‘I’m no horsie, I’m a mule,’ the huge animal said in a pleasant voice. So Gail obligingly said, ‘Hello, mule . . . ’ It pleased Gail when Francis told her he had a toy for her and a wrapped package came sliding down a chute into her hands. But not until after we had left did she think about investigating the contents . . . A dish of ice cream in a nearby drug store ended our afternoon of fun.
—Janice Fleming Ghetia, “Life With Baby,” November 15, 1951

W. T. Grant, 240 Euclid Ave. S.S. Kresge, 216 Euclid Ave. and 402 Euclid Ave. F.W. Woolworth, 306 Euclid Ave. and 1317 Euclid Ave. Richman Brothers, 736 Euclid Ave. and 2097 Ontario St. Newman Stern, 1740 E. 12th St. B.R. Baker, 1001 Euclid Ave. Bonwit Teller, 1331 Euclid Ave. Burrows, 419 Euclid Ave. and 1605 Euclid Ave. Cowell & Hubbard, Euclid Ave. at E. 13th St. Hobby House, 800 Huron Rd. Harry Jacobson, 413 Euclid Ave. Lane Bryant, 1021 Euclid Ave. Milgrim’s, 1310 Huron Rd.


Clevelanders were wowed by the downtown department windows at Christmas. Ron Newell, who was a window display designer for Halle Brothers, worked at the store from 1956 until Halle’s closed in 1982. He later became Halle’s Special Events Director. He discusses the philosophy of Christmas windows, and what made them so special.
For some of the smaller stores like Bonwit Teller, animation really wasn’t their thing. Each store sort of had its own color code, or its own palette. Some used aluminum Christmas trees when they came out in the sixties. Some went very, very avant garde and did extremely far-out windows for Christmas—and they worked. It didn’t matter what style you chose; as long as everything worked together, you had something. Higbee’s had its own style of doing windows, and so did Halle’s. A window has to have something for everybody when they look into it. You have to have somebody doing something—whether it’s the little guy hammering,

DRAMATIC DISPLAY: Higbee’s Nutcracker Window, 1979

MAKING THE SCENE: Ron Newell (left) with Christmas window model

TOP TREE: SterlingLindner Christmas tree postcards.

FOR FANS OF THE BIG TREE: Sterling-Lindner’s 60-foot-tall Christmas tree was decorated with 60 pounds of icicles, 1,500 ornaments, and draped with 1,000 yards of tinsel.

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