Monday, December 20, 2010

A Holiday Window on Main circa 1975

This wonderful picture of a downtown Harzfeld's window came from Darlene Cowherd, who was part of the display department in the 1970s. The doilies on the table were created by her aunt. More of her photos to come.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Holiday Windows on Main - Zafar

Artist Jessica Rogers created windows for Zafar at 1370 Main as part of Holiday Windows on Main.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Holiday Windows on Main - JoS. A. Bank

Artist Jennifer Elliot created a nostalgic window display featuring vintage, embellished and illuminated photos of downtown Kansas City for JoS. A. Bank at 1320 Main as part of Holiday Windows on Main.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Holiday Windows on Main - The Midland

Artists Lori Bury and Carmen Moreno created windows for The Midland at 1228 Main as part of Holiday Windows on Main.

Holiday Windows on Main - "The Garment District"

Artist Margaret Shelby designed a window for "The Garment District" boutique - bar - collective at 1350 Main as part of Holiday Windows on Main.

Holiday Windows on Main - Fran's

Artist Kati Toivanen created windows for Fran's at 11 E. 14th Street as part of Holiday Windows on Main.

To the right is a detail with alternating red and white tissue and crystals.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Holiday Windows on Main - Polished

Artist/Photographer Arielle Zarr dressed a window for Polished Nail Salon at 1221 Main as part of Holiday Windows on Main. This was a challenge to photograph, so our apologies to Arielle.

See actual image featured in window here.

Holiday Windows on Main - Lattéland

Artists Katie Danner and Sara Cramer created windows for Lattéland at 1201 Main as part of Holiday Windows on Main. Here are some details from the windows.

Holiday Windows on Main - Envolve

Artist Betsy Timmer dressed the front window for Envolve on Main as part of Holiday Windows on Main. Here are some details from the windows.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Drawings given to Nelson-Atkins

Richard Rees honors his late wife, Janet, by donating drawings (studies for the Harzfeld's mural) by Thomas Hart Benton to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

Holiday Windows on Main - Cosentinos

Artists Em Byerly and Katie Larson dressed windows for Cosentinos on Main as part of Holiday Windows on Main. Here are some details from the windows.

Today's Links

Body Temple Fitness

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Holiday Windows on Main - MeMa’s Bakery

Artist Nicholas Naughton created a window for the MeMa's Bakery at 1211 Main as part of Holiday Windows on Main. Here are some details from the window.

Downtown gets decked out up for holidays from The Kansas City Star

Friday, December 10, 2010

Holiday Windows on Main - AMC Mainstreet 6

Artists Peregrin Honig and Danielle Meister dressed a window for AMC Mainstreet 6 titled "Snow and Butterflies" for Holiday Windows on Main. Below are details from the window.

Today's Links

The Brookside Story by LaDene Morton
Book Signing, Barnes & Noble - Plaza
Saturday, December 11, Noon to 2 p.m.

Rock N Fashion, Saturday, Dec. 11

Franzke Violins

Eva Zeisel Forum

Adele Simpson at Fashion Encyclopedia

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Best Dressed Store Window, 1915

A few weeks ago we happened by a wonderful blog that featured an amazing trophy from the collection of Lynn, the owner of the Paris Hotel Boutique in San Francisco.

Lynn's April 4, 2009 post of a few of my Favorite Things... included an image of the award from The Kansas City Post. It was given to Harzfeld's, surprisingly still being referred to as "The Parisian Cloak Company," for best dressed store window during the United Fashion Show in 1915.

Now, forward 95 years, you can vote for the best dressed window in downtown Kansas City through Holiday Windows on Main.

See a beautiful slideshow of Holiday Windows on Main at

Benton Mural Sketches Follow-up Article

Bentons fetch a bounty by Kevin Collison for The Kansas City Star

Monday, December 6, 2010

Benton Mural Sketches Sold at Auction

We attended the auction at Dirk Soulis Auctions in Lone Jack on Saturday. It was great to see friends that were in attendance and to view the wonderful studies for the Harzfeld's mural, Achelous & Hercules by Thomas Hart Benton. We're excited for the high bidders and will share more details on the auction soon.

On Friday, Hidden traces of Benton at work emerge at last, a fantastic article by Kevin Collison, appeared on the front page of The Kansas City Star.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Holiday Windows on Main - Indie Bar

Artist Luke Rocha created a window for the Indie Bar at 1228 Main as part of Holiday Windows on Main. Here are some details from the window.

