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Hudson's: Detroit's Legendary Department Store

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For over a century, the J.L. Hudson's Department Store on Woodward Avenue was more than just a store--it was a Detroit icon and a world-class cultural treasure. At 25 stories, it was the world's tallest department store, and was at one time home to the most exceptional offerings in shopping, dining, services, and entertainment. The store prided itself on stocking everythin For over a century, the J.L. Hudson's Department Store on Woodward Avenue was more than just a store--it was a Detroit icon and a world-class cultural treasure. At 25 stories, it was the world's tallest department store, and was at one time home to the most exceptional offerings in shopping, dining, services, and entertainment. The store prided itself on stocking everything from grand pianos to spools of thread. In addition to departments offering fashionable clothing and home furnishings, the original Hudson's store featured an auditorium, a circulating library, dining rooms, barber shops, a photo studio, holiday exhibits, a magnificent place called Toytown, and the world's largest American flag. As a legendary symbol of urban and entrepreneurial American history, the J.L. Hudson's Department Store earned a permanent place in Detroit's collective memory. Although "the big store" no longer graces Woodward Avenue, its legacy lives on in the hearts and minds of generations, and in the remarkable photographs that preserve its reign.


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For over a century, the J.L. Hudson's Department Store on Woodward Avenue was more than just a store--it was a Detroit icon and a world-class cultural treasure. At 25 stories, it was the world's tallest department store, and was at one time home to the most exceptional offerings in shopping, dining, services, and entertainment. The store prided itself on stocking everythin For over a century, the J.L. Hudson's Department Store on Woodward Avenue was more than just a store--it was a Detroit icon and a world-class cultural treasure. At 25 stories, it was the world's tallest department store, and was at one time home to the most exceptional offerings in shopping, dining, services, and entertainment. The store prided itself on stocking everything from grand pianos to spools of thread. In addition to departments offering fashionable clothing and home furnishings, the original Hudson's store featured an auditorium, a circulating library, dining rooms, barber shops, a photo studio, holiday exhibits, a magnificent place called Toytown, and the world's largest American flag. As a legendary symbol of urban and entrepreneurial American history, the J.L. Hudson's Department Store earned a permanent place in Detroit's collective memory. Although "the big store" no longer graces Woodward Avenue, its legacy lives on in the hearts and minds of generations, and in the remarkable photographs that preserve its reign.

35 review for Hudson's: Detroit's Legendary Department Store

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jennie K.

    Fascinating. This may be my favorite book in the Images of America series yet. I was in the Detroit area when they imploded the massive downtown Hudson's structure, but I had no idea then the sheer scope of the retail and architectural history that went down that day. Hudson's had its own circulating library? Staff hospital with four doctors? The largest Otis elevator installation in the world? Barbers and custom face powder shop and post office and auditoriums and largest book store in the city Fascinating. This may be my favorite book in the Images of America series yet. I was in the Detroit area when they imploded the massive downtown Hudson's structure, but I had no idea then the sheer scope of the retail and architectural history that went down that day. Hudson's had its own circulating library? Staff hospital with four doctors? The largest Otis elevator installation in the world? Barbers and custom face powder shop and post office and auditoriums and largest book store in the city and, and, and. Oh, what I wouldn't give to go back in time, wearing a little pillbox hat and heels, maybe, and see it all in its glorious, glamorous heyday! There was nothing like it anywhere, and probably never will be again.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Denise

    What an absolute treat! My very first job in 1964 was at this store. I worked there for two years while attending college in Detroit. These photos and stories bring back so many memories. Pity that I never took any pictures myself. While I spent the greater part of my employment years selling bridal gowns or working in the pharmacy, I worked from the second basement all the way up to the 18th floor. This book is a keeper.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Chris Dean

  4. 4 out of 5

    Alexander Magee

  5. 4 out of 5

    Judy

  6. 5 out of 5

    Denise

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jill Porter

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

  9. 5 out of 5

    Linda Palmer

  10. 4 out of 5

    Shannon

  11. 5 out of 5

    Mickey

  12. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lloyd d. Marchant

  14. 5 out of 5

    Katherine Rohr

  15. 4 out of 5

    Judi Musolf

  16. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly

  18. 4 out of 5

    Donna

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Shea

  20. 5 out of 5

    Stacy

  21. 5 out of 5

    Marsha Luckett-ahlander

  22. 5 out of 5

    David

  23. 4 out of 5

    Bill

  24. 5 out of 5

    Mint

  25. 5 out of 5

    Katherine

  26. 4 out of 5

    Marie

  27. 5 out of 5

    Heather

  28. 4 out of 5

    Mrs.Lady

  29. 5 out of 5

    Tess

  30. 5 out of 5

    JKB NORTH

  31. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

  32. 4 out of 5

    dogperson

  33. 5 out of 5

    Exedratimehotmail.Com

  34. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

  35. 5 out of 5

    Keith Salter

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