Hecht-May Department Store, Howard Street at Lexington, June 1961.

Though it was never the most beloved department store in Baltimore—a distinction that usually goes to Hutzler Brothers—Hecht’s was nevertheless a formidable presence among the city’s many homegrown retailers. Founded by German immigrant Samuel Hecht in 1844, the Hecht Company operated several different retail establishments throughout downtown before relocating to its flagship Beaux Arts building on Howard Street in 1926. After World War II, Hecht’s was one of the first local retailers to expand into the suburbs, eventually going on to operate eighty- one stores throughout the mid-Atlantic and South.

(Take photo from the southeast corner of Howard St. and Marion St., looking northwest.)


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