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Old 08-08-2014, 08:03 PM
 
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Remembering additional stores:
Johns Bargain STore
Janet Shoppes
Queens Palace (up the stairs)
Ideal Shoppe
Mann's Millinary
Woolworths
Vogue Shoes (Mr. B)
Golden Jewelers
Boises
Art Store on Somerset St (name?)
Wald Drugs
Arthurs
Fabric Land (moved to highway)
Waltons Leather Goods
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Old 08-23-2014, 03:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sp angel View Post
I've been reminiscing about plainfield in the 60s, trying to remember all the old stores. Anyone have any recollections?
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2008
Department Store Building of the Week, Vol. 15 Teppers plainfield nj

The Tepper's Inc. building at 107 W. Front St. in Plainfield, N.J., has been turned into housing and shops. Tepper's was one of three large department stores in Plainfield, which was both a small regional city and an upscale North Jersey suburb. Rosenbaum Bros. eventually became part of the R.J. Goerke operations referred to in many of these past department-store posts. Later, Bamberger's also opened a downtown store there. Plainfield was the largest downtown in North Jersey west of Newark. Racial rioting in the 1960s led white middle-class shoppers to shrink away in fear. Even the Plainfield Courier-News famously moved to Bridgewater Township and tried for years to have as little identification with Plainfield or Union County as it could.

In many department store families it is clear that there was one member of the family who either wanted to strike out on his own, or was encouraged to do so. Perhaps he wanted to be the leading partner and the other relatives did not agree; perhaps the other relatives simply thought he was a doofus. A family feud of this sort split the Kaufmann family that owned Pittsburgh's largest store, and renegade Kaufmanns started their own store, Kaufmann Looby and Baer Co., which later became Gimbel Bros.' Pittsburgh outpost. Edgar Kaufmann, who emerged in control of the original Kaufmann's, was the one who engaged Frank Lloyd Wright to build Fallingwater.

I have no idea what happened within the Tepper family except that while Max and Adolph Tepper established and ran what was then called Tepper Bros. in Plainfield -- Joe stayed in New York City -- Jacob Tepper removed to Fort Wayne, Ind., in the 1910s. Fort Wayne was a city that attracted migrants from the East; it was the last big city before Chicago on the direct train line from New York, so quick connections with Manhattan were available. (The Latzes, who for decades owned Wolf & Dessauer in Fort Wayne, were also migrants from New York City.) Jacob Tepper tried to make a go of it with a department store in Fort Wayne, but it did not work out. The Tepper family also briefly had a store in New Brunswick. Eventually Jake Tepper returned to New Jersey and started the Tepper Bros. store in Asbury Park in the 1930s. But that was not part of the main Tepper operation in Plainfield.

Tepper's had a furniture and home furnishings store on Route 22 as well. Ben Tepper, son of Adolph, led the store into the 1970s.

Downtown Plainfield was in a curious location. You can see a small creek right behind the Tepper building. The buildings on the other side of that creek, which appear to be an extension of downtown, are actually in the separate community of North Plainfield, in Somerset County. So the center of downtown Plainfield was one city block away from not being in Plainfield. There are lots of adjacent twin cities -- Lewiston-Auburn, Benton Harb0r-St. Joseph, Fargo-Moorhead -- but usually the line between them is more than a creek one could jump over. Even in Champaign-Urbana, where the line is simply a line on a map, the downtowns are a mile apart. This is about as close as you can cut it.

Posted by Davisull at 10:00 AM
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19 comments:
Carol said...
I remember Teppers well....my parents recently passed away and I have found an original credit card plate. Anyone interested in it?
Carol...swim51@aol.com
May 4, 2009 at 10:43 PM
Anonymous said...
I remember it too. When I was in grade school in the mid-60's, my friends mom worked at Tepper's. On the weekend, we used to pay 35 cents for the bus ride down route 28 to go to the "big city" of Plainfield to hang out in the stores, and then have lunch at the Capitol Cafe.

Do you remember the trolley tracks that were still on Front Street back then? I've been trying to remember the name of the Chinese Restaurant on Front Street, it was fairly nice. Back then, it was the only one around. We never ate at the restaurant, but I remember we got take out from there on a rare occasion.
August 21, 2009 at 2:01 AM
SandorMax said...
Poor old man Tepper ran me off the road back in the 80's on the border of Middlesex and Bound Brook, on Route 28. I ended up in a hydrant - the man must have been pushing 90. Nice guy though.
February 7, 2010 at 11:27 PM
MarieR said...
I grew up in Plainfield and also remember Teppers' well. That's where my Brownie uniform came from. And I remember the trolley tracks and the chinese restaurant, although the name escapes me. Plainfield used to be a lovely place to live. I'm still angry over the fact that they got away with destroying an entire city. What an awful waste.
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Old 08-23-2014, 03:38 PM
 
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go to plainfield library manymany pictures of plainfield nj
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Old 01-09-2015, 09:29 PM
 
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John's Bargain Store, Baracinni Candy, Arthur's, Texas Wieners, Steinbach's, King's, Bonded Jewleres, Plainfield Music, Tappin's (not Teppers) Lechee Chinese, Liberty Theater, R&S Auto, Robert Hall, Sears, Plainfield Tobacco, Fred Lippet, to name a few more.
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Old 01-09-2015, 09:42 PM
 
