Stern, Cahn & Loeb's City of Paris department store at 105-7 N. Spring St. (post-1890 numbering: 205-7 Spring), sometime between 1883-1890
Stern, Cahn & Loeb's City of Paris department store at 105-7 N. Spring St. (post-1890 numbering: 205-7 Spring), sometime between 1883-1890

City of Paris (originally S. Lazard & Co.) was a dry goods store and eventually Los Angeles' first department store, operating from the 1850s through 1897, first as Lazard & Kremer Co., then Lazard & Wolfskill Co., then S. Lazard & Co., then with the store name City of Paris operated by Eugene Meyer & Co., then by Stern, Cahn & Loeb. It should not be confused with the much more famous City of Paris store of San Francisco, or the Ville de Paris department store of Los Angeles, of Mr. A. Fusenot, which was a spinoff of San Francisco's "City of Paris".

History

Ad for Lazard and Kremer in the Los Angeles Star October 30, 1852
Ad for Lazard and Kremer in the Los Angeles Star October 30, 1852
Ad (in Spanish) for Lazard and Kremer in the Los Angeles Star June 18, 1853
Ad (in Spanish) for Lazard and Kremer in the Los Angeles Star June 18, 1853
Ads for Rich and Newmark, and Lazard and Kremer in the Los Angeles Star September 21, 1854
Ads for Rich and Newmark, and Lazard and Kremer in the Los Angeles Star September 21, 1854
S. Lazard & Co.'s store on Main St. between 1866-1872
S. Lazard & Co.'s store on Main St. between 1866-1872
Eugene Meyer & Co. City of Paris Ad in Los Angeles city directory 1878
Eugene Meyer & Co. City of Paris Ad in Los Angeles city directory 1878

French immigrant Solomon Lazard and a cousin, Maurice Kremer, became partners and opened a dry goods store, Lazard & Kremer Co., in 1852 in a row of shops called Mellus Row, later called the Bell Block, or Bell's Row, on the southeast corner of Los Angeles Street at Aliso Street, until Kremer sold his share to Timoteo Wolfskill (1835–1909) to form Lazard & Wolfskill Co. on June 16, 1857.[1] After Wolfskill withdrew from the partnership on August 13, 1858[2] the company became S. Lazard & Co.

In 1867 Lazard moved the business to 53 Main Street. It was a place where elegant Los Angeles women sought the latest thing in French fashion.[3][4][5][6][7]

Strasbourg, Alsace-born Marc Eugene Meyer (father of financier Eugene Meyer who would own The Washington Post and be president of the World Bank and Federal Reserve) joined Constant Meyer and Nathan Cahn (or Kahn) to buy S. Lazard & Co. from Mr. Lazard in 1874, and from that point forward, operated as Eugene Meyer & Co. and named the store itself the City of Paris.[8] As of March 1874, Eugene Meyer & Co. promoted themselves as "successors to S. Lazard & Co." doing business as the "City of Paris" store at 51-53 Main Street,[9] and in the 1878 city directory at 53–55 Main St. "opposite the St. Charles Hotel",[10] thus on the west side of the street near the St. Elmo Hotel.

In January 1879, Eugene Meyer's cousin, Leon (Leopold) Loeb, was added as a partner to Eugene Meyer & Co.[11] Leon Loeb was the son-in-law of pioneer Harris Newmark (born in Löbau/Loebau, Prussia), and he was the father of Joseph P. Loeb.

October 2, 1880 Meyer's City of Paris opened in a new location; the entire building was known as the City of Paris Block, at 17–19 Spring St.. just south of First St. and the Nadeau Hotel which would be built in 1888.[12]

In Spring 1883 the City of Paris moved to new premises at 105-107 N. Spring St. (pre-1890 numbering; west side between Franklin Temple, just north of the Jones Block; post-1890 numbering: 205–207 N. Spring St.).

In October 1883 the Meyers sold out, Marc Eugene Meyer moved to San Francisco, Emmanuel L. Stern was admitted as a partner, and the three partners formed Stern, Cahn & Loeb.[13] The store continued to be known as "The City of Paris",[14] in what was then the Central Business District.

