Sunday Ads: We’ve Got You Covered from Head to Toe

Written by on July 31, 2016 in Sunday Ads - No comments
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Gerritt Archibald offered hats to keep you in the shade under the hot July sun. (Courtesy Indiana State Library)

Gerritt Archibald offered hats to keep you in the shade under the hot July sun. (Courtesy Indiana State Library)

Business:  Gerritt A.Archibald Company

Date of Ad:  July 29, 1906

Location:  Downtown: 38 East Washington

Years of Operation: 1905- 1910

Notable: Gerritt Archibald came to Indianapolis in 1896 via Chicago after working in the wholesale haberdashery business. His namesake store opened in 1905 in the small, two story structure at 38 East Washington Street in the heart of the city’s retail district. A heavy advertiser in local publications, the store promised the finest in men’s hats. Despite these claims, the business lasted a mere 5 years. A 1910 ad unceremoniously announced the liquidation of all merchandise. This was not the end of Archibald. He went on to become a respected real estate appraiser and later owned several buildings along North Meridian Street. Archibald passed away in 1928.

This 1910 notice proclaimed the end of the Archibald shop. (Courtesy Indiana State Library)

This 1910 notice proclaimed the end of the Archibald shop. (Courtesy Indiana State Library)

Additionally:  The little building on Washington housed shoe stores under various names for the following five decades. Around 1968, Best Steakhouse opened on the site and remained a stalwart for the next fifteen years. For some reason, this block of Washington remained vacant and blighted for the two decades despite wholesale revitalization. After surviving a 2006 fire, a convenience store opened in the location briefly before the acclaimed bar, The Libertine, commenced a craft cocktail craze in Indy prior to the Superbowl. Recently, a bakery and dessert bar has sweetened up this address.

Frona Mae

38 E. Washington Street as seen today. Photo: Bill Browne

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About the Author

An avid runner who enjoys daily jaunts throughout Indy's historic neighborhoods, Jeff deeply appreciates the detail and workmanship of old architecture. So much so, that he lives downtown in a restored historic building. He also works downtown as a manager of a not-for-profit that promotes globalization throughout Central Indiana. In a past life, Jeff worked in the hospitality industry and may one day pen a book about the ridiculous things people do while staying in hotels. Stay tuned.

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