Thursday, December 20, 2007

Do You Remember?

The Open Air Post Office, at the corner of 1st Ave. North and 4th St., was considered a "tourist attraction" when I was a kid. I can remember my mom going there to buy stamps. Nowadays the building is still used, but the city's post office headquarters moved out to a new location on 1st Ave. N. near 34th St. Larry Britner sent this 1948 picture of the post office in the "old days" (or rather in our "young days".)
Jean Davis Brown remembers a guy who hung around the Open Air Post Office, dressed in a red women's outfit (usually shorts) and carrying a large purse. The tourists must have been thrilled.
The tall building in the background (for us in St. Pete, that was a "skyscraper") is the Rutland Building, owned by the Rutland family. On the first floor of that building, at the corner of Central and 4th St., was a chi-chi women's dress shop named "Ruth's". Ruth Rutland was the wife of Hubert Rutland. I believe that they owned a penthouse at the top of the building. The Rutland department store, well known for its ready-to-wear for both men and women, was a major member of the downtown retail market when we were kids. Competitors included Willson-Chase Department Store (our classmate James Willson was son of the owner) and Maas Brothers.


Jean Brown said...

I remember Ruth's store had those tubes that ran from the register area up thru the ceilings into the accounting department I guess where your $$ would go and your change would come back down the tube with a woosh like magic. Very fasinating to us kids.

lgbritner said...

Glad to see you got back in Jean. Must have been right after you e-mailed me within 10 minutes or so.

I don't remember those cash tubes you describe here in Florida, but then I didn't buy my little dresses at Ruth's; my little red shorts shoplifed off the racks at Kress's along with my little purse so that I could go stand around the open air post office as I so often liked to do, and whistling my little tune "Zippidy Do Dah".

I do remember them from Ohio though, and gees, I wonder where the drive-thru banking got their idea of how to get the money to the teller.