The city renumbered buildings in 1890 and advertisements from 1892 show that the store was operating at the same location, but expanded by one shopfront on either side, at 203-209 N. Spring St.[15] In 1893, the company was reported in financial trouble, and by that time was managed by the Stern Bros., who had taken over from Leon Loeb.[16] By 1894, the store was advertising its closure.[17]

However, the store was still operating in 1895 in the Jones Block at 177 N. Spring St.,[18] even as the better department stores were starting to move to South Broadway.

The store finally went bankrupt in 1897.[19]

References

  1. ^ "Notice". 7 (6). Los Angeles Star. June 20, 1857. Retrieved July 21, 2020. Co-partnership Notice. Los Angeles, June 16, 1857. The undersigned have formed a co-partnership for the transaction of a general merchandizing business under the name and firm of Lazard & Wolfskill. Solomon Lazard. Timothy Wolfskill.
  2. ^ "Announcement". 8 (15). Los Angeles Star. August 21, 1858. p. 1. Notice. The cop-partnership heretofore existing under the name of Lazard & wolfskill, is this day dissolved by mutual consent. Mr. Lazard is authorized to collect all debts due the late firm, and settle all the liabilities. S. Lazard. T. Wolfskill. Los Angeles, August 13th, 1858.
  3. ^ Consulate general of France, French text based on Guide français de Los Angeles et du Sud de la Californie, F. Loyer and C. Beaudreau (1932), and 1872 Los Angeles City and County Directory Archived 2012-08-24 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "The Early Jewish Presence in Los Angeles," Jewish Genealogical Society of Los Angeles
  5. ^ An Illustrated History of Los Angeles County, California, Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company (1889), page 534, transcribed by Kathy Sedler at ancestry.com
  6. ^ Francis Dinkelspiel, "A Hard Rain," Jewish Journal, March 31, 2005
  7. ^ Loyer and Beaudreau, page 53
  8. ^ "Dissolution of S(olomon) Lazard & Co. and sale to Eugene Meyer". March 3, 1874. p. 3 – via newspapers.com.
  9. ^ "City of Paris 1874 51-53 Main St., Eugene Meyer & Co. successors to S. Lazard & Co". Los Angeles Times. March 20, 1874. p. 3 – via newspapers.com.
  10. ^ Aaron Smith, Los Angeles City Directory, 1878, Mirror Printing, via Los Angeles Public Library
  11. ^ "Eugene Meyer added as a partner to Eugene Meyer & Co. 1879". Los Angeles Times. February 20, 1879. p. 4 – via newspapers.com.
  12. ^ "Ad for City of Paris". Los Angeles Evening Express. September 30, 1880. p. 2.
  13. ^ "Dissolution of Eugene Meyer, Nathan Cahn and L. Loeb. Establishment of Stern Cahn & Loeb 1883". Los Angeles Times. October 27, 1883. p. 6 – via newspapers.com.
  14. ^ "Stern Cahn and Loeb - City of Paris - 1883 - 105-107 N Spring St". Los Angeles Times. October 26, 1883. p. 2 – via newspapers.com.
  15. ^ "City of Paris L.A. 1892 203-209 N Spring". Los Angeles Times. February 6, 1892. p. 6 – via newspapers.com.
  16. ^ "City of Paris Loeb retired Stern Bros. in charge 1893". Los Angeles Times. September 17, 1893. p. 8 – via newspapers.com.
  17. ^ "City of Paris Dry Goods Store store to close 1894 203 to 207 N Spring". Los Angeles Times. April 10, 1894. p. 3 – via newspapers.com.
  18. ^ "City of Paris 1895 177 N Spring". Los Angeles Times. September 11, 1895. p. 4 – via newspapers.com.
  19. ^ "Hamburgers ad for City of Paris insolvent stock". Los Angeles Times. August 14, 1897. p. 12 – via newspapers.com.