The company got its start as a dry goods store in a partnership between John Shillito and William McLaughlin and was established as the McLaughlin & Shillito Company in 1830. They operated out of a store on Fourth Street which was designed McLaughlin’s son James. In 1837 the partnership ended and the store became the John Shillito & Co. or more commonly known as Shillito’s. In 1930, Shillito’s was acquired by F&R Lazarus Company which became a founding partner of Federated Department Stores a year later. In 1982, the store became Shillito Rikes which was a merger between the two and in 1986, the store name changed to Lazarus. In 2005, the Federated Stores became Macys.
The John Shillito Building was designed by James McLaughlin and was built in 1878. This store was modeled after the famous Paris department store Le Bon Marche and its steel skeleton was a new innovation at the time and inspired the Chicago style of modern commercial architecture. The building once had a pressed brick façade but in 1937 the front of the store was reclad in a limestone Art Deco style. The old façade can still be seen on the South side of the building. In 1998 the building was converted to loft apartments.
John Shillito Company Building
675 Race Street, Downtown