Tag Archives: Dayton’s

#MNMondays: Farewell, my friend

As I sat in the Macy’s Oak Grill (formerly the Dayton’s Oak Grill) sipping my coffee and enjoying a slice of Frango Cheesecake, I tried to fight back the tears. For it would be the last time I’d ever sip coffee in that space as it was. It’s historic wood walls, the beautiful fireplace, the room that had been a place to celebrate, go to power lunches, it would soon be closing it’s doors.

I know that places aren’t people, but some places are just so special. Dayton’s was one of my favorite places to go as a child. We’d have lunch in the Skyroom, shop for school clothes, see the 8th Floor Holiday Display at Christmas where I’d get my annual Santa Bear, and in the spring it was time for the Bachman’s Spring Flower Show. As a child I loved the sound the “fancy lady’s” shoes made as the sauntered around on the wood floors on the first floor, I couldn’t wait to be old enough to get some heels and make that sound while I shopped at Dayton’s.

Fast forward to 2002, I was a “grownup” with my first corporate job at what was then Marshall Field’s Minneapolis. Every morning I’d walk in through the skyway from the IDS, admire the buildings facade, and remind myself I was really working at Dayton’s.

Sadly, the company was sold in 2004, and it was time for me to move on. I thought my beloved Dayton’s would always be there, it was part of my holidays, the place I loved to for something special.

But then the announcement came…Macy’s would close Dayton’s Minneapolis in early 2017. Such sad news. The beautiful department store where I’d gone my entire life for my most important dresses, the places I’d started my career…gone.

So today, January 24, 2017, will be my last salad bar lunch in the Skyroom, and my last cup of coffee at the Oak Grill.

Goodbye my dear friend, I will never forget you and all the special times I’ve had within these walls…

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Suburbia @ The Minnesota History Center

If you’re interested in the history of Minnesota’s suburban sprawl, the 1950’s or love anything related to Dayton’s Department Store, the Suburbia exhibit at the Minnesota History Center is a must-see.

The display showcases how the Twin Cities’ suburban areas began including everything from floorpans of typical housing developments to interior design advertisements, a Chevrolet Station Wagon (which had me thinking of “See The USA in your Chevrolet”), plus a kitchen/living room reminiscent of the time including a council TV and a refrigerator that opens with display foods.

But for me the highlight of the exhibit is the Southdale Mall display. When it opened in suburban Edina back in 1956, the mall was the largest fully enclosed shopping center of its kind. It was filled with a variety of stores including a Red Owl grocery store, Dayton’s and Donaldson’s. There were several photos along with a variety of merchandise on display from when the mall first opened.

SouthdaleDisplaySeeing all of the merchandise was fascinating…I love the iconic fashion of the 1950’s but what really made my heart sing was the Dayton’s shopping bags. If you’re from Minnesota, Dayton’s is the  store you went to for special occasions, the Eigth Floor Christmas display and the Bachman’s Spring Flower Show. For me, it’s where I went for special shoes and dresses for everything from First Communion to Graduation. Unfortunately, the stores were purchased by Macy’s…so the legendary department store locations are just shells of what they used to be, but the Suburbia exhibit made me remember all the lovely years and all of my Dayton’s memories…I’d give up all the other department stores in the world to have the Minneapolis Dayton’s back to what it was!

The golden shovel from the Southdale groundbreaking ceremony
Southdale women’s merchandise…love the sunglasses! and that adorable leopard hat…that handbag is quite chic too!

The Suburbia is a great limited time exhibit open until March 20. I highly recommend checking it out—and I would so love to see the Southdale collection become part of the permanent collection…

Did you see the exhibit? What did you like best?