Nordstrom, Seattle Washington

One of America's best-known retailers was once
a local firm, growing from a shoe store into a
fashion-oriented specialty store by acquiring
Best's Apparel. 

 In the early 1970s, the store built its Seattle flagship,
with a new section (center) between the remodeled
Nordstrom's Shoes building (left) and a new wing
on the site of the original Best's Apparel structure.

The original Nordstrom's Shoes building was partially
faced with travertine and given a verdigris copper
marquis like the rest of the building. This phase
opened in October of 1973.

The Pike Street facade of the new Nordstrom flag-
ship, which housed the men's shops and store

The building which housed Best's Apparel, acquired
by Nordstrom in 1963, was removed and replaced
with a new building at Fifth and Pine.

At the time of its completion, the store changed its name
from Nordstrom Best to simply Nordstrom and intro-
duced a new logo as well.

5th and Pine
Seattle Washington

Lower Level
The Shoe Rack • The Clothes Rack

First Floor
Women's Shoes  Daniel Louis Fine Jewelry  Jewelry  Jewelry Art  Handbags  Small Leathers  Les Must de Cartier  Gloves  Hosiery  Cosmetics  Blouses and Coordinates  Stationery  Candy  Fortnum & Mason Ltd.  Men's Furnishings  Men's Accessories  Men's Sportswear  Men's Shoes  Polo Shop

Second Floor
Salon Shops The Garden Room  The County Shop  The Hunting Quarter  Salon Furs  Salon Shoes  Bridal Shop  Bonnie Cashin Boutique  Evening Shop
Collector's Shops  The Parlor  The Solarium  The Library
Savvy  Intimate Apparel  Lingerie  At-Home Shop  The Body Shop  Gift Galleries  Nordstrom Gallery  Needlepoint Studio  Travel Bazaar  Personal Touch  Men's Clothing

Third Floor
Town Square Town Square Dresses  Town Square Knits  Town Square Coats  Town Square Suits
Point of View Shop  The Brass Rail  Customer Service

Fourth Floor
Brass Plum  Brass Plum Shoes  Sportswear  Individualist Sportswear  Children's Shop  Children's Shoes  Active Sports Ltd.  Nordstrom Cafe  General Offices

Fifth Floor
Alterations  Will-Call  Credit Office  The Show Room

Sixth Floor
Executive Offices

Lloyd Center
Portland, OR
August, 1960

49,000 s.f.

316 East Yakima Ave.

January, 1965
124,000 s.f.

Acquired Nicholas Ungar 1966
New Store October 1977
140,000 s.f.

Tacoma Mall

45,000 s.f.

Bellevue Square

82,000 s.f.

July, 1968

80,000 s.f.

University Way
45th St. and University Way
August, 1973

Aurora Village
May, 1974

71,000 s.f.

Riverpark Square

Main at Post
May, 1974

Washington Square
Tigard, OR
May, 1974
70,000 s.f.

Vancouver Mall
Vancouver, WA
August, 1977
60,000 s.f.

South Coast Plaza
Costa Mesa, CA
May, 1978
120,000 s.f.

Coming in due course.


  1. In 1975, they also acquired Northern Commercial Company's three full-line department stores in Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Kenai. Until sometime in the early 80s, they had home merchandise (furniture, electronics, appliances, records) not found in the rest of Nordstrom's stores. The Kenai store closed in 1981, Fairbanks in 1989, and the Anchorage store is still going strong.

  2. If you look at the museum directory, you will see that I plan to include that eventually.

  3. The three turning points for Nordstrom was first, the acquisition of Best Apparel, the second, the opening of South Coast Plaza which proved they could be successful outside of the Northwest and also set a new standard for a level of service in the lucrative California market and the third was their venture into Virgina at Tysons Corner Center in 1987, their first store East of the Mississippi and proving that the brand could be national. I should note that I have been a Nordstrom customer since 1978, long before they came East and have never, ever received those infamous "thank you" notes for a pair of socks you hear so much fact, I find their service average at best.

    1. There's the fantasy of Nordstrom and there's the reality of Nordstrom. They're very good at tooting their own horn--I agree service is average.

  4. The "Bistro" restaurant in the Houston branch is just about the best eatery in town--or at least in the Galleria!

  5. Finally a Nordstrom of the best retalers in America...its more of the old time service and goods available in the past and still going store today...The West Farms store in Connecticut is the best in the chain.

  6. I don't see any mention of Nordstrom's scaled-down / smaller stores, Place Two, which were all eventually closed. I inherited an original Nordstrom Best credit card, which is now framed. I should send a scan to you guys for others to see.

    1. I loved Place Two also. The scaled down version had a great array of merchandise to choose from. SeaTac Mall, University Way in the U-district, etc. Sad to see them go.

  7. The original Washington Square store was 108,000 sq. ft., the new one is 180,000 sq. ft. The Vancouver Mall store (one of the Nordies I worked at) is 70,000 sq. ft.
    It's nice to see images of the older store-fronts, before Nordstrom started the cookie cutter approach to their new stores...Regarding Place Two, one of the original architects (Richard Lawson) has some pics of those stores on his site.
    And I sent out many, many Thank You notes to my customers back in the day. Just sayin'...

  8. Two Oregon stores missing from here are Clackamas Town Center and Salem Center. The Salem Center store was even built with an attached enclosed mall as known as the Nordstrom Mall until a later expansion.

  9. Nordstrom's store at the Brea Mall in Brea, CA is missing from your list. As a kid we never shopped there as it was too expensive, but have walked through it. Loved the guy that played the piano on the first floor.

  10. Does anyone remember Ila's Millinery? She's my grandma. Her store was located in the Best Apparel building at 1523 5th Avenue, Seattle. I would love to see a picture and learn anything else about it. Thanks!

  11. I remember shopping at Nordstrom store in Seattle when it was just a shoe store. My mom used to take all of us(children) for back to school shoe shopping. My mother told me that Nordstrom was her very first store that she had a credit card for. This was back in the 1930's. I still shop at Nordstrom but miss the original!!

  12. I live in Bend, OR and keep hoping one day a store will open here. Today at work someone told me years ago there used to be one. Is that true?

  13. For many years the shoe departments at all Rhodes Brothers department stores were actually consessions leased by Nordstrom. The sales people at those locations were Nordstrom employees.

  14. I remember the old downtown Seattle store before the remodel (new facade and the copper awnings) it had these very unusual "popped-out" windows - - ended up working there in the 1980's as one of their display minions - incredible experience - incredible people - incredible store!

  15. We also shopped when it was just shoes down on University Ave. We always got the school ruler box with each pair of shoes.

  16. Are the vintage Nordstrom Best credit cards from the 1950's of any value?

  17. I loved the original building .Walking in there chanel accessories boutique was amazing so was chanel clothing up necklaces back then were less then 400.00


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