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”.
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.
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.
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.
The Denver Dry Goods Department Store – Floor Directory
1585 California Street, Denver, CO