Post Number: 58
|Posted on Friday, December 22, 2006 - 11:21 am: || |
I try to post this every Christmas, but it may have been 2 years since the last time. For those of us who were around in the mid to late 70's, we all did our part to steer business to downtown Hudson's. We knew that at some point we probally loose the store so we did what we could. By the time we got to the late 70's, there were too many Metro area famalies that even stopped that annual Christmas trip downtown.
That said, in 1980 I "did what I could" by planning a day downtown with my nephew. They lived in Royal Oak, and we took the then still running commuter train to the Ren Center station, and spent most the day at Hudson's, and since I had to get his schools OK to take him our of schoool for the day, we spent some time at the downtown Library looking for some old childrens books that his teacher said we could find there.
Anyway, lunch at Hudson's was followed by Santa Land, and all the Christmas features still up on the 12th floor (Toy Town, Little Peoples Store, etc).
On the trip home I reminded him that his Christmas List to Santa would come true since he saw THE Santa, and that since most of his friends only saw mall Santas things were not looking good for them (after all we all knew Mall Santas were only "assistants"). Fast forward to Monday (our trip was on Friday), and I got a phone call from the Principal of his school. It seems that he had his entire class in tears since most of them had not gone to see the real Santa downtown, and thus he had them convinced that they would get nothing but coal, after all he believed everything his uncle told him. The end result being I promised the Sister that I would talk to my nephew and explain things (which I did not). The upshot being that following weekend my nephew got a 2nd trip downtown with a few of his friends, since most of his friends parents caved in and took them to downtown Hudson's to see the real Santa.
We only had downtown Hudson's for 2 more years, but as I said we all did what we could to keep it going.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to All!
Post Number: 180
|Posted on Friday, December 22, 2006 - 11:43 am: || |
I also made special trips downtown to shop at Hudson’s in the years prior to its closing, especially at Christmas. If I had a dime for every time a clerk told me that this store no longer carried an item and that I should try the Northland (or some other suburban branch) I could have paid for all my Christmas shopping and had money to spare.
Post Number: 37
|Posted on Friday, December 22, 2006 - 7:59 pm: || |
Krapug/ I'm 53 and remember Hudson's in all its glory, and" THE REAL SANTA" was at Hudson's!! Merry Christmas to you!!
Post Number: 994
|Posted on Friday, December 22, 2006 - 8:01 pm: || |
God, the Lionel Train display every Christmas.......<sigh>......
Post Number: 192
|Posted on Friday, December 22, 2006 - 8:45 pm: || |
I guess all of us who grew up in the pre-1970's Detroit have the same fond memories of Hudson's at Christmas time.
I was working downtown at the time the store finally closed and I used to walk over there at lunch time 2 or 3 times a week in those final months to browse around. It really broke my heart to see how much the place had declined by then.
Hudson's, Crowley's, Winkelman's, Grinnell Bros., Hughes Hatcher, Kresge's, Himelhoch's, B. Siegel, Florshiem Shoes...those were the days (sniff).
Post Number: 413
|Posted on Friday, December 22, 2006 - 9:35 pm: || |
Gary, don't forget Van Boven's on Adams, Capper & Capper in the David Whitney Bldg., and Whitehouse & Hardy on Washington Blvd.
Post Number: 193
|Posted on Friday, December 22, 2006 - 10:01 pm: || |
Yep, Neilr...not to mention Griswold Sporting Goods, the downtown Cunningham's Drugs, Sander's, those Quikee doughnut shops (I think that was their name, best doughnuts I've ever tasted), all those fabulous movie palaces and hotels and on and on and on.
Post Number: 2285
|Posted on Friday, December 22, 2006 - 10:10 pm: || |
These stories make me wish I was 10 years older. The microcosm of this for me was growing up thinking the 'real santa' was at Jacobson's on Kercheval. As we know, Jacobson's went the way of Hudson's and main street GP is hardly what it used to be.
Post Number: 1942
|Posted on Friday, December 22, 2006 - 10:41 pm: || |
Still better than a mall Santa, Mackinaw.
Post Number: 38
|Posted on Saturday, December 23, 2006 - 12:23 am: || |
The Jacobson's Santa was the first cousin to the Hudson's Santa!!
