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Herpolsheimer's was a department store company in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S.A. with an additional location acquired from Wurzburg's in Wyoming, MI opened in 1974 and another store named Hardy-Herpolsheimer's in Muskegon, Michigan, which was later assumed into the Muskegon Mall in 1976.[1][2][3]

In 1987, the two Herpolsheimer's stores in Grand Rapids, at that time part of Allied Stores' Block unit, were sold to Federated Department Stores and adopted the name Lazarus.[4] Starting in 1985, the downtown store was also reduced in size, with part of it operating as a shopping mall called City Center. City Center closed in 1994 after most of its shops closed.[5]

During the pre-Christmas shopping period, Herpolsheimer's operated the "Santa Express" miniature train on a monorail suspended from the ceiling of the basement in its downtown Grand Rapids store.[6] The train is now located at the Grand Rapids Public Museum.[7]

Herpolsheimer's was also mentioned in the early minutes of the 2004 movie "The Polar Express" when the "Know-It-All kid" exclaims "Herpolsheimer's! Herpolsheimer's!" as the train passes through what is presumably downtown Grand Rapids. In another scene, the "Hero Boy" has a picture from Herpolsheimer's of himself ripping the fake beard off the store's Santa Claus.

Notable employees[edit]


  1. ^ "Founded on actual merit and drama". Furniture Record and Journal. 67-68: 126. 1933. Retrieved July 9, 2011. 
  2. ^ "The men's furnishings department at Herpolsheimer's in Grand Rapids, does...". Department Store Economist. Vol. 15. Chilton Company. 1952. p. 112. Retrieved July 9, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Avisco Glo-Plush advertisement". Life. September 17, 1956. p. 184. Retrieved July 9, 2011. 
  4. ^ "Federated Buys Stores". The Milwaukee Sentinel. Associated Press. April 28, 1987. Retrieved July 9, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Can Grand Rapids get more retail downtown?". WZZM 13. Retrieved 3 December 2014. 
  6. ^ Rademacher, Tom (January 22, 2009). "Museum seeks memories of Herpolsheimer's train to help with restoration project". The Grand Rapids Press. Retrieved July 9, 2011. 
  7. ^ Priest, Tim. "Preservation: Herpolsheimer's Train". Grand Rapids Public Museum. Retrieved July 9, 2011. 
  8. ^ Haraburda, Scott S. (2013). Christian Controversies: Seeking the Truth. Meaningful Publications. pp. 50–53. ISBN 978-0-9886072-0-0. 

External links[edit]

"Official Polar Express Movie Site". Retrieved December 24, 2011.