Monday, November 22, 2010

In Remembrance

Our sympathies go to the families and friends of Mary Jo Spake, who worked for Harzfeld's and passed away recently.

Mary Jo Spake

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Newly Discovered Mural Sketches at Auction!

Today we received a postcard from Dirk Soulis Auctions in Lone Jack, Missouri. We've been to their great auctions in the past and they helped lead us to our Harzfeld's display cabinet.

The postcard announces their Winter Fine Arts Auction, which features eleven sketches for the Thomas Hart Benton mural commissioned by Harzfeld's in 1946, Achelous & Hercules! According to the auction site, the sketches are from the estate of our late friend and fashion illustrator for Harzfeld's, Patricia George.

Details on the December 4 auction can be found here. The sketches can be seen in lots 88 through 99 in the online auction catalog.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Holiday Windows on Main - Santa

We'll be posting images of the new window displays in downtown Kansas City. This one was done for Star 102 FM, one of the sponsors. Designer currently unknown. More on the locations and artists soon.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Holiday Windows on Main

Tonight at 5 p.m. holiday windows designed by local artists will be unveiled one by one in the Power and Light District, downtown Kansas City. Learn more at and at MetroWireKc. Vote for your favorite. The windows will be on display through January 2, 2011.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

In Rememberance

Our sympathies go to the families and friends of Alice Birk Granger, who worked for Harzfeld's and passed away recently.

Alice Birk Granger

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Brookside Story

We're excited this new book by LaDene Morton is available. We met LaDene while at Urban Mining this past summer. I think she recognized Michele as she was carrying around her find of a green and white striped hat box. She was very enthusiastic about her project, which is now realized as The Brookside Story, Shops of Every Necessary Character, published by The History Press. Congratulations LaDene! We're looking forward to learning about the history of this Kansas City shopping district.

Today's Links

Wilbur Niewald
Niewald has three paintings on display as part of the group exhibition The Figure at the Leedy-Voulkos Art Center through Feb 15, 2011.

Architecture A-Z: M is for McKecknie and more
Article from on architect of the Petticoat Lane Harzfeld's building

Rockhurst University Press
Rockhurst University: The First 100 Years is now available.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Ball Gowns from Yesteryear

Discover classic ball gowns from yesteryear at the Kansas City Museum's Community Curator Lecture Tuesday, November 16 at Union Station. The Independent senior research editor Heather Paxton will explore past Kansas City Jewel Ball gowns in the Museum’s collection. The collection includes ball gowns worn by former chair women of the Jewel Ball, including high end dresses worn by notable chairwomen Enid Kemper and Clara Hockaday.

Tuesday, November 16, 6 p.m.
Union Station, 30 W. Pershing Rd.
(816) 483-8300

Friday, November 5, 2010

Paris of the Plains

Congratualations to fellow blogger and author John Simonson on the release of his book, Paris of the Plains, through The History Press. Check out the cover! That's Petticoat Lane and Harzfeld's on the right; how cool!

Visit John's blog at

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

In Remembrance

Our sympathies go to the families and friends of these two ladies, who worked for Harzfeld's and passed away recently.

Isabelle Jean White

Margie Morris Bixby

Friday, August 13, 2010

American Woman

American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity is about to close (through Aug. 15) at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, but you can read about the exhibit and watch a video at their site,

Joe attended David Jackson's talk on Kansas City Chronicles: An Up-to-Date History at the National Archives of Kansas City last night. It was a wonderful talk to a full house. The book's a great read, including his article on Harzfeld's, paired with a vintage window display photo from the collection of the Jackson County Historical Society!

Our friend Rusty gave us this wonderful box from Harzfeld's. The logo, a variation with open letter kerning, dates from the late '40s/'50s.

Steve Sitton of the Thomas Hart Benton Home Historic Site recently shared this article from the Joplin Globe on a lost 1972 film interview of the artist by the late KODE-TV newsman Bob Phillips. We hope to see the footage someday.

Congratulations to Kansas City Artist, Peregrine Honig, for coming in second on Bravo TV's Work of Art. She's an amazing creative talent.

Today's Links

American Pickers was just realeased on DVD, and it looks like you can watch episodes online. We just watched the first season; great fun!

History Detectives

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Harzfeld & Goodman, Cloaks and Dolmans

This die-cut, folding trade card dates from 1880 to 1883.

Albert Harzfeld, father of Sig Harzfeld, founder of Harzfeld's specialty store, was in partnership with Louis Goodman. J. F. Jordan must have been a representative / salesman for the firm.

