top of page

The Denver Dry Good Department Store

This is one of those little bits of research that make me super giddy, even though it is relatively small.

From The Department Store Museum

The Denver, Denver, Colorado

The Denver Dry Goods Co.'s Main Store on 16th Street at California in Denver, taken after the fifth and sixth floors were added to the 16th street side of the store The Denver Dry Goods Co. (The Denver) 1585 California StreetDenver, CO (1889)

The famous Tea Room on the Fifth Floor of the 16th Street store in Denver

Curtasy of Denver Public Library Western History and Geneology

Interior view of the Denver Dry Goods Store, in Denver, Colorado; shows men's clothing and merchandise including saddles, cowboy boots, bow ties, shirts, pants, and gloves. Showcards read: "Be Sure It's H Bar C Ranchwear."

DOWNTOWN STORE DIRECTORY Lower Level Luggage • Books • Records • Sporting Goods • Garden Shop • Hardware First Floor Fine Jewelry • Costume Jewelry • Fashion Accessories • Neckwear • Handbags • Small Leather Goods • Hosiery • Notions • Slippers • Gloves • Miss Denver Sportswear • Miss Denver Blouses • Accessory Tops • Beauty World • Stationery • Cameras • Candy • Epicure Store for Men Men’s Toiletries • Men’s Accessories • Men’s Furnishings • Men’s Dress Shirts • Men’s Sport Furnishings • Men’s Clothing • Men’s Shoes • Men’s Men’s Hats • Bailiwick • Western Shop Second Floor Intimate Apparel • Sleepwear • Shoe Salon • Etienne Aigner Shop • The Shop for Pappagallo • Home and Town Shop • Miss Denver Shop • Custom Cove • Misses’ Dresses • Sportswear • Coat Salon Fur Salon • The Place (Juniors) • Contempra Third Floor Trendsetter Dresses • Trendsetter Sportswear • Trendsetter Coats • Active Sportsear • Millinery • The Columbine Room Children’s World Infants • Toddlers • Girls’ Accessories • Girls’ Apparel • Boy’s Apparel • Pre-Teen Apparel • Prep Threads • Snoopy Shop • Children’s Shoes • Toys Fourth Floor Housewares • Small Electrics • Appliances • Electronics • Fashion Fabrics • Art Needlework • Sewing Machines • Linens • Bath Shop • Table Linens • Pillows • Draperies Fifth Floor China • Silver • Glassware • Gifts • Lamps • Crystal The Tea Room Sixth Floor Art Gallery • Furniture • Sleep Shop • Floor Coverings

From Vintage Gun Leather

The Denver Dry Goods Company was Founded as the McNamara Dry Goods Company in 1886, the name was changed to The Colorado Dry Goods Company in 1889 the business reorganized as the Denver Dry Goods Company in 1894 and continued to serve its customers well into the 1980s. Frank E. Edbrooke is credited with the design of the numerous components making up this massive red brick commercial building, which extends along California Street between 16th and 15th streets. Later on it was known as "The Denver". For a while it was claimed to be the largest department store west of Chicago. A description on one postcard from 1916 read: "The Largest Store in the Central West, 400 Feet long-Seven Acres Floor Area, 1,200 Employees, A $1,500,000 Stock, 15th to 16th on California Street Denver Colorado".

The Denver Dry Goods Company had a store brand of Saddles called the Powder River Saddles. They were an extremely popular brand both at their retail store and through the large amount of Mail Order Business this Company did. The Denver Dry Goods Company sold many top brand names and their own store brand name in most categories of items they offered.

The Denver Dry Goods department store was Denver's premier retail store for over half of a century. The original three-story building was built on the 16th Street side of California Street and the Denver Dry Goods Company moved into the space in 1894. Between 1900 and 1924, the company undertook a series of renovations that expanded the original building to six floors and added a six-story building that extended the building to 15th Street. Denver Dry Goods Company is located in the city's Central Business District, on the 16th Street Pedestrian Mall, a concourse that supports a mix of restaurants, shops, and other businesses and hosts approximately 90,000 pedestrians daily, downtown hotels, office buildings, and parks. The building also is adjacent to a transit stop on the city's new light rail system that connects with regular transit routes to move people into and around downtown efficiently and quietly.

The Denver Dry Goods Company was part of Associated Dry Goods (ADG), and in the 1970s and early 1980s it was considered one of ADG's most profitable operating units, just behind Lord and Taylor. ADG invested in expanding The Denver, both with suburban stores in the greater Denver market and stores in far-flung locales such as Billings, Montana. Also under ADG the downtown Denver store was renovated. Many Colorado residents fondly recall the stores' motto, "Where Colorado Shops with Confidence"

The store was acquired by May Company as part of Associated Dry Goods Corp. in 1986 (which had acquired it in 1966), 9 of the 12 locations were shutdown and sold-off and the remaining 3 units were converted to May-Daniels & Fisher stores in 1987. The original downtown store was built in 1889 and was expanded in 1898 and 1906. It was converted to apartments in 1994.

#DenverDryGoods #Departmentstore #shopping #businesses #TheDenver

Recent Posts

See All

I have been thinking a lot lately about land. It stems, partly, from a lifetime of environmentalism, and from the unavoidable fact that we have not stewarded it well in the last few hundred years. I g

bottom of page