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

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

HAncock 6-3800


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

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.)

50 Central Street
53,000 Sq. Ft.

595 Main Street

South Hadley
23 College Street

539-541 Main Street
42,000 s.f.

269-271 Main Street

200 Westminster Street

Portland, ME
492 Congress Street
Main & Thompson Sts.
March, 1940
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
110,000 Sq. Ft.

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

Cape Cod Mall
81,000 Sq. Ft.

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

Worcester Center
106,000 Sq. Ft.

Hanover Mall
71,000 Sq. Ft.

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

Coming in due course.


  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.

  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:-)

  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.

    1. I agree. Something lovely was lost when Macy's took over all these regional department stores, changed their names, and made them parts of their empire. Filene's as well as so many other stores helped build the personalities of cities. But, no more. Boo-Hiss to Macy's. Won't shop there.

  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.

  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.

  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.

  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.

  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!

  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!


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

  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.........

  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.

  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...

  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.

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

  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!

  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.

  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!

  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

    1. I have my mom's filene piano that she acquired after working there as a young woman in her late tens early twenties. She spoke so highly of the experience. She loved working there and had so many wonderful toys she had collected through her time working there, as she was in the toy department.

  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.

  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?

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

  23. It Is There. Look at the index on

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

  25. My father went to work in the restaurant there in 1951. I just found this out today. He is listed in the 1952 Boston city directory as as a restaurant worker employed by Filenes. He worked there for a year then enlisted in the navy. After he put in his four years he returned to work at Filenes in 1956. My mother went to work at the candy counter their in 1956 and that is where they met. My father had a sweet tooth. After they got engaged my mother quit just so she could get a wedding gown at a bargain price. Employees were not permitted to participate as they were needed to man their stations for the running of the brides. In the 1960's my parents returned and showed me the exact spot they met right at the candy counter. The woman who was working there recognized my parents. she had been working there for over 20 years. I wish I'd have thought of taking pictures but I was only a kid at the time. I knew my father had worked there after he left the navy but I hadn't known he worked there before. I do wish I had photos of them at the store.

  26. Macy's & Dillards should go bankrupt. They took the greatness of these amazing department stores around the country and turned it into shadows of what it once was

  27. Just found a shoe horn
    black in good condition

  28. My Great Grandfather worked at Filenes's Department in Boston for many years. He went from Apprentice Tailor to the Head Tailor. I am trying to find some photos of him. His name was Abraham Weinberg.

    1. Genealogybank.com has the Boston Herald-American on line (for a fee) or if your library supports ProQuest Historical Newspapers, you may be able to search the Boston Globe there.
      - BAK

  29. Just came across a children's menu dated 1943 from the Boston restaurant very good condition how would I go about seeing if anyone is interested?

  30. tenho o previlegio de herdar esse sobrenome filene, eu gostaria muito de conhecer pessoalmente, esse lindo legado , pois nessa historia .realmente conheci. de onde veio meu bisavo. athaliba filene, naceu 1868 naô sei direito a data nem de onde ele veio sei que era estrangeiro aqui no Brasil. meu nome e antonio carlos filene mauricio caso queira mi conhecer mi contate pelo facebook Brasil , Rio de janeiro

  31. Hi. Love this site. Does anybody remember a new 'mall' being built near Downtown Crossing in the mid eighties? It was largely underground. We went there to check it out soon after it opened and it was very, very creepy. Windowless winding passages. I recall feeling quite claustrophobic and couldn't wait to get the heck out of there! I had read about how architecture, design, urban planning etc. can effect feelings and mood, but up until visiting this place I did not understand. Does anybody remember? Thanks. sheila.oriordan@yahoo.com

  32. Any idea what happened to PENSIONS that Filene's employees had coming to them?

  33. I have a picture of my dad in a Filene's basketball team uniform. This was circa 1925. Was there such a thing? There are several players in the photo and all are wearing the same uniform. Any info on this? He was from Somerville, MA.

  34. I love your site!! However, I have not seen any posts about the A.Shuman and Company store, which predated Jordan Marsh in Boston. This was my father's great-uncle's business (Abraham Shuman) . It opened in the 1860's and continued to serve te community until around 1920. It was located at 440 Washington St on corner of Summer St. A.Shuman was very successful in business and the location came to be called Shuman's Corner both while his store was there and after he eventually sold it. Many of these early merchants were Jewish and
    came from the same region of Europe (Posen, Prussia) and made the American dream come true. Here are a couple of related links:


  36. Looking for a photo of my Mother advertising Valentines Day for Filenes in Boston between 1940 to 1945. A woman on a heart

    1. Check archived newspapers at www.newspapers.com and www.genealogybank.com

  37. How about "Filene's Finishing School"? It was in the Burlington Mall location (maybe others, but that's where I went). Every Wednesday afternoon for 2 hours. Taught "young ladies" the finer points of life - how to set a table, how to walk a runway, how to dress for special occasions, etc. Looking back, it helped this tomboy learn how to act like a lady.

  38. I worked at Filene's at Enfield Square Mall in Enfield,CT right before Macy's took it over. It was a nice Art Deco looking building at the end of the complex.

  39. Did Filene's have a charm school?

  40. Hello, I'm Trying to find information about my Great Grand Father, Abraham Weinberg. He worked at Filene's Dept Store for many years as a Tailor. If someone can help me find any information that would be great. Thank you,
    Mark R. Urick mrurick2001@gmail.com

  41. I worked at 426 Washington Street as a buyer clerical for Yvonne LaChappele in domestics department 070 and 071. I was dumb and left prematurely to have an adventure on a motorcycle with the girl because I was impatient. Yvonne was the most informative instructor and master to educate me about finance and clerical competence and she demonstrated a general concern for my well being and human social development. I am in the process of repaying that trust forward with my influence and soon my officiate.

  42. Did Filene's ever have a store in Medford Square or Malden Square?

    1. Jordan Marsh had a branch store in Malden Square and Gilchrists had a branch in Medford Square.

  43. Encontrei uma boina da Jordan Marsh Boston como eu faria para ver se alguém está interessado?

  44. I a trying to find out more information about my biological mom who graduated from Katherines Gibbs Boston to work as an assistant to the president of Filene's from around 1953 to 1957. Her name was Maureen Lindsay. I would like to hear from any co-workers or friends of hers that are still alive. Thank you. mendykwilliams@gmail.com


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