This book is a tribute to the eight major downtown Cleveland department stores and their many loyal customers. For over 150 years, these large stores dominated the local retail scene. They represented exciting places that not only provided a full range of goods and services all under one roof, but also, offered a special shopping adventure every time their customers visited. I also wish to acknowledge the many men and women who dedicated their working lives to providing their customers with the best products and services year in and year out.
A number of my colleagues and friends assisted me throughout this effort. Bill Beckenbach, an Urban Center Fellow at Cleveland State University, first approached me about writing this book. He believed that there was a need for such a study. Once I started writing, Bill provided worthwhile suggestions based on his own experiences as a born and bred Clevelander and local business leader. Mr. John S. Lupo, former President of Higbee’s, offered a wealth of information and insight regarding the local retail scene especially from the 1960s to the 1990s.
Others assisting me in this endeavor included my longtime colleague and friend Mr. William C. Barrow, CSU Special Collections Librarian; Ms. Lynn Duchez Bycko, CSU Special Collections Assistant and Ms. Elaine Herron, Subject Department Librarian Cleveland Public Library-Public Administration. My wife Jo Ann, a dedicated shopper in her own right, also lent her expertise.