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John's Bargain Store, Baracinni Candy, Arthur's, Texas Wieners, Steinbach's, King's, Bonded Jewleres, Plainfield Music, Tappin's (not Teppers) Lechee Chinese, Liberty Theater, R&S Auto, Robert Hall, Sears, Plainfield Tobacco, Fred Lippet, Conc D'Ora Restaurnt, Matthew Furniture, Thomas Furniture, Florscheim Shoes, Globe Shoes, Boise Stationary, Suburban Jewlers, Plainfield Jewlers, Ben Franklin Liquors, Rapps Pharmacy, Scotts Pharmacy, Mrs. Sara's Readings, Grunnings, Good Year Tire, Plainfield Taxi, Western Union, to name a few more.
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Old 01-11-2015, 12:46 PM
 
Location: North Oakland
9,001 posts, read 8,337,205 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carmenscialla View Post
John's Bargain Store, Baracinni Candy, Arthur's, Texas Wieners, Steinbach's, King's, Bonded Jewleres, Plainfield Music, Tappin's (not Tepper's) Lechee Chinese, Liberty Theater, R&S Auto, Robert Hall, Sears, Plainfield Tobacco, Fred Lippitt, Conca D'Oro Restaurnt, Matthew Furniture, Thomas Furniture, Florsheim Shoes, Globe Shoes, Boise Stationery, Suburban Jewelers, Plainfield Jewlers, Ben Franklin Liquors, Rapps Pharmacy, Scotts Pharmacy, Mrs. Sara's Readings, Grunings, Good Year Tire, Plainfield Taxi, Western Union, to name a few more.
I loved Conca D'Oro. I used to get two slices and a Coke for $1.00, and leave a .50 tip for Carole, every Saturday afternoon and/or Thursday night, when I would go downtown to buy records at Brooks' Record Shop. If someone was with me, we'd get a whole pie. "Conc's" has been my lifelong standard for how pizza should taste.

My mother had been "such good friends" with one of the Lippitts (Fred?) when they were young. She shopped for our clothes there, Tepper's, or Bam's; when I was old enough to pick out my own stuff, I went to the Surprise Store, the Army-Navy Store, and Park Gentry, and continued shopping at Tepper's, where I bought my sweaters. I bought my ID bracelets as well as the first ring I bought for a girlfriend (green star sapphire) at Suburban Jewelers. Stationery-wise, we were a Lazaar's family rather than Boise's, IIRC. We went to Scott's or Grand Drug rather than Rapp's.

I hung out at Gruning's sometimes on Sundays. Better cheeseburgers than at Frontier Diner, but I went to Frontier and the Sleepy Hollow Luncheonette more often. They were right next to Brooks' Records, and the hippies hung out at Sleepy Hollow. I had such a crush on a guy who hung out at Sleepy Hollow.

Does anyone remember that Mrs. Sara's was supposedly a house of prostitution?

Last edited by jay5835; 01-11-2015 at 12:57 PM..
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Old 01-11-2015, 06:59 PM
 
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I remember going to Teppers as a little girl - the building had an elevator and an attendant that announced every floor - stores had real customer service back then. Plainfield is now a drug infested hell hole.
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Old 01-12-2015, 06:45 AM
 
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Whats sad to me isnt remembering how swell downtown Plainfield was, its the fact that in almost 50 years since a race riot,their hasnt been a damn thing done to clean up this area and restore it.Does anybody find it disturbing that the other side of this town is mansions and affluent people and no one does anything! Thats whats sad to me.
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Old 01-12-2015, 04:29 PM
PDD
 
Location: The Sand Hills of NC
8,776 posts, read 14,372,822 times
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Originally Posted by Sugashane View Post
Whats sad to me isnt remembering how swell downtown Plainfield was, its the fact that in almost 50 years since a race riot,their hasnt been a damn thing done to clean up this area and restore it.Does anybody find it disturbing that the other side of this town is mansions and affluent people and no one does anything! Thats whats sad to me.
Back in he sixties the "unhappy" residents thought it was a good idea to stomp a cop to death and start looting all the stores, (that always solves everything) So the affluent people living in Sleepy Hollow closed up and moved their stores and moved out of the mansions to Watchung and Warren. What you have living in the mansions now are old Plainfield residents who still think it's the Queen City and are to old to move. Those mansions are selling for a fraction of what they would if the riots and evacuation of the wealthy had not taken place. The only way Plainfield could ever come close to what it once was would be if the "unhappy" residents all moved away.
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Old 01-12-2015, 05:00 PM
 
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Originally Posted by PDD View Post
What you have living in the mansions now are old Plainfield residents who still think it's the Queen City and are to old to move. Those mansions are selling for a fraction of what they would if the riots and evacuation of the wealthy had not taken place.
Those old mansions are also occupied--to a fairly significant extent--by affluent younger gay "urban homesteaders" who saw relative bargains, and snapped them up. I agree overall with your observations, but your impression of who occupies those old mansions is a few decades out of date.

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