The Joseph Horne Company, popularly known as Horne's, was a beloved and integral part of Pittsburghers' lives for generations. It was the first department store in the Steel City, staking its ground at the landmark flagship store on Penn Avenue and Stanwix Street. Starting as a small dry goods store, the company expanded into a regional retail powerhouse with a reputation for selling high-quality goods in elegant spaces. Horne's succumbed to the fate of other department stores amid changing consumer habits, and a short-lived stint as a Lazarus store was the final chapter in more than 140 years of history. The community still enjoys the tree on the corner of the former Horne's building, now Highmark, that is lit each year to usher in Pittsburgh's holiday season.
In 1871, Jacob and Isaac Kaufmann created a classic Pittsburgh institution. The business grew from a small store on the South Side to a mammoth clothing house downtown that outfitted the community. The removal of the original freestanding clock upset customers, so Kaufmann's added its iconic version in 1913. A redesign of the store's first floor attracted national attention in the 1930s. While most Pittsburghers remember and celebrate the downtown store, others recall the suburban branches--miniatures of the expansive flagship store. Join Letitia Stuart Savage on a journey to a time of leisurely shopping for the latest fashions complete with a side of Mile High Ice Cream Pie from the Tic Toc Restaurant.
Letitia Stuart Savage is a freelance writer who has contributed to local and national publications including Country Journal, Kitchen Garden, Dog Fancy and The Chronicle of the Horse. She earned a BS in biology and established environmental education programs in several Allegheny County parks before becoming an environmental consultant. In the past, she has contributed history articles to Pennsylvania Heritage.
Description courtesy of The History Press.