Forbes & Wallace, Springfield, Massachusetts

Forbes & Wallace store in Springfield, Massachusetts - Main and Vernon Street sides

Pynchon Street frontage of Forbes & Wallace

Aerial view showing Springfield City Hall with Forbes & Wallace behind

Forbes & Wallace (1874)
1414 Main Street
Springfield, Massachusetts

RE 9-7211


F&W Budget Store • Meridian Snack Bar

Street Floor
Jewelry • Costume Jewelry • Handbags • Gloves • Small Leather Goods • Hosiery • Neckwear • Accessories • Street Floor Sportswear • Street Floor Blouses • Hat Bar • Cosmetics • Stationery • Books • Card Shop • Typewriters • Camera Shop • Luggage • Watch Repair Desk • Service Desk • Notions • Candy • Russell Stover • Food Shops • Delicatessen • Bake Shop • Drug Sundries • Men's Shops • Men's Gift Boutique • Mustang Shop
Main Street Extension Main Floor Shoes

Second Floor
Junior Row • Young Juniors • Teen Scene • Hen House • Budget Dresses • Dresses • Women's Dresses • Sportswear • Shoe Salon • Millinery • Slipper Bar • Wig Salon • Better Dresses • Regency Shop • Town Shop • Formal Gowns • Bridal Salon • Fur Salon • Portrait Studio

Third Floor
Lingerie • Sleepwear • Loungewear • Foundations • Daytime Dresses • Fashion Fabrics • Sewing Machines • Needlework • Beauty Salon • Trim the Home Shop
Children's World Infants' Shop • Toddlers' Shop • Nursery Furniture • Little Boys' • Little Girls' • Boys' Wear • Girls' Wear • Children's Shoes

Fourth Floor
Carpets • Rugs • Sleep Shop • Lamps • Mirrors • Furniture • Kitchen Boutique

Fifth Floor
Linens & Towels • Domestics • Curtains • Draperies • Slipcovers • Toys • Sporting Goods • Ski Shop

Sixth Floor
China • Silverware • Glassware • Bar Shop • Gifts • Housewares • Small Appliances • TVs and Radios • Stereos • Pictures and Framing • Garden Shop • Major Appliances • Vacuums

Seventh Floor

Eighth Floor
Auditorium • Red Carpet Shop • Top 'O The Town Restaurant • Executive Offices


Boston Road
121,000 s.f.
Eastfield Restaurant

Fairfield Mall, Chicopee
80,000 s.f.
Fairfield Restaurant


  1. I am a former Buyer/Department Manager for Forbes & Wallace. I notice an error on the listing of 1st floor departments. The Candy & Russell Stover Departments were also on the first floor, just off the escalator.

    Darrell Jones

  2. Thanks for the correction. I am always happy to improve the accuracy of the information presented in The Department Store Museum, and it makes me glad to know that there are people out there who remember these places so fondly.


  3. The Executive offices were on the 8th floor as well, by the way.
    My late father, Laurence R Wallace was treasurer, president and eventually Chairman and CEO before the store was taken over in a leveraged buy-out (which he fought, unsuccessfully) in 1973.
    I have other photos of the store that you may want for your blog museum.
    -Stephen W Wallace, great-grandson of the founder of the store, Andrew B Wallace.

  4. Forbes & Wallace also had a small branch store in Manchester, Connecticut, at the Manchester Parkade Shopping Center. It was there only branch in Connecticut and was built in 1967 or '68. Building is still there, and is abandoned, as is the rest of what is now referred to as the 'back' shopping center that was built behind the original Manchester Parkade, which also includes an abandoned Bradlee's and Stop & Shop. I am not sure who subsequently occupied the F&W space, but I believe it might have been a local department store chain out of New Britain called D&L, and then others after they folded in 1993. The center was mostly abandoned by the early 2000's.

    The building is two levels, and maybe no more than 65 or 75k of space.

    The city has plans for redevelopment of that site, and will likely be taking it down soon. I took some photos of it last year and hope to submit them soon.

  5. Forbes & Wallace also took over McCallum's in Northampton, MA from perhaps the 1940s? until its closing in 1973. Although owned by F&W, it retained the name McCallum's. That location was renovated and reopened as Thorne's Market.

  6. Ann Marie

    Wasn't the Cosmetics Department also on the first floor?

