The Denver Dry Goods Company

The Denver Dry Goods Company

The Drew & McNamara Dry Goods Company

In 1877 Michael J. McNamara & Edgar H. Drew opened the Drew & McNamara Dry Goods Company at the corner of 16th & Larimer in Downtown Denver, Colorado. In 1879 Drew left the partnership and was replaced by L.H. Flanders. The store was renamed MJ McNamara & Company. In 1880, McNamara bought out his partner and changed the company’s name to the McNamara Dry Goods Company. In In 1893, McNamara sold the store  to Dennis Sheedy and Charles Kountz and in 1894, the company was reorganized under the name, “Denver Dry Goods Company”.

mj-mcnamara-dry-goods-denver-colorado-trade-card

Original Trade card from MJ McNamara & C0, Dry Goods Denver Colorado

By 1907, the company had purchased the remainder of the block and erected a new six story building, the largest store in the city. The store building, which still stands today, was designed by architect Frank E Edbrooke & built by J.J. Reithmann. It was built with brick & limestone on cast iron framing.

Buy an original Postcard from The Denver Dry Goods Company

Denver Dry Goods Company delivery trucks circa 1900

Denver Dry Goods Company delivery trucks c.1900

The Denver Dry Goods Company, also known as The Denver, became part of Associated Dry Goods (ADG) in 1966. In the 1970s and early 1980s it was considered one of ADG’s most profitable operating units, just behind Lord and Taylor. ADG invested in renovating The Denver and expanding with suburban stores in the greater Denver market and with stores in regional locales such as Billings, Montana. Many Colorado residents fondly recall the store’s motto, “Where Colorado Shops With Confidence.” When the Denver Dry Goods Company was acquired by May Company as part of Associated Dry Goods Corp. in 1986, 9 of the 12 locations were shut down and sold. The three remaining units were converted to May-Daniels & Fisher stores in 1987. The original downtown store that was built in 1889 and expanded in 1898, 1906, and 1924, was converted to apartments in 1994.

The Denver Dry Building

The Denver Dry Building 2016

Things You May Not Know about The Denver Dry Goods Store
1. The main floor had big blank books by the elevators designed so people could leave their friends messages in a central downtown location.

2. There was a post office in the basement of The Denver. It was on the 15th Street side.

wholesale-phonograph-department-st-the-denver-dry-goods-store-1908

The Wholesale Phonograph Department at the Denver Dry Goods Store 1908


The Denver Dry Goods Department Store – Floor Directory

Lower Level
Luggage • Books • Records • Sporting Goods • Garden Shop • HardwareFirst Floor
Fine Jewelry • Costume Jewelry • Fashion Accessories • Neckwear • Handbags • Small Leather Goods • Hosiery • Notions • Slippers • Gloves • Miss Denver Sportswear • Miss Denver Blouses • Accessory Tops • Beauty World • Stationery • Cameras • Candy • Epicure
Store for Men

Men’s Toiletries • Men’s Accessories • Men’s Furnishings • Men’s Dress Shirts • Men’s Sport Furnishings • Men’s Clothing • Men’s Shoes • Men’s Men’s Hats • Bailiwick • Western Shop

Second Floor
Intimate Apparel • Sleepwear • Shoe Salon • Etienne Aigner Shop • The Shop for Pappagallo • Home and Town Shop • Miss Denver Shop • Custom Cove • Misses’ Dresses • Sportswear • Coat Salon Fur Salon • The Place (Juniors)

Third Floor
Trendsetter Dresses • Trendsetter Sportswear • Trendsetter Coats • Active Sportsear • Millinery • The Columbine Room
Children’s World Infants • Toddlers • Girls’ Accessories • Girls’ Apparel • Boy’s Apparel • Pre-Teen Apparel • Prep Threads • Snoopy Shop • Children’s Shoes • Toys

Fourth Floor
Housewares • Small Electrics • Appliances • Electronics • Fashion Fabrics • Art Needlework • Sewing Machines • Linens • Bath Shop • Table Linens • Pillows • Draperies

Fifth Floor
China • Silver • Glassware • Gifts • Lamps • Crystal
The Tea Room

Sixth Floor
Art Gallery • Furniture • Sleep Shop • Floor Coverings
(366,000 s.f.)


Official Address
1585 California Street, Denver, CO

Logos of the Denver Dry Goods Company
logo-the-denver-dry-goods-company
The Denver Dry Goods Company Warehouse, 1201-1209 Wazee Street, Denver, Colorado, 1984

The Denver Dry Goods Company Warehouse, 1201-1209 Wazee Street, Denver, Colorado, taken in 1984 by David Grover

See more recent photographs of the Denver Dry Goods building taken in October 2016.

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