The Madison St. address may be difficult to pinpoint since street numbering in Chicago was revised in 1908.

Goodman left the partnership in 1883. Samual Friend joined Harzfeld along with E. (possibly Edward) Harzfeld to carry on the firm which manufactured its own garments and employed between 80 and 100. By 1884, it moved to 210 Monroe Street.

Many of these details came from the Chicago Daily Tribune of the time.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Harzfeld & Goodman

We recently acquired our earliest Harzfeld's related item. Here's the front side. The reverse and more details on Wednesday.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Kansas City Chronicles Just Released

Hot off the press! Get your copy of Kansas City Chronicles: An Up-to-Date History by David W. Jackson (Charleston, SC: The History Press, 2010) through the Jackson County Historical Society’s virtual bookshop.

Also, mark your calendars for the debut presentation and book signing at the National Archives of Kansas City (400 W Pershing, Kansas City, MO) on Thursday, August 12, 2010 (6 p.m. reception; 6:30 presentation).

Thursday, June 10, 2010

j. m. rees: quasi-objects of mental kind

quasi-objects of mental kind
(past event)
through June 27, 2010
The Epsten Gallery at Village Shalom

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Happy 160th KC!

Kansas City celebrates 160 years with a look back at history (from KSHB TV)

Today's Links

Petticoat Lane may look like three lanes, but traffic should remain in two (from

Glacé Artisan Ice Cream

Edward Steichen – In High Fashion

Realities Beyond Petticoat Lane (from Paris of the Plains)

Thimble Thursday Lunchtime Concert Series

The 8th Annual Garment District “Thimble Thursday” Lunchtime Concert Series features 45-minute performances by various bands.

Location: Garment District Park, 8th & Bank Street (one block west of Broadway) – Kansas City, MO

Remaining Dates: June 10, 17, & 24

In Rememberance - May 2010

We send our sympathies to the friends and families of these two Harzfeld's associates who passed away in May.

Teresa Vela Espinosa

Janelle Taylor Patterson

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Henry Adams: Tom and Jack

Henry Adams provides new insights into two of the greatest artists of the 20th century when he presents Tom and Jack: The Intertwined Lives of Thomas Hart Benton and Jackson Pollock.

(past event) Tuesday, May 25
Program: 6:30 p.m.
Kansas City Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Hats of Kansas City

(past event)

Ten Day Wine Close Out

This ad appeared in the October 9, 1896 issue of the Kansas City Star. Siegmund Harzfeld liquidated the inventory of the California Wine Company at 603 Delaware. This is the time of the temperance movement. In 1881, Kansas outlawed the sale of alcohol. In 1901, five years after the Sieg's wine sale, Carrie Nation smashed saloon windows on 12th Street in Kansas City, Missouri. The Parisian Cloak Company was just a couple store fronts away on Main.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

In Remembrance

Our sympathies go to the families and friends of these ladies, who each worked for Harzfeld's and passed away in April.

Frances Margaret (Frankie) Schoneman

Betty Margaret Reynolds

Lillian "Libby" Shankman

Friday, April 30, 2010

Fresh & Clean

These vintage Harzfeld's branded soaps made in England were found at a recent K.C. Antiques and Collectibles Show.

"What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul." - Yiddish Proverb

Finally, we have a fresh post. Sorry that it's been a while, things have been pretty busy.

We had a great time this past Saturday. Tillie, a resident at The Atriums, invited us to a lunch and to talk. She also invited a number of fellow former employees of Harzfeld's to the lunch where there was continuous reminiscing and laughter. A number of items where brought in to share, some of which we'll post on the blog in the coming days.

Tillie and friends at luncheon

We're looking forward to attending Fashion for a Cause, this Sunday. It's a benefit for Women's Health Programs at Truman Medical Center (TMC).

Save the date, May 25, for a talk by Historic Garment District's Ann Brownfield. She will share about Kansas City Hats at the Kansas City Museum for their Community Curator series.

We're excited and grateful to have our book, Harzfelds: A Brief History, highlighted in the May issue of KC Magazine.

