Gilchrist Company

Gilchrist Company
Item# 4730

Gilchrist’s (known as “The Friendly Store”) was a competitor to Jordan Marsh and Filene's in Boston’s active retail scene. The company’s flagship store occupied the corner of Washington and Winter Streets in Boston from 1906 until it closed for good in late 1976. Gilchrist’s was part of the Boston retail scene from the 1850's, when it was originally formed as George Turnbull & Company. This was later changed to Churchill, Watson & Company in 1862, before taking the name Churchill, Gilchrist and Smith 12 years later. In 1877, the name simply became R. J. Gilchrist, before taking the Gilchrist & Company name in 1891. The company’s store had always been in the Winter Street area (originally at 5 Winter Street) but taking the famous Washington and Winter corner in 1906 really put it on the shopper's map.

The opening of the building in 1912 made headlines and showed the rivals on the other corners that it meant business. Jordan Marsh had just finished building part of their famous Annex and Filene's had just built a new, modern department store.

One of the many features of the new building were glass plate windows on all floors that allowed natural light to be used to illuminate the vast floor space. In years to come, the upper windows in most older department stores would be blocked out using wooden wall partitions, adding some storage space for goods and hiding the now grimy windows from public view.

Most Bostonians remember Gilchrist's for their famous almond macaroons baked in the little bakery of the store located along the Winter Street side.

The Corner Mall took over the ground floor of the vacant building in 1977 and turned the famous Marble Spa into a food court.

Close Up of Vignette:

Certificate: Common Stock Certificate, unissued/uncanceled, mid 1900’s

Printer: Security-Columbian Bank Note Company

Dimensions: 8” (h) x 12” (w)

State: MA-Massachusetts

Subject Matter: Retail and Related | Department Stores | Unissued Pieces

Vignette Topic(s): Eagle Featured

Condition: No fold lines or cancels, and some toning and edge faults from age.

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