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Blathering - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Filene's downtown is closing.

If you've never lived in Boston, that's probably an, "Ooo..kay." But jeez. Filene's. It's, like, an institution. Macy's bought the company, and there's a Macy's across the street, so they closed that shop. In Boston.


I went over lunch hour to use a gift card I got. It's overpriced even on clearance, so I guess I know that it couldn't survive, but, man...

I remember when AM&As closed in downtown Buffalo. It was hugely busy and not nearly as overpriced as Filene's, and the company who bought it swore up and down that they would never close the downtown store, yadda yadda. Well, I'm never shopping at the Bon-Ton, because it took them less than a year to break their promise. At least Macy's didn't promise not to close Filene's, they're just... closing it.

And there's this big empty building where an anchor of downtown business has been.

Now, unlike Buffalo (Bon-Ton: Killed Buffalo dead), it's unlikely to kill the Downtown Crossing neighborhood, which does still have Macy's, a mall, several popular clothing shops, and so on, but dang. Filene's. I haven't even been here all my life and I still feel this big hole in the city.
44 comments or Leave a comment
dreagoddess From: dreagoddess Date: February 3rd, 2006 04:17 am (UTC) (Link)
Why does Macy's have to buy everything out and destroy it? Marshall Fields, Filenes, Foleys. Sheesh.
caitie From: caitie Date: February 3rd, 2006 04:19 am (UTC) (Link)
Rich's too, right?
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in_a_tizzy From: in_a_tizzy Date: February 3rd, 2006 04:24 am (UTC) (Link)

New and a Bostonian

Hi. I friended you recently and failed to say anything about it. :D

I feel your pain. I hate when they make major changes downtown. I nearly cried when they took out the Copely movie theater.

I hate Macy's (which my mother still call Jordan Marsh even though Macy's bought them out 15 years ago). And I mean... what about the Basement? Filenes has literally been on that site for a century. It's so sad. Although there have been rumors of a Target going in there.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: February 3rd, 2006 04:33 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: New and a Bostonian

I forgot to ask. I asked the lady who checked me out what was going there, and she said it was still totally up for grabs.
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fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: February 3rd, 2006 04:33 am (UTC) (Link)
They also stay the same, and I'm getting damned sick of this change for the sake of changing. We need to stand athwart this and yell stop.
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angua9 From: angua9 Date: February 3rd, 2006 05:03 am (UTC) (Link)
Wow! Another cultural landmark gone.

When I went to Boston as a tourist, Filene's (and the basement) was one of the places we visited. I'm very sorry to hear it's closing.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: February 3rd, 2006 05:19 am (UTC) (Link)
I know! And it's not even doing badly. It just got sold. Sigh.
melyanna From: melyanna Date: February 3rd, 2006 05:26 am (UTC) (Link)
I felt the same way when it was announced that Marshall Field's would be changed to Macy's. It's not even that I shop at Field's a lot – it's just a Chicago institution. Marshall Field is an historical figure, not just a brand name. Kind of like Comiskey getting a corporate name – another piece of history getting sold to the highest bidder.
threnody From: threnody Date: February 3rd, 2006 05:54 am (UTC) (Link)
That's sad. I remember when Eaton's closed in downtown Montreal. And Simpson's. And Ogylvie's (which actually might still be open, I'm not sure). Tea rooms and rickety elevators with operators in plaid skirts and white gloves and elderly ladies wearing purfume and stoles. It's sad when something that's always been there goes away.

The Bay (As in Hudson Bay Company, fur trading people) has recently been bought by an American company, which has a lot of people (me included) concerned. They say they're not going to change anything, but I really don't believe them. :\
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: February 3rd, 2006 05:59 am (UTC) (Link)
It's wise not to believe them. They'll probably close it in six months. (Sorry, Bon-Ton holdover. Me? Bitter? Good G-d, I'm living in Boston six years, three before it in Albuquerque, and I'm still licking my Buffalonian wounds.)
From: myxginxblossoms Date: February 3rd, 2006 02:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
I went to Boston on an orchestra tour, and we went to Filene's to check out the bargain basement. I ended up buying my prom dress there for forty dollars. Even if they were overpriced, they were something of an institution, weren't they? I liked their stuff--it was pretty.

Similarly, my Marshall Fields is becoming a Macy's, and verily, I am pissed. Marshall Fields has always been this special place for me, and the fact that it'll be a Macy's is just wrong.
From: marciamarcia Date: February 3rd, 2006 02:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh my god. I read about that store in the Anastasia books when I was in grade school. Going to the Filene's in Chicago was extra exciting for that very reason. I've never even been to Boston and that makes me so sad.
greyathena From: greyathena Date: February 3rd, 2006 05:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
me too! (re. the Anastasia books).
megstuff From: megstuff Date: February 3rd, 2006 03:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh wow. Filene's is an institution even if you're not from Boston. Now I'm extra glad I made a point of going there on my one and only visit out there.
camry_1 From: camry_1 Date: February 3rd, 2006 04:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
Could I make you laugh if I told you that I'm originally from the San Francisco area, where Macy's at Union Square is where I LOVE to shop, and my maudlin nostalgia for that makes me wish Macy's would takeover where I am now, and San Francisco-ize my current life? Maybe you'd feel better if you could imagine yourself a longtime SF lover . . .
ncp From: ncp Date: February 3rd, 2006 05:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
God that sucks... Macy's bought out Marshall Fields over here in CHicago too. Stoopid conglomerates...

What's going to happen to the building? It's been an institution for, like... a century!
From: a_p_ Date: February 3rd, 2006 06:52 pm (UTC) (Link)

WHAT!?!?! They're closing Filene's? That's crazy!

Man, I was there all the time when I lived in Boston. Wow.

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: February 3rd, 2006 07:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
I know! I feel like I've gotten a good whiff of chloroform here.
sannalim From: sannalim Date: February 3rd, 2006 07:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
I read about the Macys takeover of Filenes in the St Louis newspaper when I was in St Louis over Thanksgiving weekend.

What this reminds me of is something that happened in Salt Lake a few years back. People in Salt Lake City like to say (though I'm not sure how true it really is) that ZCMI, which stands for Zion's Cooperative Mercantile Institution, was the first department store in the nation, since the co-ops from which the department store developed were established when the valley was first settled in the late 1840s. When I was a little girl, ZCMIs were the anchor stores for malls up and down the Wasatch Front. What ZCMI was, and what the acronym meant, was part of the cultural knowledge of the area. So when Meier and Frank bought out ZCMI about five years ago, and all the ZCMIs still around became Meier and Frank stores, it was rather sad. It was clear why that had to happen, but that didn't make it any less sad that the cultural institution that ZCMI had become was going to fade away.
nundu_art From: nundu_art Date: February 4th, 2006 01:24 pm (UTC) (Link)


What? No Filene's Basement? Where will I shop when I come to town now? Agghhh! Besides Mike's Bakery on the northend, it's my only reason to come to Boston!
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