Post Number: 3351
|Posted on Saturday, December 23, 2006 - 1:13 am: || |
This photo shows J.L. Hudson's display window at Christmas in 1962.
This picture was given to me by Michael Hauser many years ago. Michael is the gentleman who did the Arcadia books on Hudson's and on the Detroit Movie Palaces, as well as putting together the Hudson's display at the Detroit Historical Museum a few years ago.
Post Number: 812
|Posted on Saturday, December 23, 2006 - 11:21 am: || |
Interesting that the display says "Lego system by Samsonite." Apparently Samsonite later sold it to the European firm, Interlego?
Post Number: 411
|Posted on Saturday, December 23, 2006 - 11:49 am: || |
That is a cute story. I love stories like that.
I got a question. In this day and age where we go on about people all shopping at the same mall stores, what did you do in Detroit back in the day before malls. Did everyone have to buy something at Hudson's at Christmas, or was there a ton of other unique botiques downtown and in the neighbourhoods that supplimented Hudson's.
Post Number: 1277
|Posted on Saturday, December 23, 2006 - 11:51 am: || |
There were different shopping districts throughtout the city. New Center, the "Avenue of Fashion" on Livernois. Sears and Montgomery Wards had location at places other than downtown.
Post Number: 412
|Posted on Saturday, December 23, 2006 - 11:58 am: || |
Sounds like you guys did what I do now with my friends. Every year my friends and I make a trip to the downtown BAY Store in Toronto to see the Christmas Street and Christmas Windows, and eat at the City View Cafe.
And sadly while people still do it, you do see that not many people have the tradition of going downtown anymore to the department stores to see all the Christmas stuff, unless its like Chicago
Post Number: 39
|Posted on Saturday, December 23, 2006 - 1:21 pm: || |
Miketoronto/ There were many stores downtown, from the exclusive to the inexpensive to shop. All the streets were beautifully decorated for the holidays, and it extended to the New Center area as well. Hudson's dominated Detroit!!. I've lived in Chicago and New York, and the people of both love their stores like Marshall Fields and Bloomingdales. They just were not able to capture the 'aura' Hudson's had, not just at Christmas, but all year long. Hudson's knew this, and always gave us an experience to remember, even if you didn't buy anything. Thats why, in my opinion, we who grew up in Detroit , always have such vivid and wonderful memories of that store. Merry Christmas!!
Post Number: 1470
|Posted on Saturday, December 23, 2006 - 1:26 pm: || |
The sheer convenience of shopping at Hudson's downtown for those of us who worked downtown can never be replaced.
And Christmas was special. You could take your noon hour up at "The Store" ( as Joe Hudson to this day still refers to it)and get lots of shopping done. They would deliver your purchases to your house in two or three days ( remember those light green large Hudson's trucks--Teamsters' drivers, too) free of charge, or you just walked up Woodward and then walked back to your offices with lighter packages.
And to top off an hour or so of shopping, walk up a couple of blocks, cross Woodward to the Grinnel Brothers store and hear high school choirs performing Christmas Carols in the lobby backed up by a powerful Hammond organ. That really got you in the Christmas spirit.
And Ray36, I still have and use my Lionel Allegheny O27 Gauge steam engine set purchased on the 12th floor. By the way, for those who might be interested, the $42 million judgment rendered against Lionel by MTH a couple of years ago in Detroit was just REVERSED by the Federal Court of Appeals in Cincinnati about 10 days ago!!)
Post Number: 3355
|Posted on Saturday, December 23, 2006 - 1:47 pm: || |
Burnsie, the "LEGO By Samsonite" gets really complex... but here it goes (sorry to threadjack!):
LEGO (The LEGO GROUP) started as a small Danish firm in 1932. By the late 1950's they were expanding throughout continental (non-communist)Europe, but the company was not large enough to handle some of the foreign markets, such as Britain, Australia, USA and Canada. So they licensed the product to other companies.
Courtaulds (today known as Courtaulds/Sara Lee), a textile and chemical maker in Britain got the license for Britain (1960) as well as the British Commonwealth. Courtaulds started their first overseas LEGO sales in Australia in 1962.
In USA and Canada (only British Commonwealth country not handled by Courtaulds) the license went to Samsonite in 1961/62. Back then the company was still known as Shwayder Bros. The 4 Shwayder brothers founded the steamer trunk company in Denver back in 1910. Their famous "Samsonite" line came later. In 1965 they changed the company name to Samsonite.
