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Burdine’s: Gone Physically and Corporately PDF Print E-mail
Written by Paul S. George, Special to the BT   
May 2014

A view of our past from the archives of HistoryMiami

“TPix_PictureStory_5-14he Florida Store,” Burdine’s was an early Miami success story. Founder William Burdine moved his family and dry goods business from Bartow to Miami in 1898. His tiny store on Avenue D (today’s S. Miami Avenue) quickly outgrew its location, moving to 12th Street (today’s E. Flagler Street) in the early 1900s.

By 1912, the rapidly growing department store had moved into the city’s first “skyscraper,” a five-story building built by young Roddey Burdine, new leader of William Burdine and Son and a merchandising genius, following William’s death in 1911.

Burdine’s became one of the South’s top-grossing department stores by the mid-1920s. Soon there were additional stores, including Burdine’s Boulevard Shops, seen here, in 1929, on the newly extended Biscayne Boulevard near NE 14th Street.

William Burdine Jr., the firm’s vice president, explained that it was designed “to provide a convenient and accessible location for Miamians who go shopping in their cars, residents of Miami Beach, the Miramar, and northeast sections, and Burdine’s many customers who come here from various other Florida cities to shop.”

The building, with striking Art Deco details, was designed by Vladimir Virrick and Robert Law Weed. But the store’s opening coincided with the beginning of the Great Depression, and business slowed, prompting its closure in 1932.

The Sears Roebuck store, sitting next door, incorporated the Boulevard Shops into its store. It remained a part of Sears until that store’s closing in the early 1980s, and was finally razed to make way for the Adrienne Arsht Center.

In 2005, Macy’s, like Burdine’s a part of the large Federated Department Store chain, affixed its name to the more than 50 statewide Burdine’s stores.

 

To order a copy of this photo, please contact HistoryMiami archives manager Dawn Hugh at 305-375-1623, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

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