Harris & Frank

harris_and_frank_store_los_angeles

Leopold H. Harris opened his first haberdashery in the Plaza area of Los Angeles in 1856 before partnering with Herman W. Frank. In 1925 Harris & Frank moved into its handsome new building at 635-639 S. Hill St. In 1926 the pioneer retailer was to an eastern syndicate.

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The 8-story modern structure designed by Curlett & Beelman was the fifth home of the pioneer clothing retailer, which had been “growing as Los Angeles grew.” They celebrated the opening with a reception on November 8, 1925, featuring the Harold Roberts orchestra. H & F specialized in moderately-priced national-brand men’s apparel like Stein-Bloch. By 1926 they also had a women’s department.

harris_and_frank_los_angeles

11-2-1925 LA Times

Herman Frank arrived in Los Angeles from Walla Walla, Washington in 1887. He had been running H&F solo since the death of Leopold Harris, who had been his father-in-law as well as his business partner, in 1910. Now he was getting ready to retire. In October 1926, local merchants W.T. McDowell and Herman Politz negotiated a merger with Frank to take over a new “Harris & Frank Co.” The next month the newly formed company sold out to an eastern corporation.

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The merger negotiations didn’t affect 1926 Christmas sales

Frank retired from business in 1927 but remained active in Los Angeles civic and philanthropic circles. He returned to manage Harris & Frank in 1934, and saw the company through the dark days of Depression. He died in 1941 at age 81. Harris & Frank’s next big merger was in 1947 when it absorbed the Brook’s clothing chain. The 635 S. Hill store closed in 1950 when H&F relocated to the Brook’s former flagship store at 644 S. Broadway.

Top image: Pummer & Associates.

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