Kresge Department Store

709 Broad Street

Opened 1923


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Architects - Starrett & VanVleck


Newspaper Articles

October 13, 1912 - Arcade Leased for $1,100,000

From "The Enduring Community" by William B. Helmreich

In 1923, the Plaut family sold their department store to S. S. Kresge for $17,000,000. During it's heyday, the Kresge Department Store was a stop on one of the Newark Subway Lines. Today, there is only one line left of the Newark City Subway. All others, including the one going to Kresge's are sealed. A recent descent into one by New Jersey Transit officials revealed that the storefront Kresge's maintained underground is still intact (except for the broken windows) with mannequins, wooden display cases and sale signs.

From "New Jersey; Life, Industries and Resources of a Great State:1928"

The Kresge Department Store in Newark occupies an entirely new building, the erection of which was commenced in November, 1924, and finished in September, 1928.  The present building, one of America's most beautiful department stores, occupies the site of the department store of L. S. Plaut & Company, of which it is the successor.  This present splendid structure was built in units so that the business might be carried on while the old Plaut buildings were being razed.

There are 10 complete floors, two partial floors, a basement store, and two sub-basements, comprising in all a floor-area of 675,000 square feet.  There are 120 departments offering every feature found in the best equipped merchandising establishments.  The pleasing restaurant on the seventh floor is unsurpassed by those of the latest modern hotels.  An auditorium, where local organizations meet, ample rest-rooms, and a distinctive personal service on the part of employees, are preeminent attractions contributing to that comfort and ease of the shopping public which make it something of a community center as well as a place in which merchandise is sold.

The architecture of the store interior is Spanish in general design.  The lighting features and furnishings enhance the beauty and harmony of the building interior.  The 18 elevators are massed lengthwise of the store in a way that is both unique and convenient.  Apparatus for cooling the air of the store in summer supplies refreshing relief to shoppers in the very hot weather.

Under its several names the Kresge Store has a history of nearly half a century.  It was started in a small way by Fox & Plaut back in 1870, when the horse cars rolled along Broad Street.  The first store was located on the north bank of the old Morris Canal.  Later it became L. S. Plaut & Company and continued under this name until purchased by Mr. Kresge in July, 1923.