to Coulter's Dry Goods Collection
Whether one is a
spellbound tourist or a resident ordinarily indifferent to movieland
glamour, a tour of the fashionable Wilshire district of Los Angeles
proves an electrifying experience.
the smart shops is the splendid five-floor Coulter Dry Goods Co. at
5600 Wilshire Blvd. Let us leave our sedan in the spacious park and
stroll through the store's broad aisles between fascinating displays.
Would you suspect
that this ultra-modern 144 x 176-foot emporium had its humble beginnings
in a little 18 x 50 foot shop?
Truly, when B. F.
Coulter first opened his simple shop in 1878 Los Angeles was just emerging
from the Mexican pueblo chrysalis and unfolding its wings as a brisk
Mr. Coulter started
in the place in town suitable for store purposes. Since then the company
has thrilled and clothed four generations of Los Angeles womanhood ---
maids, clerks, skilled operators, professional women, co-eds, debutantes,
and matrons. Coulter's ever has been a store where ladies of fashion
and refinement could shop with ease and grace.
At all times Coulter's
has led the mercantile development of Southern California --- ever since
Mr. Coulter first opened his doors with merchandise worth a thousand
dollars on display.
has supplied the best merchandise and adhered to its basic principles
of TRUTH, HONESTY and FAIR DEALING.
has grown. Briefly, here are traced the movements and expansions:
1878. The first
store (18 x 50 feet) is established at Temple and Spring Streets ---
the present site of downtown Federal and Postal buildings.
1879. Larger quarters
(20 x 110 feet) are taken in the Baker Block, 332 N. Main St.
pioneers to Hollenbeck Hotel Block on Spring Street south of Second;
a 60 x 140-foot store.
1892. The firm is
incorporated with B. F. Coulter as president and his son Frank (who
has been with the firm since 1878) as vice president and general manager.
1898. The company
leads city-expansion by moving into a 120-foot frontage on Broadway
south of Third Street.
1906. The firm moves
into its own three-floor building on Broadway between Second and Third.
1917. The company
building takes four floors and occupies a quarter city block at Olive
and Seventh Streets.
1928. The Golden
Anniversary is celebrated.
moves to its present edifice in The Miracle Mile on fashionable Wilshire
Control of ownership
and management has always been vested in the immediate family. The three
presidents have been B. F. Coulter, his widow (who was his second wife),
and his son-in-law, R. P. McReynolds, M.D. The latter married Mr. Coulter's
only daughter, Frances--the child of his second marriage. Frank was
a son by Mr. Coulter's first marriage.
Before coming West
Mr. Coulter sold dry goods in Tennessee. His first western venture was
a hardware store. Later he invested in the Coulter Woolen Mills on Figueroa
near Fifth (whose waterpowered machinery wove native wool into blankets
to be distributed coast to coast) and the Arrowhead Hot Springs Hotel
Co. Coulter gave the Arrowhead region its name.
As an ordained minister,
Mr. Coulter was founder, pastor, and chief benefactor of the Broadway
Church of Christ. He also established thirteen missions.
In spite of its
seventy years, the Coulter Dry Goods Co. is not a store of yesterdays.
It is a store of tomorrows. It grows, expands,and serves the public
with increasingly greater usefulness.