Steiger's

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Steiger's was a department store company of New England in the 19th and 20th centuries. The flagship store was in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Albert Steiger (1860–1938) was born in Rosenberg, Germany, on May 12, 1860.[citation needed] His family owned a silk factory in Europe. He emigrated to American as a child in 1868.[1] He began his career peddling flannel in Huntington, Massachusetts at the age of 13.[citation needed] In 1893,[2] after working in Gilette's Dry Goods Store,[citation needed] he bought or founded a small store in Port Chester, New York, north of New York City.[1] In 1896, he opened a store in Holyoke, Massachusetts.[3]

Around the turn of the 20th century, he expanded his stores to Fall River, Massachusetts, New Bedford, Massachusetts, and Springfield, Massachusetts. A store in Hartford, Connecticut followed in 1918.[2]

Elaborate store display, "During Intermission", at Steiger's, 1906

The five-storey art deco[4] downtown Springfield store was the chain's flagship.[3] In contrast to Springfield's other main store, traditional full-service department store Forbes & Wallace, Stieger's concentrated more on being a high-end clothing store.[2][4]

The Holyoke store, built in 1899, was a four-storey beaux arts building designed by George P. B. Alderman, across High Street from city hall. This building is still in use.[5]

Several generations of the Steiger family participated in the business.[2] Albert Steiger's grandson, Albert E. Steiger Jr., was president of the company from to 1959 to 1992.[6]

Over time, the freestanding downtown stores were closed and replaced with rented outlets in malls. The Hartford store was sold in 1962, leaving just the Springfield and Holyoke locations as traditional downtown department stores.[2] Mall outlets were opened in the Longmeadow Shops (1961), Springfield Plaza (1964), Friendly Shops at Westfield, Massachusetts (1965), Eastfield Mall (1967), Enfield Square Mall (1972),[3] Hampshire Mall in Hadley, Massachusetts (1978), and Holyoke Mall at Ingleside (1979).

Steiger's was taken over by The May Department Stores Company in 1994 and the company and brand ceased to exist.[2] The Eastfield Mall store, for instance, was replaced by a Filene's, then in 2006 by a Macy's before being closed in 2016.[7] The downtown Springfield store closed in 1995 and the building was torn down soon after. A park now occupies the site.

External links[edit]

  • "Claiming and Quantifying Space", a chapter of From Main to High: Consumers, Class, and the Spatial Reorientation of an Industrial City, whose subject is Holyoke, Massachusetts. The linked chapter discusses (among other subjects) Steiger's role in the city.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Michelle Williams (April 23, 2014). "Gone but not forgotten: WGBY remembers Albert Steiger Company department stores". Mass Live. Retrieved January 2, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Jacqueline T. Lynch (August 4, 2009). "Shopping at Albert Steiger, Inc". New England Travels. Retrieved January 2, 2017.
  3. ^ a b c "Steiger's". The Department Store Museum. Retrieved January 3, 2017.
  4. ^ a b "DEADMALLS.COM PRESENTS BAYSTATE WEST / TOWER SQUARE: SPRINGFIELD, MA". DeadMalls.com. April 29, 2006. Retrieved January 3, 2017.[better source needed]
  5. ^ "Steiger Building (1899)". Historic Buildings of Massachusetts. November 13, 2012. Retrieved January 3, 2017.
  6. ^ "Albert E. Steiger Jr. (obituary)". Palm Beach Post. July 5, 2006. Retrieved January 2, 2017.
  7. ^ "Springfield's Eastfield Mall". Mall Hall of Fame. Retrieved January 4, 2017.