William Filene's Sons Co., Boston, Massachusetts


Filene's 1912 building, designed by
Daniel Burnham, showing the
Summer Street facade -
Jordan Marsh is on the right.
An architect's rendering highlights the beautiful
details which were a part of the Burnham design,
unlike the same firm's Gimbel and Marshall Field
& Company stores.
Before the construction of the brutalist
1973 "Floor One" addition, Filene's
Men's Store was located in a collection
of older stores along Washington Street.
The Jones, McDuffee and Stratton
building at the corner of Franklin
and Hawley Streets was a part of
the large Filene store.

Advertisement image of Filenes, showing the
1970's addition at Washington and
Franklin streets, as well as the
Jones, McDuffee and Stratton home
furnishings store that Filene's
eventually occupied.
Read Michael Lisicky's
new book about
Filene's

Wm. Filene’s Sons Co. (Filene’s) (1881)
426 Washington Stree
Boston, Massachusetts 02107

HAncock 6-3800





Basement

Filene's Automatic Bargain Basement

Street Floor
Fine Jewelry • Costume Jewelry • Handbags • Small Leather Goods • Gloves • Belts • Hosiery • Scarves • Street Floor Millinery • Hair Ornaments • Fashion Accessories • Aisle of Beauty • Perfume Bar • Toiletries • Street Floor Lingerie • Sweaters • Blouses • Misses' Sportswear • Little Shoe Shop • Luggage Shop • Candy • Barton's Candy Shop • Wine Shop • Epicure Gourmet Foods
Filene's Men's Store Men's Accessories • Men's Toiletries • Men's Furnishings • Men's Shoes

Mezzanine
Stationery • Michel Kazan Beauty Salon • Beauty Balcony • Tourneur Salon • Fur Storage • Photo Reflex Studio • Men's Sportswear

Second Floor
Daywear • Contemporary Sleepwear • Sleepwear • Loungewear • Robes • Foundations • Leisurewear • UniformsShoe Salon • Etienne Aigner Shop • Pappagallo Shop • Career Shoes • Junior Shoes • Millinery • Hat Salon • Wig Shop • Stratford Shop • Repair Center
The Men's Store Men's Clothing • Men's Hats • Contemporary Shop • Young Breed • Varsity Shop • Boys' 8-20 Shop • Boys' Shoes

Third Floor
Career Shop • Career Coats • Career Sportswear • Contemporary Career Sportswear • Shops for Women • Any Day Dresses • Active Sports • Maison Pizza
Shops for Children Girls' 3-6x Shop • Girls' 7-14 Shop • Pre-Teen Shop • Junior Hi Shop • Girls' and Teens' Lingerie • Shops for Boys • Infants' Shop • Toddlers' Shop • Young Crowd Shoes • High School Shop • Young Crowd Accessories • Children's Underwear and Sleepwear • Toy Shops

Fourth Floor
Career Shop • Misses' Sports Shop • Misses' Thrift Avenue • Tall Girls' Shop • Blouse Shop • Young Sophisticates Shop • Ski Shop • Surf Shop • Any Day Dresses • Active Sports • Junior Sport Shop • Junior Dress Shop • Junior Coat Shop • Junior Suit Shop • Junior Gown Shop • Lanz Shop • College Shop • Westminster Shop • Corporate Image • Lifestyle

Fifth Floor
Misses' Coat Shop • Misses' Suit Shop • Rain and Shine Shop • Women's Coat Shop • Coat Salon • Suit Salon • Carcoat Shop • Fur Salon • Bridal Shop • Plaza Shop • Oxford Shop • Young Bostonian Shop • Women's Dresses • Women's Gown Shop • Women's Sport Shop • Women's Thrift Avenue • Bra and Girdle Shop

Sixth Floor
Filene's Homemaker Shops Bedding Shop• Towels • Bath Shop • Table Linens • The Gift Gallery • Gourmet Kitchen • Housewares • Custom Drapery Corner • Draperies • Trim-A-Tree Shop

Seventh Floor
 



Filene's French Shops Coats • Suits • Dresses • Collection Sportswear • Boutique

Eighth Floor
The Greenery Dining Room • Filene's Pub
(656,000 Sq. Ft.)







Wellesley
50 Central Street
1924/1938
53,000 Sq. Ft.

Hyannis
595 Main Street
1923


South Hadley
23 College Street
1926

Worcester
539-541 Main Street
1928/1947
42,000 s.f.

Northampton
269-271 Main Street
1930

Providence
200 Westminster Street
1932

Portland, ME
492 Congress Street
1937
Winchester
Main & Thompson Sts.
March, 1940
Belmont 
Leonard Street
May, 1941/1956
87,000 Sq. Ft.
Chestnut Hill
Worcester Turnpike, Newton
August, 1950
83,000 Sq. Ft.
The Strawberry Room
Northshore Mall
Routes 128 & 114, Peabody
140,000 Sq. Ft.
The Picnic Room
Coffee House
South Shore Plaza
Routes 37 & 128, Braintree
February, 1961
120,000 Sq. Ft.
The Adams Room
Coffee House
Natick Mall
1965
110,000 Sq. Ft.




