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Purcell’s department store, 1967

Posted on March 2, 2015 | in Uncategorized | by
Purcell's department store in downtown Lexington at 320 W. Main St., Nov. 5, 1967. Purcell's, which opened in 1887 as a 5 &10 called the Racket Store, originally was located on the north side of West Main Street. In 1923, its founder, Jefferson Davis Purcell, bought property on the south side and opened a department store at 320 W. Main St. It was later enlarged. In its heyday, during the 1940s and '50s, Purcell's was not only one of Lexington's busiest, but one of its most colorful department stores. Customers often bypassed the crowded elevator so they would not miss anything on display in the store's 22 departments. It was one of the first in the city to have a live Santa Claus and strolling carolers at Christmas. At one time, the store carried 75,000 charge accounts, said Stanhope Wiedemann, president and CEO of the department store his grandfather founded. Among the many promotions it sponsored were embroidery and meat-carving schools and a table-setting contest. In 1951, at the request of a Lexington man, employees boxed the man up in a crate and delivered him, engagement ring in hand, to his girlfriend's home. She accepted. In 1970, after several stores left downtown, Purcell's closed. The building was razed in 1980 to make way for the $50 million Vine Plaza, which includes the Radisson Hotel and parking garage. Herald-Leader staff photo

Purcell’s department store at 320 West Main Street in downtown Lexington on Nov. 5, 1967. Purcell’s, which opened in 1887 as a 5-and-10 called the Racket Store, originally was on the north side of West Main Street. In 1923, its founder, Jefferson Davis Purcell, bought property on the south side and opened the department store at 320 West Main. The store was was later enlarged. In its heyday, during the 1940s and ’50s, Purcell’s was not only one of Lexington’s busiest, but one of its most colorful department stores. Customers often bypassed the crowded elevator so they wouldn’t miss anything on display in the store’s 22 departments. It was one of the first in the city to have a live Santa Claus and strolling carolers at Christmas. At one time, the store carried 75,000 charge accounts, said Stanhope Wiedemann, president and CEO of the department store, and a grandson of the store’s founder. Among the many promotions it sponsored were embroidery and meat-carving schools, and a table-setting contest. In 1951, at the request of a Lexington man, employees boxed the man in a crate and delivered him, engagement ring in hand, to his girlfriend’s home. She accepted his proposal. In 1970, after several stores left downtown, Purcell’s closed. The building was razed in 1980 to make way for the $50 million Vine Plaza, which includes the Radisson Hotel and parking garage. Herald-Leader Staff Photo

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