Around 1974 1970's Samsonite was purchased by that famous multi-national conglomerate Beatrice. In the 1980's Beatrice was gobbled up by that huge leveraged buy-out by Kraemer-Kohl-Kravitz (sp?) Wall Street brokerage firm. Beatrice was dismembered and sold off (the sum of the parts was worth more than the whole). And Samsonite again became an independent company.
The USA Samsonite license was revoked in 1972 (via legal action, because LEGO complained that Samsonite was selling LEGO just like they were selling luggage). The Canada Samsonite license continued until it was sold back to LEGO as part of the levereage buyout in 1986.
The (British Commonwealth) Courtaulds license expired in 1993. So today TLG (The LEGO Group) produces LEGO for all countries worldwide.
INTERLEGO AG is the Swiss company fully owned by TLG owners Kirk Kristiansen, and his sister Gunhild. INTERLEGO owns all the LEGO Patents. The LEGO Group is the Danish company that produces and distributes all LEGO products, and handles all sales and marketing.
Kirk and Gunhild (3rd generation family owners) are today billionaires. They no longer need to license LEGO products out to anyone, because they are no longer "too small"!
(Message edited by Gistok on December 23, 2006)
Post Number: 414
|Posted on Saturday, December 23, 2006 - 2:35 pm: || |
The_rock that sounds nice.
It really is a shame our cities have lost all that.
Post Number: 272
|Posted on Saturday, December 23, 2006 - 3:30 pm: || |
I'm not coming home for Christmas which make me real sad.
I will be in NYC. You guys all have great, vivid memories of Hudson. I was only 4 when it closed and I don't remember seeing the building at all. My family moved to NW Detroit and the only place I remember shopping was at Northland. We moved out of the state in 1990 and when I returned in 2001 to finish school Downtown was totally almost reshaped.
I have lived in almost every major city in the U.S. including New York and Chicago since 1993 so I hate to have to drive to everywhere.
But I have fond memories of Christmas time in the city. My mother told me that there was great places to shop all over the city and going to Hudson was a casual occasion. It dominted Downtown with style and elagance. Not even Macy's was comparable.
As long as Hudsons is in our hearts and minds it will live forever.
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.313
Post Number: 9
|Posted on Sunday, December 24, 2006 - 12:09 am: || |
we made the trip down to Hudson's one time that i can remember, about 1968-1969. i was 3 or 4 but i dont know for certain...
i remember going in the room where there were clerks to help us little ones buy gifts for our parents. i dont recall getting anything for my mom, but i got a shoe shine kit for my dad. 2 tubes of polish, a shoe brush and a buffing cloth. all in a nice little brown leather case about 1-1/2" x 3" x 5". my dad still has it to this day...
we always did our shopping on a certain Friday night in Port Huron when the stores all stayed open until 9pm. we had Sears, Pennys, Ace Hardware, Cunningham Drugs, Woolworths, S.S. Kresge and several small independent clothing and jewelry stores...
Merry Christmas to you all...
Post Number: 1472
|Posted on Sunday, December 24, 2006 - 7:46 am: || |
Nice story, ltdave. You must be one of those Big Reds from Port Huron High School.
We have a few "Christmas memories" still being used in our household. 2 Lionel train sets from Hudsons, a creche from Hudson's mezzanine, a kitchen stool from the old Sears store in Highland Park, some wooden salad bowls from Kerns, my guitar stand from Grinnel Brothers, a waffle iron from the Good House Keeping shop , a baseball from Griswold Sporting Goods,a watch from Rose Jewelers, and a knife set from Crowleys to mention a few.
Admittedly, some items get a little more use than others, but it's still a memory-lane of downtown shopping in the 50's through the 70's.
And when I recall Christmas shopping downtown, one story comes to mind all the time-and that's the traffic cop who used to sit in the upper floor window on the NW corner of State and Woodward during the Christmas rush of folks doing their shopping, and when the traffic light was about ready to change, he would announce over the p.a. system:
"Too late to cross Woodward".
We use that expression in our family to this day.
