Gilmore Brothers, Kalamazoo, Michigan


The oldest part of Gilmore's fronted on Burdick
Street, and became part of the store's "Mall
Boutiques" after 1959

Gilmores expanded with Kalamazoo's growth by
building a large six-story building facing Farmer
Street and connected to its older space on Burdick


Five sections of the Burdick street building became
"Mall Boutiques." These facades were replaced by a
sterile, box-like modern facade in the 1980s

Gilmore Brothers
Kalamazoo Mall
143 South Burdick Street
Kalamazoo, Michigan


DOWNTOWN STORE DIRECTORY

Basement
Gilmore's Basement Store

Main Floor
Fine Jewelry • Costume Jewelry • Handbags • Small Leather Goods • Gloves • Neckwear • Heavenly Hair Creations • Accessories • Hosiery • Cosmetics • Lingerie • Blouses • Main Floor Sportswear • Cards 'N Things • Candy • Gourmet Shop
Mall Boutiques Men's Store • Young Men's Shop • Ice Cream Parlor • Trim-the-Home Shop • Toy Store • Campus Shop

Second Floor
Dresses • Coats • Suits • Sportswear • Queen Size • Beter Dresses • Contempo • The Place • California Shop • Furs • Bridal • Millinery • Shoe Salon
A Place of Your Own Junior Sportswear • Junior Dresses • Junior Coats

Third Floor
Lingerie • Leisurewear • Foundations • Fabrics • Art Needlework • Bedding • Bath Shop • Linens • Closet Shop

Fourth Floor
China • Glassware • Silverware • Gifts • Lamps • Pictures • Draperies • Carpets • Housewares • Hostess Shop

Fifth Floor
Infants' Shop • Toddlers' Shop • Girls' Shop • Co-Ed • Boy's Shop • Children's Shoes • Gilmore's Tea Room • Executive Offices • Customer Service • Credit Office • Cashier


BRANCH STORES (Through 1980)

Maple Hill Mall (10.1972)


Southland (08.1974)
Portage, Michigan


8 comments:

  1. The flagship store was damaged by a tornado in May of 1980, and I believe a small renovation was done as a result. The store lasted a few decades beyond most, but finally closed in either 1999 or 2000. Their building has been torn down now as well. Sad that such a great local institution couldn't survive into the 21st century. Small-town America needs these kinds of places now more than ever, and certainly more than another box like Wal-Mart and their brethren.

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  2. I don't believe the store was torn down, just remodeled beyond recognition.

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  3. The front portion of the store downtown was torn down. Developer did do a nice job recreating the original store front though when creating the new half containing the restaurants. For fun go to the back of the building and look at the floor...it is the same, and the elevators remain.

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  4. Gilmore's was an anchor for Kalamazoo's unique downtown pedestrian mall. It ran the "free if you buy something" parking lot which also hosted rooftop concerts. Kalamazoo kept its downtown retail vibrant against conventional malls longer than most.

    Jacobson's also had a downtown store.

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  5. I worked as a window display assistant at Gilmore Brothers (est. 1888) in the late 1960s-early 70s. It was my first job in a creative field, and I loved it. All the display windows in the arcade, The Men's Store and Ice Cream Parlor, plus a Womens Store across the mall kept Clarence Engle, the display Manager and myself busy year-round. Irving Gilmore, the last of the Gilmore Brothers' second generation, was a remarkably distinguished man who kept alive the old-fashioned ideals of a traditional department store. There is a foundation in his name.

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  6. The Tea Room had the best chicken salad I have ever tasted, even to this day! I was born and raised in Portage and in the 1950's my sister and I would "go into town" on Saturdays for shopping, a movie at the State Theatre and always, lunch at Gilmores for their chicken salad...all dressed up in our finest.

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  7. I worked at a finance office located just to the left of the main store entrance in 1964. Our front door opened to the mall and a small outdoor dinning area. One day about 2pm I came back to the office, Mr gilmore and Mr disney were setting there, when people noticed them they followed me up into our office, and left throught a private door into the store which we thought was a closet because it was always. locked

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  8. Was there ever a Chicago store? I thought that I remembered a family member working there

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