801 Canal Street – Hanan’s and Kreegers

801 Canal Street – Hanan’s and Kreegers

Hanan and Son, later Kreegers, operated at 801 Canal Street.

801 canal

801 Canal Street

801 Canal

Ad for Hanan & Son in the Times-Picayune, 30-January-1928

Franck Studios photo of the Hanan & Son shoe store, 801 Canal Street. HNOC dates the photo at between 1925 and 1933. The building replaced an earlier structure that was destroyed by fire in 1892. Hanan & Son was a shoe manufacturer in New York City. Kreeger’s occupied the space at 805 Canal, just to the right. Kreeger’s later acquired 801 and expanded into that space. D. H. Holmes department store wrapped around 801 and 805 Canal. The Bourbon Street entrance of Holmes is visible behind 801 Canal. It’s the three-story building down the block.

Hanan & Son Shoes

The Hanan Company manufactured shoes in Brooklyn. While other manufacturers went with a customized/handmade look, Hanan stamped their name on the soles of the shoes. This increased their sales. Beginning in the 1880s, the company opened retail stores in a number of American cities.

Canal and Bourbon Streets

801 canal

Postcard from the early 1930s, courtesy H. George Friedman.

The building at 801 Canal Street appealed to Hanan’s. Imperial Shoe Store took over the riverside corner across the street in the 701 block when A. Shwartz and Son closed. Shoppers walked from one side of Bourbon to the other as they sought out the latest shoe styles. Hanan & Son fell on hard times during the Great Depression. They closed a number of stores in the early 1930s. Imperial Shoes picked up the Hanan product line. They added “Hanan Shoes” to their Canal Street signage. So, Hanan’s presence continued on in New Orleans. The company went bankrupt in 1935.

Kreeger’s

The Kreeger family opened their store at 805 Canal after the rebel surrender in 1865. They sold ladies fashions. Kreeger’s specialized in furs, coats and stoles.

Kreeger’s grew in popularity. They survived the 1892 fire that destroyed the 701 block of Canal and the 801 corner building. When Hanan & Son left 801 Canal, Kreeger’s acquired the space. They expanded the store to Bourbon Street.

The company further expanded in the 1980s. They opened an “outlet” store at One Canal Place. Additionally, they opened stores in Lakeside Shopping Center, Uptown Square, and in Lafayette. The oil bust of the 1980s presented challenges for Kreegers. Changing styles and opinions with respect to furs also hurt sales. Kreeger’s declared bankruptcy in 1986. They closed their remaining store, in Lakeside, that year.

After Kreeger’s

801-805 Canal housed a number of businesses after Kreeger’s closed. In 2010, the first floor retail space was a Foot Locker store. The space is currently a Walgreens. While this seems redundant, given the large Walgreens at 900 Canal, it makes sense. It’s all about convenience in a busy neighborhood.

Details

Some interesting details in the photo:

Imperial Shoes – The store’s street-level sign is partially visible on the left. A pair of nuns cross Bourbon, just below it.

D. H. Holmes – As mentioned in the introduction, the Bourbon Street entrance of the iconic department store is visible behind Hanan’s. that side offered Holmes a separate entrance for the Holmes Restaurant.

Kreeger’s – the signage at 805 Canal is just visible.

Illinois Central – A billboard for the Panama Limited train stands on the roof. The ICRR offered all-Pullman sleeper car service from New Orleans to Chicago. Amtrak continues to operate the route as their incarnation of the City of New Orleans.

 

Railroad Destinations, 1925 (1)

Railroad Destinations, 1925 (1)

The Times-Picayune regularly offered ads for various railroad destinations in the 1920s.

railroad destinations

Railroad Destinations

nyc 3

Yesterday’s post of NYC 3, an “executive car” from 1928, inspired this collection of ads for various railroad destinations. New Orleans served as an active hub for railroad connections. Travelers used trains more than automobiles in the early 20th century, particularly for long trips.

Southern Railway

railroad destinations

The Times-Picayune featured two ads for Southern Railway on 3-November-1925. “Two Trains Every Day” to Cincinnati. The early train departed at 8:30am. Southern offered coach and sleeping car service, with meals served in a dining car.

The railroad also offered sleeping car service to Meridian, Mississippi. The car, attached to a northbound train, departed at 8:10pm daily. It arrived at 2:10am the next day. “Sleeping car may be occupied at Meridian until 7:30 A. M.” – thank goodness! Nobody wants to be booted out of bed at two in the morning. Once at Meridian, the traveler could catch trains to other Southern destinations, getting a jump on the trip.