Soap Links
Indigo Wild
Natural Soap Company
Sunrise Soap
Metaphor Organic

Laughter Links
This Sunday is World Laughter Day!
Thanks to Creative Instigation for making us aware of
The Levity Project post on World Laughter Day.
The Daily Show
Colbert Nation

Other Links
Johnny Cupcakes
Fred and Friends
Edward Steichen—In High Fashion: The Condé Nast Years 1923-1937 at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, May 15 — July 25

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Sweet Dreams

We're always excited to see new items related to Harzfeld's coming to the surface. We were amazed when this bedding ensemble, entirely covered with dozens and dozens of Harzfeld's labels, was shared at our talk at the downtown Kansas City Library. The majority of the labels are from the last four years of the store. Unfortunately our photos didn't turn out all that great, so you'll have to imagine the impact of all the repeated pattern.

The owners, Dale and Jeanie shared a legend that went along with the bedding. The set was created by a husband for his wife of ailing heath who was a loyal customer of the store. The set includes a duvet, pillow cases, pillows and a wall hanging. It was all graphically bold and great fun to see!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Radio and Ragtime

We appreciate the interest in our recent events. We have a good deal of follow up to do and hope you'll be patient with us in this matter. This past week has been pretty busy for us at our respective jobs, so we haven't posted for a bit. We always welcome your emails at

First thanks to Charles and Carol at KKFI, 90.1 FM. It was fun to experience being on air. They're great hosts. Make sure you tune in on Fridays at noon for Anything Goes.

The event at the Central Kansas City Public Library was a blast. We appreciate the staff and especially those in the Missouri Valley Room for past research assistance and hosting the event. Mary Beveridge organized the event and was great to work with. Chris, who handled the audio/visual and more, made everything come together. Pianist Wally Bradford played a rousing Petticoat Lane Rag to open our talk. The very nice lady for Rainy Day Books set up and made our book available. We had a good crowd and enjoyed hearing stories. Hope to share some of these here, along with an amazing Harzfeld's themed item that an attendee brought in for display.

Photo: Looking south from third floor of Central Kansas City Public Library.The Deardorff Building / Harzfeld's, designed by John McKecknie in 1913, is framed in the center.

Today's Links

Harzfeld's on Facebook

Visit Elgin Park

Friday, March 19, 2010

Downtown Library Event

(past) We hope you'll attend our talk at the Kansas City Public Library at 14 W. 10th Street on Sunday, March 21 at 2 p.m. Our book will be available for purchase thanks to Rainy Day Books.

Pianist Wally Bradford will open the event with the playing of "Petticoat Lane Rag."

Tune in to Anything Goes

(past) At noon today we'll be on Anything Goes, hosted by Charles Feruzza and Carol Barta on KKFI 90.1 FM, Kansas City Community Radio. It should be fun, so hope you'll listen in.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

More from the Webster House Event

Here's guest Judy Hubbard and Michele. Judy brought in her wedding photo from 1960; the dress was from Harzfeld's.

Gayle Hutchens of the Webster House coordinated the event. She was very fun to work with. We're grateful to her and the rest of the hospitable Webster House staff for providing such an amazing space for us to present our talk and display the exhibit. Thanks to all for a fun weekend!

Two more fashions from the Historic Garment District Museum. The one on the left is by irene and the one on the right is by Norman Norell.

We had a wonderful lunch at the Webster House, but didn't find time for dessert. Gayle sent us home with a couple slices of the "Hat Box Cake." We know, neither of the box shapes appeared to be for a hat, but Gayle, rightfully, thought the name sounded better. It was delicious with homemade strawbery jam between the layers of cake and creamy frosting. Yum!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Webster House Event

We had a great time meeting the staff of the Webster House and those attending the event this past weekend.

It started with a cocktail happy hour on Friday evening. Lindsey & Gayle from the Webster House helped create displays for the exhibit that remained on display through Saturday.

This table featured fashion illustration by the late Patricia George. The first three were done for The Independent. In front of the illustrations is a sign from the '80s that we acquired through Arbuckle Sign Company, one of Kansas City's oldest companies still in operation, starting in 1884.

Ann Brownfield of the Historic Garment District Museum provided garments by designers and Kansas City manufacturers carried by Harzfeld's.

Ann Brownfield, of the Kansas City Historic Garment District Museum, with Michele at the Webster House event.Ann and Michele with fashions by Nelly Don, Adrian & Krest.

We had the chance to share some history on Harzfeld's and our book at two talks at 10 and 1 p.m. on Saturday. It was a pleasure to meet attendees including associates from the store. It was also great to see friends that attended.

We have more photos that we'll add to this post tonight.

Today's Links

We hope you'll attend our talk at the Kansas City Public Library at 14 W. 10th Street on Sunday, March 21 at 2 p.m. Our book will be available for purchase thanks to Rainy Day Books.

Blog Archive