Atlanta History
1:04 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

In its Final Days, Rich's Exhibit Tells Story of the City

There’s Kaufman’s. Gimbel’s. Neiman Marcus. In the last century, a number of Jewish-owned department stores across the nation were economic powerhouses in their communities.

The South had Rich’s Department store, headquartered in Atlanta. Rich’s closed in 2005, but an exhibit at the William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum open through next Tuesday, May 27th  is exhibiting memorabilia from the store’s nearly 14 decades of existence, beginning with its start in 1867 as a dry-goods store on Whitehall Street.

Curators Catherine Lewis and Timothy Frilingos take the story from there, in this conversation at the museum with host John Lemley.

In the second part of our story, we take a look at Rich’s Magnolia Room. The iconic tea room was known as a ladies’ lunch spot, and was the site of bridal showers, luncheons and fashion shows. However, in the fall of 1960, The Magnolia Room became known as something else: the epicenter of Atlanta’s Civil Rights struggle. Curator Catherine Lewis told John Lemley the story.

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