Along the Apache Trail

railroad destinations

While Southern Railway traveled to destinations North and East, Southern Pacific transported passengers westward. Heading to California meant scenic views:

All-motor mountain trip through the heart of Arizona’s most rugged mountain scenery. The gigantic Roosevelt Dam, with its thundering cascades and picturesque mountain setting is only one of the marvels of the Apache Trail, a motor side-trip available to passengers using the Sunset Route to California.

The ad doesn’t explain how travelers taking the side trip get back on track to Los Angeles. Since the “New Sunset Limited” ran three times a week, did the train wait in Globe, Arizona? Did it drop off the side-trip travelers, who then took the next train? No doubt interested travelers learned the specifics at the City Ticket Office, located on the ground floor of the St. Charles Hotel.

Amtrak’s Sunset

The description of SP’s “New Sunset Limited” is similar to the current Amtrak version of the route. The train, with its consist of Superliner coaches, sleepers, along with diner and lounge cars, departs Union Passenger Terminal three times weekly.

Palace Streetcar 1921

Palace Streetcar 1921

Palace Streetcar on a test run on Esplanade Avenue, 1921.

palace streetcar

Comfortable Streetcars!

New Orleans Railway and Light (NORwy&Lt) 605, running outbound on Esplanade Avenue, 8-October-1921. This photo is part of a set shot by Franck Studios for the Rail Department. The note references a civil court case number. NORwy&Lt purchased the “Palace” streetcars from the American Car Company in 1905. These streetcars ran at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis. They impressed the NORwy&Lt’s Rail Department. They ran these cars on the Canal Street and Esplanade Avenue lines. The Palace cars also ran out to West End.

Palace Streetcar on Esplanade

While the Palace streetcars offered the most comfortable ride of any in New Orleans, operation on Esplanade Avenue was tricky. That street’s neutral ground was small. The branches of the old oak trees converged over the center. NORwy&Lt avoided cutting down the trees, but encountered close calls with branches. This run of car 605 documented the clearances along Esplanade Avenue.

The Canal and Esplanade lines operated in “belt service” at this time. One line ran continuously in one direction, the other line in the opposite direction.So, a round trip involved taking both lines. Since the streetcars didn’t have to terminate and change directions, their running time improved.

The car’s roll board shows West End, rather than the two lines running the belt. The Palace cars also ran out to West End. They traveled up Canal Street outbound, turned onto City Park, then turned up on West End Boulevard, heading out to the lake. For this run, 605’s last “revenue run” was on West End. The motorman didn’t bother changing the sign.

The man sitting at the back of the streetcar on this run is likely a Rail Department employee from Canal Station. He’s wearing civilian clothes. The other man in the photo is the conductor. He wears the standard uniform.

NOPSI

Two years after this run, NORwy&Lt re-organized into New Orleans Public Service, Incorporated (NOPSI). NOPSI was then acquired by EBASCO, a division of General Electric. NOPSI later became part of Middle South Utilities, which is now Entergy.

Stein’s Canal Street

Stein’s Canal Street

Stein’s Canal Street occupied three different locations over the years.

stein's canal street

Stein’s Canal Street

Ad for Stein’s Clothing in the Times-Picayune, September 21, 1972. Stein’s was originally located at 800 Canal Street, corner Carondelet Street, but moved up in the 800 block in 1948. By the 1960s, the store returned to the corner, but on the 700 block side of Carondelet. The store, part of a national chain, featured men’s, women’s, and children’s clothing. Stein’s first came to New Orleans when Feibelman’s Department Store moved from 800 Canal to the corner of Baronne and Common Streets, in 1931.

Fellman’s to Feibelman’s to Stein’s

stein's canal street

The old Pickwick Hotel building, now Stein’s Clothing, 1940

When retailer Leon Fellman split with his brother Bernard in 1886, he opened his own store at 901 Canal. This was the old Mercier Building, which replaced Christ Episcopal Church, at the corner of Canal and Dauphine. By 1897, S. J. Shwartz acquired the entire Mercier Building for his new department store, Maison Blanche. Shwartz evicted Fellman. Leon went across the street. He convinced the owners of the Pickwick Hotel at 800 Canal to let him convert their building into a department store. They agreed, and he opened Leon Fellman’s.

Name change

Leon passed away in 1920. His family dropped the Fellman surname, returning to the German version of their name, Feibelman. The family changed the name of the store from Leon Fellman’s to Feibelman’s. In 1931, the family acquired the old NOPSI building at Baronne and Common. They demolished the building (it had been severely damaged by fire) and constructed a new store there. That left 800 Canal available. Stein’s leased the building, bringing the chain to New Orleans.

Gus Mayer takes over

Stein's Canal Street

Stein’s, 810 Canal Street, 1948

In 1948, another out-of-town chain, Gus Mayer, bought the old Pickwick Hotel. Their New Orleans store was in a small building on the French Quarter side of the 800 block of Canal. Gus Mayer demolished the old building, constructing their flagship store in the city. That building remains at 800 Canal, occupied by a CVS Drugstore.

