Memories of Hess’s Department Store

Published by Topher Gabellini on

Maybe I should have titled this blog: Major Influences.

The holidays are always bittersweet for me and probably why it’s taken me until now to write this blog. As many of you may know, my father was an interior designer and very well known for his work with Hess’s Department Store. The holidays bring back many memories of my dad and Hess’s Department store because it was such a magical time of year at the store. Fond memories that I carry with me today.  

From the elaborate window displays to the high-end fashions with customers flooding the aisles to grab those holiday gifts. The memories of the days being with my father at the store are some of the fondest memories of my youth. I would say that in a lot of ways it made me connected to my father with all his glory in his work. 

Recently a friend purchased a book for me, Images of America Hess’s Department Store, because they remember seeing a photograph in my house of my dad with Max Hess and celebrity actor James Garner of Maverick fame and later Rockford Files. The book has this photograph in the back on page 124. Which brings me to this blog. 

The experience of shopping at Hess’s was much more than just shopping. It was an experience that was talked about and a staple for many for almost 100 years. This book really brings us back to the glory days of this experience. Yes, the fashions were extraordinary but the architecture of the buildings and the decor took you to another place.

I am very proud that my father was a close friend to the Hess’s. I didn’t realize until I was a young adult the parties, celebrities and social elites that we were surrounded by during this time. I am very honored to have this piece of history as part of my family and take it very seriously to what Gabellini Design was then and is now. 

The book is a great historical document of many photographs from window displays and interiors to events with celebrities and politicians. The photo of Jimmy Carter at one of the many private receptions is pretty cool. 

 The photo in the book Images of America Hess's Department Store

The photo in the book Images of America Hess’s Department Store

 The photo that sits in my dining room today. 

The photo that sits in my dining room today. 

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