  7. Yes, merely an oversight.

  8. I have a forbes and walace ladies mink hat in the box is this collectible?

  9. Okay there Steven Wallace, cough up those pictures of Forbes & Wallace if you can! My mother and I shopped that store til the bitter end of July of 1976. Broken Hearted over the tearing down of that retail mecca! Nothing can replace my beloved Forbes and Steigers stores! Nor the magic of then Down Town Springfield Mass!

  10. hi trying to find a pic off the 100th annivrsary or the 125 my dad owns some thing that was part of the window picture

  11. Hi My name is Richard Hammond I worked as a security operative for Forbes for many years right up to the closing.At the time of the closing I removed a box that was thrown into the dumpster, and in it were many pictures 8x10 photos of the Wallaces and of different departments from the begining of the store till the end {outside & inside}if anone would be interested in these contact me,at

  12. Richard Hammond, I tried to email you about the photos and the email came back. Do you still have those pictures and, if so, are you still interested in sharing them?
    Barbara Shaffer

  13. Oh if this generation of people could learn the concepts of a valued customer. We were so loyal to Forbes and Wallace and also to Steiger's. What I would give now to have them both back in this area. It was an all day Saturday event to go Downtown to shop. I went to school at Classical Junior High School (which has been gone for a long time, also) and we used to take the bus down State Street to go shopping after school at F & W. Then go have a snack at the Meridian. Ah such simple pleasures. Those were the days...

  14. I wish I could have been around to see this .Only born in 1978.

  15. I have a picture from a relative taken at this retail store and was wondering if there was a way to trace it via the re-order number written on the back. It is a very old black and white photo around the late 1800s to about the turn of the century. Any idea how I may go about this?

  16. To Richard Hammond, why not scan and email those images to this site, so we can all reminisce about Forbes & Wallace? I can walk through the store in my mind.

  17. Loved the notions dept. on the first floor. You could find anything you needed there! I have to concur with Ann Marie Richard. I was at Classical High and remember many times shopping at Forbes, Steigers and all the other wonderful stores downtown after school.

  18. The seventh floor had a mail room, bakery where all the baked goods were baked for the bakery on the first floor located in the deli plus a warehouse area for merchandise. I don't remember what else. I worked there until 1971 or 1972. Great place to work and shop. I bought some silverware from a tag sale more than 25 years ago with Forbes & Wallace engraved on them plus coffee cups and saucers from the Top of the Town Restaurant. Anyone interested? E-mail me at

  19. My mom used to take me shopping in the 1950s and "Forbes" was always one of the stops. I recall that I was always eager to get a snack at the Meridian lunch bar. I wish I could go back in time and see it again.

    My mother's friend had worked there in the early 1930s and she said that (the actor) Wendell Corey worked there for a while, before pursuing acting.

  20. My grandparents sold flowers just inside the main doorway of the Springfield store in the late 1920's - early 1930's. Anyone have photos of that era? Thanks!!

  21. I miss the old downtown Springfield so much, my mother took me shopping one Saturday a month, and we ate at Top O the Town Restaurant for a special treat, and even though pleasantly full we just had to stop in the candy department on the first floor to buy a packet of fresh roasted cashews. Coming down the escalator to the first floor was so much fun, cases of jewelry to peer in. Please post pictures of the early 1960's windows or the store displays inside Forbes and Wallace! Such wonderful memories, the ring of a bell, the smell of the city, and building appointed with old world marble, tile, brass, and even the simplest merchandise displayed in elegant wooden and glass cases. Shopping there filled the senses.

  22. In 1972 i was the head painter they were throwing away everything next to paint shop.Ipulled out a 1923 scrap book evverything from clouth to order forms and calenders30 pages carefuley entered.who ever wants this album there is no charge. shippien only.I hade it 1972

  23. I was the head painter in 1976.they cleaning 6th floor throwing everything in a dumpster next to paint shop.I retrived a 1923 scpapbook very carefuly put togather.old clouth,cALENDERS,ORDER FORMES,PICTURES OF CLOTHING,PERSONAL LETTERS.ECT ECT.ALBUM IN EXCELENT COND.IF ANYONE WOULD LIKE THIS ITUM JUST PAY SHIPPING COST IT HAS BEEN IN MY CLOSET 37 YRS.SHOTGUNCHARRON@AOL.COM

  24. RHONDA BURBANK BLASCAK-WORKED FROM APRIL 1974-JULY 1976 (CLOSING) @ 1414 MAIN ST SPRINGFIELD. MA......This was my 1st real job. Unfortunately it didn't stay open long enough but the memories of entering in the rear (EMPLOYEES A MUST) and hitting records & giftwrap,notions, russell stover. As you walked toward the front you'd have the option of the escalator or stairs to the budget basement, also the elevator with Vi Dow waiting to say "up please". I even got to play the little whipper snapper when we did a "Happy Days Are Here Again" skit performed by selected employees to mark the anniversary of the store. Little did we know they'd soon be preparing for the "Down from Up" sale and the end of Forbes & Wallace as we knew it.

