Hudson's Cutaway - Like those "Castle" books, without the murder holes.

Today we bring you weary holiday shoppers a cutaway of the Hudson's department store in 1958 Detroit. Apparently, Hudson's used to be big stuff, rivaling Macy's for size and success. It was demolished in 1998, after spending some time in a state of abandonment. The drawing is by Michael Ramus, a career commercial artist who outlived the Hudson's building by seven years. His career consisted of work much like this, doing illustrations and paintings for LIFE and similar magazines. I don't want to think of how many hours it took him to finish this piece, or what it was like showing it to the editors of LIFE magazine for approval and revisions.
There's no viewing the detail without clicking through to the huge version. Incidentally, today's image is presented to you by the Images and Scanning Them department in extra-huge 8069x5492 dimensions. You may want to run out and buy a bigger monitor. Please enjoy scrolling around the picture to see all the whimsical little shoppers. Do not find waldo.

 Here's a photo of the Hudson's store in it's pre-implosion state. Much less rubbley. The idea of a massive department store where you can buy absolutely anything reminds me of the Monty Python sketch where Eric Idle buys a pet ant and names him Marcus. As he works his way through the store to find the pets department, he passes Carol Cleveland playing a woman shopping for a flamethrower.

Looking at the density of shoppers in this drawing makes me really glad I do all my Pointy Tree Day shopping on Asthmazon.

So what's there now? A parking facility. See? I wonder if Michael Ellis parks there.


Fil said...

that drawing is awesome. The 50s Sergio Aragones.

Steve Miller said...

Hudson's merged with Dayton Stores (or vice versa) and adjusted quite nicely to modern retail... surviving today as Target. Blowing up the home store is a good metaphor. Target is hardly yesterday's multi-story, full-line, city center anchor store. It's faster and lithe-r and, by comparison, staff-less. And likely soulless.

Excuse me now -- I have to go yell at the kids on the lawn.

PhilAreGo@gmail.com said...

Jeez. Pity about something interesting like Hudson's becoming something average like Target. Nice piece of info, you brought us, Roving Reporter Steve!

Sergio Aragones! THAT'S the guy I was trying to think of. Good pull, Fil!


Angela said...

Hudson's did merge with Dayton's, but didn't become Target. Dayton's and Target were owned by the same family, but the Dayton's/Hudson's stores were sold to Macy's. They're all Macy's now, and have lost their rustic old-money glamour.

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