- William H. Block Co.
company_name = William H. Block Company
products = Men's, Women's and Children's clothing, footwear, jewelry, beauty products, home furnishings, bedding, china and silver, furniture, toys, books
homepage = None
The William H. Block Company was founded by Herman Wilhelm Bloch who immigrated from Austro-Hungary in 1874 and had Americanized his name to William H. Block, with the opening of a
retail storelocated at 9 East Washington Street in Indianapolisin 1896. The company was also self identified as The Wm. H. Block Co., and Block's.
In 1910, a new eight-story store was constructed on the corner of Illinois and Market Streets. Mr. Block was active in the business until his death in 1928 when the management of the company was passed to his three sons: M. S. Block, R. C. Block, and E. A. Block. The store was expanded to nearly double in size in 1934. The architect for the 1934 expansion was Kurt Vonnegut, the father of writer Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. During the expansion the building's interior and exterior was redesigned in a
modernestyle, including furnishings, stainless steel escalators, and two-story polished black marble and stainless steel facade entrances. Architectural drawings of the entrances became the trademark logo for the store on gift boxes, print advertisements, and company stationery. A Company publication identified the store as, "one of the country's most beautiful department stores." Restaurants located within the Illinois Street store included the Fountain Luncheonette, the Terrace Tea Room, the Men’s Grille, and the James Whitcomb RileyRoom. Block's was the second largest retail company in Indiana, its primary competitor L. S. Ayres & Co. being the larger. Other competitors included H. P. Wasson and Companyand L. Strauss & Co.
The Block's store was located across Market Street from the Indianapolis Traction Terminal (the largest traction terminal in the United States). From 1900 to the 1930s, the Indiana
interurbansystem brought shoppers by the thousands from smaller central Indiana towns who wished to shop in downtown Indianapolis. The availability of cheap mass transit to downtown Indianapolis greatly increased the customer base from which the Indianapolis department stores were able to draw. Block's, being directly across the street from the traction terminal, was the first department store shoppers would visit. Block's main competitors were located at least a block away on Washington Street. Central Indiana was networked with the most extensive interurban system in the United States. Most small towns were either on the system or a station was located near by. Interurbans from Indianapolis reached as far as Dayton, Ohio, and Fort Wayne, Indiana. The net result of the interurban system to Block's and its competitors was a customer base that rivaled that of much larger midwestern and eastern cities, such as Detroit, St. Louis and Cleveland.
In 1947, Block's was granted a
FCClicense for televisionstation WWHB, channel 3. In 1949, the FCC records the station as WUTV, channel three, operated by the William H. Block Co.
In 1954, a small branch store was opened in the Indianapolis neighborhood of Broad Ripple; this location was replaced with a full service department store with the construction of the nearby
Glendale Shopping Centerin 1958.
The William H. Block Co. merged with
Allied Storesin 1962. In 1987, Block's was sold to Federated Department Storesat which time the Block's name was discontinued and many store locations were rebranded as Lazarus department stores.
Lazarus closed the downtown Illinois Street store in 1993. In 2003, the Illinois Street store building's upper seven floors were converted into residential apartments and the ground floor remained retail; the building complex is called The Block.
*Bloomington:*first store - opened 1942 across from
Indiana University:*second store, located on Market Street - opened 1947, closed 1965:*College Mall - opened 1965, rebadged as Lazarus, 1987 Lazarus, closed 2003, now Dick's Sporting Goods
Greenwood Park Mall- opened 1983; closed in 1987 due to existing Lazarus in the mall; later Montgomery Ward, now Von Maur
*Indianapolis:*Illinois Street -Flagship Store- opened 1910; rebadged Lazarus, 1987 closed 1993:*Broad Ripple - opened 1954; closed 1958, replaced by Glendale store:*
Glendale Town Center(now Glendale Mall) - opened 1958, rebadged as Lazarus,1987; closed 1999, became Old Navy, Stein Martand library. Stein Mart and Old Navy have closed:* Lafayette Square Mall- opened 1969, rebadged Lazarus, 1987;closed in 1990's; now vacant:*Southern Plaza - opened 1961; closed 1985, demolished; now Kroger:*Washington Square Mall - opened 1974; later Montgomery Ward, closed 2000, demolished for Target)
*Kokomo - Markland Mall - opened 1968; rebadged as Lazarus, 1987; became Macy's 2003, closed 2005, now Lunar Golf
*Lafayette - Tippecanoe Mall - opened 1973; rebadged as Lazarus,1987; now Dick's Sporting Goods]
Springfield, Ohio- merged with Edward Wren Co. - rebranded as Block's, closed 1987
*"Now...You’re Working with Block's", William H. Block Company publication, circa 1940.
*"Indianapolis: Hoosiers' Circle City", by George W. Geib, copyright 1981 - page 185.
*"The Encyclopedia of Indianapolis", by David J. Bodenhamer, Robert Graham Barrows, David Gordon Vanderstel, page 1429.
*"Central Indiana Interurban", by Robert Reed, copyright 2004, ISBN 0-7385-3290-8
*"Service and Style: How the American Department Store Fashioned the Middle Class", by Jan Whitaker, copyright 2006, page 183.
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
William D. Block Memorial Law Library — The William D. Block Memorial Law Library serves the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit, Lake County, Illinois.The Law Library is named after the late William D. Block, who served as a Judge for the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit from February 1, 1975 to… … Wikipedia
William Wardell — William Wilkinson Wardell (3 March 1824 – 19 November 1899) was an architect, notable not only for his work in Australia, the country to which he emigrated in 1858, but also for having a successful career as an ecclesiastical architect in England … Wikipedia
William A. H. Loveland — William Austin Hamilton Loveland (May 30, 1826 ndash;1894) was a U.S. railroad entrepreneur and businessman in the late 19th century. An early resident of Golden when it was the capital of the Colorado Territory, he was one of the founders of the … Wikipedia
William Nelson Page — (January 6, 1854 ndash;March 7, 1932), was a United States civil engineer, entrepreneur, capitalist, businessman, and industrialist. Born into an old Virginia family about seven years before the American Civil War (1861 1865), William Nelson Page … Wikipedia
William Byrd — (c. 1540 ndash; 4 July 1623) was an English composer of the Renaissance. He cultivated many of the forms current in England at the time, including various types of sacred and secular polyphony, keyboard and consort music ProvenanceOur knowledge… … Wikipedia
William Adams Delano — Born January 21, 1874(1874 01 21) New York City Died January 12, 1960(1960 01 12) (aged 85) New York City Nationality American Work … Wikipedia
William H. Willcox — (Brooklyn, 26 May 1832 [The year of his birth is generally given as 1832; [http://aotw.org/officers.php?officer id=1087] Antietam in the War gives 1834, perhaps a misprint.] Yountville, California, 1 February 1929) was an American architect and… … Wikipedia
William T. Thomas — William Tutin Thomas William Tutin Thomas, né à Birmingham, Angleterre en 1829 décédé à Montréal en 1892 est un architecte canadien. Biographie William Tutin Thomas est le fils du célèbre architecte anglo canadien William Thomas. Peu d années… … Wikipédia en Français
William Tutin Thomas — (Birmingham, Angleterre, 1829 Montréal, 1892) est un architecte canadien. Biographie William Tutin Thomas est le fils de l architecte anglo canadien William Thomas. Peu d années après le décès de leur père (William Thomas en 1860), William Tutin… … Wikipédia en Français
Block booking — is a system of selling multiple films to a theater as a unit. Block booking was the prevailing practice among Hollywood s major studios from the turn of the 1930s through the late 1940s, when it was outlawed by a Supreme Court decision. Under… … Wikipedia