Tag Archives: Grand Court

The Wanamaker Collection

This vast collection of flags was originally created in the early 20th century for John Wanamaker’s famous Philadelphia department store. Wanamaker had been in the retail business in Philadelphia since 1861; in 1876 he opened what he called a “Grand Depot,” a store on a scale unprecedented in the United States, inside a disused railroad station. In 1911 the Grand Depot was replaced by an 11-story building at 1300 Market Street, designed by Daniel Burnham and containing almost two million square feet of selling space.

Part of Wanamaker’s business plan was to make his store a “destination.” To that end he had it adorned with elaborate decorations, installed a magnificent organ, and created a five-story “Grand Court” as a central showpiece. By around 1900 Wanamaker’s son Rodman was responsible for most of the decoration of the store. Rodman Wanamaker was an aesthete who had lived for years in Paris before taking an important role in his father’s business.

While the senior Wanamaker focused his prodigious energies on making sure that his ever-expanding business empire ran like a well-oiled machine, the younger Wanamaker was committed to bringing art and beauty into the stores. His influence extended not just to finest merchandise, …
» Continue Reading: The Wanamaker Collection

Read More

Gallery of Wanamaker Flags

[Click images to enlarge]

Read More