Burlington Mall 
Route 128 & Middlesex Turnpike
July, 1968
149,000 Sq. Ft.


Cape Cod Mall
Hyannis
1970
81,000 Sq. Ft.


Warwick Mall 
Warwick, RI
1970
119,000 Sq. Ft.


Worcester Center
1971
106,000 Sq. Ft.



Hanover Mall
Hanover
1972
71,000 Sq. Ft.


Mall of New Hampshire (1977)
Manchester, NH
60,000 Sq. Ft.



Coming in due course.


24 comments:

  1. Well, there answeres my question about the downtown Filene's every carrying furniture. After Federated sold Filene's to the May Co. in 1988, they began adding furniture, mattresses, and electronics to the branch stores, never to the downtown flagship. There were plans to add additional floors to accomofate furniture and other departments, but that never materialized.

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  2. Great update!!
    Love the floor by floor store directory very much!
    This is the way the store was for most of the time I knew it...the 1970's thru 1990.
    Filene's never had furniture, larger home appliances or the outdoor-garden-auto-sports-hardware sections that the other big Boston stores did for many years. When Jordan Marsh became smaller and tore down the large annex building in 1978, they also dropped many departments such as large appliances and home-garden-auto-hardware. They moved a smaller home furniture section into the 1950 building on one of the upper floors in the late 70's. By 1980, the big Woolworth's in Boston was the only department store in downtown to still carry a selection of large home appliances or garden-outdoor-auto-hardware items...and those sections grew smaller and were discontinued by the late 80's:-)

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  3. I shopped Filenes in new york they were a great store. lets face it i hate macys for taking away sterns abraham and straus and filenes. I shopped their stores at poughkeepsie galleria mall and palisades center mall in west nyack n.y. Macys thinks everyone loves them but the stores they took away were better.

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  4. When I worked at I Magnin during the 70s - after the final clearance sales (twice a year) the unsold clothing would be sold to Filene's in
    Boston for their basement store. If I remember right it sold to Filene's for 10 cents on the dollar.

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  5. There was a Filene's in the Crystal Mall in Waterford CT (along with a Jordan Marsh at the other end of the mall). Both were very nice although small. The Filene's store was larger and had a more cusumer friendly feel to it. Macy's first took over JM and it was horrible. Later, Macy's closed the Filene's store...which was a mistake because it was the better building. Now its a Target and Christmas Tree shop. Its just better to drive to West Farms.

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  6. There was a Filene's in the Crystal Mall in Waterford Ct (which was always a Filene's never a G Fox.... It was small but had everything.

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  7. The Filene's in the Chestnut Hill Mall in Newton Ma was a very nice store, but it never had anything we were looking for. Often they would tell us to go over to their Natick Mall location.
    Macy's turned the Filene's store into a Bloomingdale's. Now there is a Bloomingdale's at each end of the mall...it just doesn't work.

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  8. Growing up in Boston during the 1980's and 1990's There were two stores we shopped at Filene's and Jordan Marsh. My dad worked for Jordan Marsh, but it always seemed when Jordan Marsh was doing good, Filene's was falling a bit behind, and when Filene's was doing good, Jordan Marsh was staggering. I miss both of those locations. As one person stated on another comment Macy's now, is not the Macy's of yesteryear's gone bye.
    To me Filene's was a bit more elegant, while Jordan Marsh was more contemporary. I remember always buying my back to school clothes and spring/summer clothes at either Jordan Marsh and Filene's in Downtown Boston, Burlington Mall, or South Shore Plaza. My favorite Filene's was Burlington, there Men's Contemporary Collections department had Girbaud,and Guess, along with a Polo Ralph Lauren shop this was in 1986. My family and friends now find ourselves shopping at Banana Republic, Club Monaco, J. Crew, and if we do go to a department store it's either Barney's New York, Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, or Saks Fifth Avenue. If I am on vacation, and I see a Dillard's, I'll shop there, unfortunately the department stores as we knew them are dead.

    Thank you so much BAK, for putting all of this together, one thing I always wanted to do was write a coffee-table book about all of the regional department stores and showcase their glory. You deserve much thanks and praise for your tireless effort! Thank You So Much!

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  9. You're welcome! Your response is appreciated because it helps me realize that my efforts are paying off . . . in terms of how people react to the idea.

    If you are interested in a coffee table book, look at the "Welcome" page - Jan Whitaker's book is magnificent.

    If I can find a way, I WILL write that coffee table book, and illustrate it, too!

    Again, thanks!

    Bruce

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  10. You are trying to through the information about these historical place by the help of this blog.It is very impressive.

