Over the years, Pittsburghers have called it the Grand Depot, The Big Store, Kaufmann’s, Macy’s and now Kaufmann’s Grand on Fifth.
But no matter the name, the behemoth building along Smithfield Street has been a special place for more than a century — to “meet under the Kafumann’s clock,” to eat thumbprint cookies at the store’s Arcade Bakery, to admire its ornate holiday window displays, and, of course, to shop its 13 floors.
With brick-and-mortar retail floundering, the Downtown department store closed in 2015. The building is now undergoing renovation to be turned into luxury apartments, a restaurant, and a hotel, and though the work has been delayed, as the Post-Gazette reports, it’s still expected to open this summer or fall.
The change is making us nostalgic, so we compiled snapshots of Kafumann’s through the years, dating back to the very beginning, with help from Heinz History Center. Let’s hop into the time machine.