic parabaloid," was designed to draw attention to the store's "trinkets."



May - D&F
Mile High Center (1957)
Denver, Colorado 80202  
             

DOWNTOWN STORE DIRECTORY (420,000 sq. ft.)

Lower Level
Adventures Auditorium • May-D & F Budget Store

First Floor
Fine Jewelry • Fashion Jewelry • Watches • Handbags • Small Leather Goods • Gloves • Scarves • Fashion Accessories • Millinery • Sweaters • Blouses • Plaza Tops • Plaza Sportswear • Boulevard Shoes • Cosmetics • Notions • Stationery • Cameras • Luggage • Advanced Consumer Electronics • Candy
Men’s World Men’s Accessories • Men’s Furnishings • Men’s Shirts • Men’s Neckwear • Men’s Shoes • Men’s Hats • Men’s Clothing • Men’s Outerwear • The Court Shop • Mach 10 • Quad Shop • Mike’s Place

Second Floor
Boulevard Sportswear • Boulevard Dresses • Misses’ Sportswear • Misses’ Dresses • Fashion Plus • Contempo • Active Sportswear • Boulevard Coats • Misses’ Coats • Better Dresses • Better Coats • Young Collector • Young Signature • New Designer Dresses • New Designer Sportswear • The Designers • Forecast Shop • Fur Salon • Bridal Salon • Junior Dresses • Junior Sportswear • Junior Coats • Junior Lingerie • Foundations • Lingerie • Loungewear • Robes • Shoe Salon • Misses’ Shoes • Junior Shoes • Infants • Toddler Girls • Toddler Boys • Teens • Boys • Girls • Bronco Shop • Bronco Shop • Toys

Third Floor
China • Crystal • Silver • Glassware • Gifts • Tabletop • Caravan Shop • Linens • Bath Shop • Bedspreads • Draperies • Fashion Fabrics • Notions • Art Needlework • Housewares • Small Electrics • Vacuums • Clock Shop • Garden Shop • Hardware • Paints • Lamps • Pictures • Sound Sysytems • Televisions • Radios • Affordable Furniture • Dining Room Furniture • Living Room Furniture • Bedroom Furniture • Occasional Furniture • Recliners • Bedding • Trim-A-Home

Fourth Floor
Books • Sporting Goods • Gourmet • Lookout Room Restaurant • Credit Office • Cash Office • Beauty Salon

BRANCH STORES

Colorado Springs (Giddings 1899/1950)
Chase Stone Center (1968)
97,000 sq. ft.







University Hills Center (1955)
183,000 sq. ft.

Westland Shopping Center (1960)
Lakewood
160,000 sq. ft.

Bear Valley Shopping Center (1965)
139,000 sq. ft.

North Valley Mall (1967)
Thornton
141,000 sq. ft.

Foothills Mall (1974)
Ft. Collins
50,000 sq. ft.

Southglenn Mall (1974)
Centennial 
160,000 sq. ft.

Aurora Mall (1975)
Aurora
115,000 sq. ft.



12 comments:

  1. My first job out of college, started a 30+ Retail journey there. Also met my wife!

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  2. I worked at the downtown store straight out of college, too. That plaza area in front of the store used to be a skating rink.

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  3. Stood in line as a little girl @ Christmas to view the amazing series of mechanical window displays!! Great childhood memory!

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  4. I also remember the Christmas displays that went all around the outside of the May D&F store as being a Christmas highlight!!

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  5. It's wonderful to highlight this store and its unique design, but the architect was I.M. Pei, not someone called Bruno Leon. At the time, he had yet to start his own firm or go on to world-wide renown (designer of the Louvre pyramid, among other works); he was an employee of Courthouse Square's developer, William Zeckendorf's Webb & Knapp. (Courthouse Square was the name of the two-block project that housed not only this store, but also a 700-room Hilton across Court Place.) The original department store tenant was to have been Daniels & Fisher, but Zeckendorf feared that with the rise of suburban centers that the downtown trade would decline, so he engineered the merger between May and D&F (at one point, it was nearly a three-way merger involving the Denver Dry Goods Co.). --Mark Barnhouse, author of Denver's Sixteenth Street (Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2010).

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  6. I don't dispute that I. M. Pei was the architect of record, but anyone who has worked in a large-scale office knows that the principal does not do all of the design work in a firm: that's what a staff is for. Bruno Leon, the well-known dean of the University of Detroit School of Architecture, worked for the firm and had responsibility for the store building within the firm, in particular the area of the unique hyperbolic paraboloid pavilion. He had intimate knowledge of the design, down to the smallest of details, and related information about it to students at the school. I don't think it's a problem to give a little credit where credit is due.
    Another project of which he spoke was an unrealized plan to replace Grand Central Terminal in New York City with a building in the shape of a hyperboloid of one sheet, in my opinion, thankfully, never realized.
    I.M. Pei's firm realized many famous commissions in the 1970s and 1980s, and even later. Just for comic relief I will relate that young hopefuls that went to work for the firm called it "I-no-Pay!"

    Bruce

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  7. I remember May D&F since I was a boy. It no longer exists today.

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  8. I have recently come across a beautiful "small animal, actually three small animals" stole with the MAY-D&F logo label attached...coureous as to how old it is....if anyone knows anything about my furry find, please contact me at debi.jones78@yahoo.com

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  9. I used to work at 16th and Glenarm and shopped at this store all the time. They had great sales! Also loved their restaurant. It's too bad all the great department stores that used to be in Denver are gone.

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  10. I worked at the Bear Valley branch when it first opened. Started out in Housewares and eventually became supervisor of China & Gifts. Those were the days when department stores sold everything. Notions, books, fabrics ... we even sold tulip bulbs. Hard to believe now. David Touff was our CEO, a true gentleman in the days when " the customer was always right." We wore black, navy blue, or gray dresses on the selling floor. Our main competitor was The Denver Dry Good Company. Amazing days, we just didn't know it then.

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  11. My father designed the May D& F Shopping Center ,Denver Hilton and also was the Resident Architect for the project. The firm was Webb & Knapp. I was the first person to skate on the rink which was the first in downtown. I saw the blueprints to the hyperbolic paraboloid ,and as far as I know, since my dad told us he came up with the idea for it while at K.U.and I was there while it was being built so I don't understand how I.M. Pei, whom my dad had worked for after college is getting credit for this. That is not right. I challenge anyone to says that John Lo Pinto was not the Resident Architect on that.

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  12. I worked at May D&F during the summer of 1979. The Denver Louie Restaurant was on the top floor. The buying offices were there at that time. All the sales associates including assistant buyers were to be on the sales floor between 11-2 to assist all the lunch time shoppers. I remember the budget store in the basement and all the stock rooms down there. It was kinda spooky. Also there was a door and a long hallway heading to a employee lounge. I believe at one time they had a cafeteria for the employees. It was between the Hilton and May D&F under the street. I remember the post office and a shoe/watch repair shop being there. I remember in the 80's May D& F hosted a Proud to be American theme, with replicas of the White House, a domino set up, Jelly Belly and a host of other displays. The store manager at that time was Robert Barnett. The department stores were grand back then.

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