  25. I have a metal bucket with a wooden grip and on the front it has a metal piece about an inch in diameter adhered to it with the FW logo around it says Forbes & Wallace, Springfield, MA. Does anyone know anything at all about it?

  26. My father, Norman Wanegar, was the head buyer for the basement section back in the late 30's, 40' and early 50's. I have many fond memories of shopping in Forbes & Wallace. I moved away from Springfield and was very sorry to learn that the store closed. I never knew that there were other Forbes & Wallace stores.

  27. I had just finished my freshman year at CLARK UNIVERSITY as an art history major at the worcester Museum sschool--My father was frieds with a man who ran the design department I think on the seventh or eighth floor.....I painted nd dessigned all the window props that went into all the windows every season saving Forbes & Wallace thusands of was one of the busiest and most interesting summers of my in those days, we were not allowed to work until we were 17 years old.....hint: my first name is Lynn

  28. My mother, father, sisters and myself went to Forbes to shop alot. We especially loved to go around Christmas because the display windows were decorated so beautifully. Such wonderful memories.

  29. I loved Forbes & Wallace and Steigers - and so miss the whole downtown scene. Took my kids to "Breakfast with Santa" on December Saturdays in the 60's at the Top O'the Town. When East Longmeadow buried a time capsule at Heritage Park in '76 - I placed my little metal Forbes & Wallace charge card in there!

  30. Were the candies made on premises, or were they manufactured elsewhere? My father used to love the dark chocolate covered marshmallow patties. Sometimes they were sprinkled with white coconut.

  31. My grandmother (from Italy) was a seamstress at F&W. She worked only on wedding gowns and mink coats. I think the workroom (sewing room) was on the 4th floor, hidden from the sales floor. Loved going to visit her. The seamstresses were like more grandmothers to me. When I was in high school (early 60's) I worked in the basement (ladies under garments...not where a teen would really like to work) and then I worked in the bakery (not baking, the sales floor). They told us if anything came down from the bakery broken, we could eat it. I still remember Marissa. She was one of the clerks. Sweet, funny lady. And "Tiny" the stock boy for us. Also the married couple ... she was in maintenance and he was the elevator operator. They met at F&W. I still have a few pieces of jewelry I bought there. And some F&W jewelry boxes too. So many wonderful memories. (I worked at Steiger's Eastfield in the '80's p.t. when my kids were young).

  32. I was searching my parents basement and found a woman's beaver fur coat from Forbes and Wallace. Since no one in the family wants it, I was going to post on e bay. Came across this site trying to research the brand. I am too young to remember this department store but after reading the comments above, I figured I would ask those who may have sentimental interest before posting.

  33. Fond memories! My first job was on the receiving dock working with Paul Marcot. I remember my first paycheck. I used it to buy a winter coat...and I still wear it today!

  34. I remember Forbes & wallace, worked there from Sept. 1959 to August 1963 as a assistant to buyer in the Bargain Basement. I was just a teen in my senior yr. of high school at High School of Commerce and taking the Retailing Course as part of my schooling. I worked in the Women's undergarments and nightwear. There was a small office in the back of the basement and that where the buyers and their assistants did the paperwork and when it was busy on the floor we had to go out and sell. It was a good experience but hard working 35 hours a week and going to school...

  35. Hi All,
    Anyone out there remember the art gallery at Forbes and Wallace? If so, do you recall who owned it?

  36. This is for Barbara Shaffer who tried to contact me about my Forbes & Wallace memo. My email was changed it is now richardhammond791@yahoo if you still interested or around.

  37. Richard!
    I'd love to see the photos, and post them on this site. That way, everyone could enjoy them. I will try to contact you, or if you wish, my email address is:

  38. I too would love to see those photos. I use to work for F&W and Steiger's.

  39. I think I remember going to the toys department on the forth floor back in the late 1960's.