Zahn's Department Store, Racine, Wisconsin
Zahn Dry Goods was founded in 1898, by my great great grandfather, in the heart of downtown Racine, Wisconsin. It grew -- along with Racine -- for 80 years, evolving into Zahn's Department Store. Zahn's, typical of bygone local department stores of the 20th century, served as Racine's Gap, Target, Williams-Sonoma, Starbucks, Baskin-Robbin's, Hallmark, and Supercuts all in one. I grew up in Racine, curiously ambivalent to the store that carried my name. It closed unceremoniously in 1980, a casualty of suburban shopping center movement. I regret that I never explored the 4 floors of Zahn's with the appropriate historical perspective and appreciation.
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