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  11. I loved Filene's! I still mourn Filene's to this day. I also love how you have BOTH locations of the Filene's store in Worcester, MA. Filene's was once located on Main Street (across from Denholm's) and moved to the Galleria @ Worcester Center on Front Street in 1971. In that same vein, you may want to add the second location of the Filene's store in Chestnut Hill, MA. They were initially located in the Chestnut Hill Shopping Center (along with a branch of R.H. Stearns, and Franklin-Simon) but in 1974 Filene's relocated to the Mall at Chestnut Hill, about 1/2 mile west of their original location and they stayed there until Macy's ruined everything.........

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  12. I read the Filene's book in 2 hours on Saturday...It only made me sad to see what had become of a great "Specialty store" in Boston. In fact when Neiman Marcus came to Boston's Copley Place, the only department store credit card they would accept as secondary identification for opening a Neiman Marcus charge card was Filene's...I remember the sales associate telling my mom, when she opened her wallet. Macy's and even earlier on Robert Campeau ruined everything.

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  13. I remember in the 1980's, attending college in Providence, RI the 2 main department stores (all the Providence ones were either closed or having clearance/out of business sales (Outlet, Shepard, Peerless)) were Jordan Marsh & Filene's at the Warwick Mall. The Midland (Rhode Island Mall) had a branch of my home state of CT's G.Fox & Company & Sears.

    It was a Filene's bag that jump started my collecting shopping bags & memorabilia and when I left college in 1984, I had collected over 400 different bags from the Boston/Providence area. Filene's at that time was the sister store of Bloomingdale's (both owned by Federated) and did not carry the hard home lines (housewares, furniture, mattresses, rugs, etc) but did carry a small assortment of domestic and soft linen departments. It wasn't until the sale of Federated stores to May Company that Filene's began offering hard line goods (to make it easier to transition in the rebranding of G. Fox, which on it's own carried full home-store departments)

    Filene's was my first store charge card, Jordan Marsh was my second...

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  14. I just hear that the Belmont Filene's is closing. I worked in the Wellesley location and closed that store. Once in Natick, whenever I saw my faithful Wellesley customers - they would tell me how much they missed Wellesley. This went on for years. Now everyone misses Filene's.

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  15. Dear BARK... I LOVE your site... thank you!

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  16. Filenes Boston meant the BASEMENT!! Filenes upper store was boring but the Basement ROCKED! You were rewarded with the thrill of the shopping hunt with end of season LUXURY goods from LUXURY department stores at a fraction of their original prices. The labels and original price tags were still in tact.

    In later years the basement had a fine jewelry that ROCKED!! Shoppers were presented with LUXURY watches and I bought several GUCCI, MOVARDO watches here.

    I purchased my first mink coat here in the basements "fur salon". Yes, the basement was truly no frills in decor but bargain shoppers flocked to the basement. The other two big department stores had their own basement but NONE compared to Filenes Basement with selection, LUXURY brands and automatic markdowns!
    LOVED LOVED LOVED Filenes Basement Boston!
    Thank you BAK for your site!

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  17. As a tot, I remember accompanying my mother to the French Shops in the late 1950's to choose an outfit for some special occasion she was to attend. I remember that there was an express elevator (with an operator) and if memory serves me correctly, they had a highly unusual cash register. The register was set into a wall and was enormous, with a drawer for each saleswoman. But the drawer opened into a room on the opposite side, where a clerk made change and handed it back over through a window above the top of the register! I have never seen another setup like that.

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  18. Grew up in Belmont, Ma the 40s and 50s. First job when I turned 16 was in Belmont Ctr.
    Filenes in the Lingerie Dept. What a classy store in those days.It was run like a ship, and every Saturday we had a meeting so as to be briefed on any new merchandise and such. I took train into Boston store as a kid with my mom to shop and lunch--such fun---those were the days!

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  19. I worked at the Newington NH (Fox Run Mall ) Filene's for 8 years as an Executive...it was the second smallest Filene's -only to Belmont Mass.....I have some great Filene's collectibles if you need some pictures for your site let me know ! Also made a small tribute to Filene's- www.farewellfilenes.homestead.com I can be reached at ups88rulz@yahoo.com

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  20. In spite of it's disappearance in the mid 80s, the remnants of Filene's is still present in Worcester's "City Square". The Filene's Wing is the only fully-intact part of the old Galleria mall, now office space (granted, follows the design of the Media Play and Food Court from the Outlet reboot, to a degree).
    The sole-surviving piece of Filene's history that is still there, is the department store elevator, which is tucked away in a creepy hall on the 1st level (Filene's entry). The depertment store placards in the floor counter are long gone, fulled with today's directory of services. It's a little trip down memory lane, and it's still there, and will be for many years to come.

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  21. I haven't seen G.Fox on this website yet. I know their history, like Sibley's in Rochester and a lot of other chains, are intertwined thanks to the May Company consolidation of brands, but are there plans to add?

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  22. Ignore my last comment. I found G.Fox. Can't believe I missed that the first time.

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  23. It Is There. Look at the index on

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  24. G.FOx was too famous, large, and important to leave out!

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