Thursday, July 21, 2005


Jerome Prophet remembers the old Steinberg-Baum store that used to reside on the southeast corner of South Grand and Ninth Street (accross the street form The Georgian). He also uncovers what happened to the popular store.

I too remember going Steinberg-Baum's as a child. We lived fairly close so we wound up there quite often. But, for some reason, the thing I remember most was its going out of business sale in the early 1970s. Maybe it's because I had never experienced a liquidation sale before.

Anyway, I recall tons of people picking over discounted merchandise on rapidly emptying shelves. It all seemed so strange. In my young world that store had always been there, fully stocked and open for business. Now, it was emptying out, being pecked to death by shopping vultures.

Here's something I only now remembered: The Steinberg-Baum building, after the store was gone, became the first headquarters of the (then) new Illinois State Lottery. My memory is a little fuzzy on this, but didn't the State (or its landlord) tear down part of the old store because the Lottery didn't need all that space?

Anyone else remember Steinberg-Baum?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you know that WMAY actually did remotes from there while doing their Swap Shop program?

12:17 PM  
Blogger JeromeProphet said...

I remember that liquidation sale.
Yes, the building was used for State Lottery. But I didn't know about the WMAY remotes.

6:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved that store.. I got my first single lens reflex camera there while I was still in HS. It was a Yashica that used pentax-style threaded mount lenses. They didn't re-open the iris after the shot, you had to cock it manually. I lived about 35 miles away so it was a big deal back in the early 60s to make the trip into the BIG CITY to shop. I just recently ran across the flash that I got for it. I used those little AG-1 bulbs in it and it took an odd little 22 volt battery.

11:12 PM  
Blogger DownLeft said...

I just had a thought. The Operating Engineers Union Local in Springfield has built a lot of things here over the last 50 years or so. They have a lot of old photos and stories about what they've built. It would be cool if we could get them to contribute to this blog in some way.

2:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My mom use to buy all my dresses there for two bucks a piece she said. I do remember shopping there with her as a child.

1:50 PM  
Blogger Linda said...

Oh my yes, I remember! My parents owned a business close to S-B; I was in jr. high school in the days when girls went through a can of hairspray a week, so that's where I bought mine. I loved that store. So big, so many things to look at and a great way to spend an hour. Thank you for letting me remember.

2:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We lived in the 1000 block of so 9th street. I have a lot of memeories of this area of town. My brother and I used to walk there to spend our allowances. Also to Blalocks (sic?) where you could get a variety of inexpensive things. We attended Stuart School, and A&P Grocery Store was just across the street from the school. No-one seems to remember Stuart School. I have searched online for info for it.

12:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember Stuart School. I attended Butler Elementary 1964-66 and the principal at the time was a Mrs. Leasman (I really can't believe I even remember this!). Before coming to Butler she had been at Stuart School.

Does anyone remember Reddicks Candy on Lawrence, I think, near Hay Edwards School?

2:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too remember Stuart School. I attended 2nd and 3rd grade there in 1955 and 1956. My older brother was in the 8th grade at Stuart at the same time. Because the school is no longer there, there is not much information to be found on it unless you still live in Springfield and can do the research locally.

6:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone remember Palmer Grade School? And St. Peter and Paul Grade School. Went to Palmer in 1962 until 1964. St. Pete's in 1965.The old school before they tore it down to build the new one. I remember the old fire exscapes they had on the sides of the building. Had to slide down them. Any pictures???

11:07 PM  
Anonymous Keith said...

I remember Stuart School very well....I went there from Kdg to 6th grade (only went to 6th) From 1955 to 1961. Mrs Leesman...Mrs Byrd 3rd, Old lady Hankins (4th grade actually wasn't too bad) Mrs Carl 5th and Mrs Hayes 6th. Lot of great memories from there. I lived on 10th 1/2 Street behind the Stienberg & Baum store. We usde to hit golf balls across the track and hit the back of the store....we lived on the corner across the street from the lumber yard. Spent a lot of time in that the back they had arcade games. Send me an email if you went there... My name is Keith Moore

2:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I grew up on 12th and Southgrand ive seen ALOT of buisnesses in that area come an go SteinbergBaum ended up burning down i remember sitting on roof of house watching it burn IT was a HUGE fire we also had southtown grill Blalocks used to be movie theater where Madison furniture is now 15 cents would get you a movie popcorn and pop The first Den chilli parlor was there Now all the memories gone.

7:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anybody remember Sears being at 2nd and Southgrand? Walk in they had hot dogs roasted peanuts concesions

7:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And lets not Forget Jack robbinsons Burgers by the bag lol

7:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

jack robins OMG what agreasy spoon but delicious! Sure miss those times

12:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing..

10:00 PM  
Anonymous Allen Black said...

I lived at 1409 s 7th St (which became the A&P parking lot); the house was moved in the early 40's to 617 E Pine, and still stands;1214 S 7th St. was our final location in the vicinity. I attended 1937-1946. Miss Engleskirshen (sp?) was the principle followed by Mr Wentz. Teachers I recall were Miss Carrol, Miss Lawler, Miss Roberts, Miss McNutt, Miss Mischler. There were others, of course. Mr. Nail ("Tack) was the janitor.
Occasionally he had to climb onto the roof to clean gutters or adjust the slates. The playground was covered with cinders for a long time. At our first location, the Steak and Shake opened across 7th just before WWII started. At 6th and Grand was Helen's a florist run by Ruth Gillespie, a daughter from the Winch family. Spent many a hot summer night hearing the trains across 9th St.
I live in Anchorage, AK now.

3:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey remember the cobblestone streets? & Birney's grocery store right across the street from the Projects?

8:57 PM  
Anonymous Tom Herman said...

I went to Stuart School Kindergarten through 3rd grade. That would have been 1962-1965. One year short because I remember taking some sort of test at the beginning of my 1st grade year and they moved me up to 2nd grade. Don't remember any of the teachers' names but I do remember classmates John Schoen, Kevin Kellus, and Debby and Cheryl De Bartoli (sp)

8:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes I remember beals store and reckners. yummy buttercakes.

11:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I worked in the record department at Steinberg & Baums in 1969 and 1970. Fun place to work, but I never made much money because I was always buying records. I left for college after 1970. Made some great friends there and had some great after work parties. Greg Nergenah

9:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love looking at these comments. I've had a long radio career starting at WCVS in 1962 with Jim Palmer. We aired tons of Steinberg-Baum commercials over the years. The singer on the jingle was Joe Dowell who had the big hit "Wooden Heart" in 1961. I think he was from Eastern Illinois.
Jack Evans

2:41 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Does anyone remember Bob Lamount (sp) that worked for WCVS in like 1967? He also rode a Farris wheel to break a worlds record?

1:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember sally wards dry cleaners and the commercial (Don't forget to call Sally Wards) I went to Iles grade school and lived behind Steinberg Baums on South street.

8:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved that store. We lived in White Hall and it was so much fun to go there. Big city it was. And after that we would go down the street to Mellow Crème Donuts. That was the best trip.

Lowell Hansen

2:31 PM  

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