Moving out

Gus Mayer’s purchase of the Pickwick building meant Stein’s had to find a new location. They moved next door, to 810 Canal Street. The store re-located a second time, to 738 Canal. So, by the 1950s, Stein’s stood on the river side of Carondelet and Canal, and Gus Mayer on the lake side of the corner.

stein's canal street

Stein’s Gentilly Woods, 1960

In the late 1950s, Stein’s opened a second location, in Gentilly Woods. That explains the “Downtown Store Only” reference in this 1972 ad. The chain folded in the 1980s. Kid’s Footlocker currently occupies 738 Canal Street.

St. Aloysius Bonds

St. Aloysius Bonds

St. Aloysius bonds, a private issue to finance the completion of the new building.

st. aloysius bonds

St. Aloysius bonds.

Advertisement in the Times-Picayune, 15-April, 1925, for St. Aloysius bonds to finance the completion of the “new” school building. The Bond Department of Marine Bank and Trust, on Carondelet Street, managed the issuance of St. Aloysius bonds. From the ad copy:

These bonds will be the direct obligation of St. Aloysius College, which was founded in 1869, and was formerly located on Chartres and Barracks Streets, and moved to its present location in 1892, where it has steadily expanded.

This $80,000 issue in 1925 works out to just over $1.2 million in 2021 dollars.

Building the iconic school

After successfully navigating the years of the Southern Rebellion, the Archbishop of New Orleans invited the Brothers of the Sacred Heart to open a permanent school in New Orleans. The Institute operated St. Stanislaus College, in Bay St. Louis on the Gulf Coast. When Louisiana and Mississippi seceded from the Union, the BOSH closed St. Stanislaus to boarders. They dispatched several Brothers to New Orleans. They set up shop at Annunciation Church, in Faubourg Marigny. Those men taught the Stanislaus students in the city. They made sure those boys completed their schooling.

The Archdiocese offered the Institute a house on the corner of Chartres and Barracks in 1869. That building originally housed the officers of the Spanish army garrison in the city during the colonial period. In 1892, the Ursuline nuns left the mansion they used as a school, on Esplanade Avenue and N. Rampart Street. The archdiocese transferred that building to the BOSH. By the 1920s, however, the always-expanding St. Aloysius College outgrew the mansion. They negotiated a deal with the city to demolish the old building, allowing the city expand the N. Rampart Street neutral ground. The Institute required cash for furnishings, equipment, etc., to open the new building. These bonds provided the backbone of the financing.

St. Aloysius closed in the Spring of 1969, merging with Cor Jesu High to become Brother Martin High School in Gentilly.

 

Unpacking 1200 Canal Street

Unpacking 1200 Canal Street

Unpacking 1200 Canal, including neon, radio, and streetcars.

1200 Canal

Unpacking 1200 Canal Street

Franck Studios photo, shot from Canal and Basin Streets, looking towards the river. HNOC dates this at approximately 1932. The fleur-de-lis lampposts and relatively-new improvements to Canal Street support this. Those were part of the 1930 “beautification” program for Canal. The city approved the road work and new lights after the disastrous transit strike in 1929. Ridership remained incredibly low in the wake of the strike. The city hoped that road work would both improve Canal Street and discourage individuals from driving automobiles downtown. Transit ridership never recovered its pre-strike numbers.

View from 1200 Canal Street

The photographer, who is not identified beyond working for Franck Studios, stands in front of Terminal Station, at Canal and Basin Streets. Krauss Department Store is behind him to the left. The Saenger Theater stands to the left, the Loews to the right. Neon signs and street-level advertising bombard pedestrians and streetcar riders alike, as they approach the main retail area of the city. The Maison Blanche building sports two large antennae on the roof. These are the transmission towers for WSMB Radio. The call letters “WSMB” stood for “Saenger-Maison Blanche.” The department store and theater partnered in radio. The theater promoted movies and shows, the store sold the hardware. Eventually, WWL radio bought WSMB, to get access to the Rush Limbaugh Show. Now, the station’s call letters are WWWL.

Streetcars

1200 canal street

NOPSI 429, operating on the West End line

NOPSI 429 runs outbound, up Canal Street, on the West End line. West End stopped at all stops until Claiborne Avenue. The streetcars ran up Canal to City Park Avenue without stopping. They then turned left-and-right to head up West End Boulevard to the lake.

Perley A. Thomas designed the 400-series arch roofs while working for Southern Car Company. New Orleans Railway and Light liked the design. They bought a number of them for the St. Charles/Tulane Belts, as well as West End. The Canal line continued to use the Palace streetcars from American Car Company, until 1935.