HINDSIGHT IS 20/20: Lazarus Department Store, Downtown, c. 1920s

Hindsight Is 20/20

A Throwback Thursday-type post that can occur on any day of the week! Pictures, videos, and personal reflections on the ghosts of Columbus’ past.


Lazarus Department Store, High St at Town, Downtown, c. 1920s

If you’re a Columbus resident of a certain age, you likely have your own memories of, or are at least familiar with, the legendary Lazarus department store.

A Central Ohio retail icon for more than 150 years, Lazarus still holds a powerful place in the hearts and minds of locals – even more than a decade after the closing of the Downtown store and merger of the brand into Macy’s.

Seen in the image below is the flagship store on S High St in the mid 1920s. The familiar building at the northwest corner of High and Town Sts was the third and final home for Lazarus Downtown, opening in 1909.

Two earlier buildings also housed the store as it grew from a small tailor’s shop founded by Simon Lazarus in 1851 into the largest and most prominent retailer in Central Ohio.

An expansion along Town, from Wall to Front St, is visible under construction in the photo and would be completed in 1926.

Further expansions and renovations would later extend the store north across Chapel Alley, and cover the windows facing onto High St with the distinctive mid-century terra cotta facade present today.

Here’s how the same view looks now on Google Street View.


Want even more Lazarus history? Check out #5 on our list of The 10 Best Books about Columbus.


Lazarus Department Store, High St at Town, Downtown, c. 1920s.



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