Post Number: 40
|Posted on Sunday, December 24, 2006 - 12:36 pm: || |
At dinner last night, my mother recalled a Christmas in 1957, when my brother who was 6, got a Lionel train set from Santa. As we were playing with it, I was 4, and he would only let me put the tracks together, he turned over one of the boxcars and noticed a Hudson's price sticker for 7.50 on the bottom. Puzzled, he ran to the kitchen and asked our Mother why it had the Hudson's tag. As fast as ever, she told him that Santa had "run out" of boxcars and that he had to buy one at Hudson's to complete his set in time for Christmas.
Post Number: 1287
|Posted on Sunday, December 24, 2006 - 12:52 pm: || |
Does anyone have old pictures of Christmas at Hudson's?
Post Number: 609
|Posted on Sunday, December 24, 2006 - 1:29 pm: || |
My parent's have pics of me and my siblings with Santa does that count as hudson holiday pics?
Post Number: 1288
|Posted on Sunday, December 24, 2006 - 1:30 pm: || |
Absolutely. I would have to imagine that would be the bulk of holiday Hudson's pics.
Post Number: 1473
|Posted on Sunday, December 24, 2006 - 2:49 pm: || |
D2--Mother was a fast thinker. She would make a good trial lawyer.
And $7.50 for a Lionel boxcar. Great price, Santa. Now they average about 40-50 bucks each! They don't even give them away on eBay.
In addition to Hudson's "back then", you had a very fine selection of Lionel trains available ( both for sale and repairs) at the old Downtown Train and Hobby shop on West Elizabeth, just west of the Womens' Club. The building is still there( apartments I think), but on the lower level you can see the sign and the word "Hobby" hanging on the wall.
Post Number: 417
|Posted on Sunday, December 24, 2006 - 3:06 pm: || |
Do you guys ever think we sound very commercial talking about these old grand stores?????
Or was all the shopping just a small part of Christmas back then?
Post Number: 42
|Posted on Sunday, December 24, 2006 - 3:50 pm: || |
It wasn't just Hudson's. All of downtown Detroit was exciting, and really so at christmas. I think some of us who grew up in Detroit, just miss the "big city" atmosphere some Larger cities still have, like Chicago and New York.
Post Number: 100
|Posted on Sunday, December 24, 2006 - 7:50 pm: || |
I understand the "commercialism" argument, but I don't buy it. Whether or not the shopping was a big or small part of it (I was a child mainly in the 1980s), it's WHY the memories are there in the first place, and why they are so warm that is important. Many of my own Christmas memories are tied to the same things, the Christmas windows at Eaton's and Robinson's in Hamilton, adn the trip down to Toronto to see the LEGO display at Simpson's on Queen. Those big old stores with creaky floors and nooks and magical displays--they remind us of a simpler time in our lives, of times of getting together with family, of feasts and of friends. Shopping was a part of that of course, but we remember it not because of Dayton-Hudson's annual report and financial statement--but because we are warmed by memories of Christmases past.
Post Number: 118
|Posted on Sunday, December 24, 2006 - 9:03 pm: || |
I am not surprised that the REAL Santa did a stint at Hudson's. Growing up in New York City, I used to go and see the REAL Santa at Macy's in Herald Square, even though I lived out in more suburban-ish Staten Island.
Post Number: 13
|Posted on Monday, December 25, 2006 - 11:54 pm: || |
yes Rock, i AM a Big Red. as is my Dad...
since we live in the north end of town tho, my Daughter will be a (shhh! dont tell anyone,) a husky...shhhh....
Post Number: 10
|Posted on Tuesday, January 02, 2007 - 4:41 pm: || |
My Grandmother worked for Hudson's downtown for 30 years retiring in 1974.
I am fortunate to own one of the the small mechanical 2' tall paper mache elfs. I always loved it and when she died it came to me . It still works.
Post Number: 20
|Posted on Tuesday, January 02, 2007 - 4:56 pm: || |
Not commercial at all. In fact, as many of us recall, Christmas didn't start until Santa rode up in the Hudson's Parade. Now you see decorations/ads in late summer!
I recall the shopping area for the "little ones" also as it was fun to go in with my "allowance" I'd saved and buy something for Mom and Dad. Both are passed now but I still have a little blue vase I bought for Mom. Probably cost less than a buck.
Dad never made much working at United Trucking but DAMN those were good days!