Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Marshall Field's (later Kaufmann's and Macy's), Columbus City Center, Columbus, Ohio. (Various Sources)

Macy's (former Marshall Field's and Kaufmann's), Columbus City Center, Columbus, Ohio. Mall entrance, Holiday 2006 (Karl Kuntz, Columbus Dispatch)

Marshall Field's (later Kaufmann's and Macy's), Columbus City Center, Columbus, Ohio. Exterior entrance during conversion to Kaufmann's, 2003 (James D. DeCamp, Columbus Dispatch)

Marshall Field & Company made their second debut in Central Ohio in August 1989 as one of the anchors of Columbus City Center, a large urban renewal project in Columbus highlighted by a 1.3 million square foot enclosed mall connected to the existing flagship Lazarus store. The three-level Field's covered approximately 200,000 square feet and featured a two-story atrium with a prominent clock tower.

The location of the new store, at 3rd & Rich Streets, was very near the site where the former flagship store of The Union stood. The Union was a Columbus-based department store chain that was purchased by Marshall Field in 1980. It was located at the intersection of Town & High Streets, across from Lazarus. Field's itself changed owners shortly after the transaction, and The Union was briefly merged with Field's Cleveland-based division Halle's before closing for good by 1983.

Shortly after the City Center location opened, Marshall Field's was sold again, to Dayton-Hudson Corporation (now Target Corporation). Dayton-Hudson added a second Field's location at the nearby Tuttle Crossing mall in 1996, and operated both stores until 2003, when they were sold to May Department Stores and renamed Kaufmann's, as part of the Pittsburgh-based chain's foray into the Columbus market.

In 2005, Federated Department Stores (parent of the Columbus-based Lazarus and Macy's chains) purchased May Department Stores and eventually divested the Kaufmann's store at Polaris Fashion Place (opened in 2001, prior to the Field's transaction). The City Center and Tuttle Crossing stores were converted to Macy's, and ironically the new Macy's was on the opposite end of the mall from a recently closed Macy's location that was formerly Lazarus.

In September 2007, citing a sales slide due to failing fortunes at City Center, Macy's announced that it was closing its City Center location, with a final closing date just before the holiday season.

Special thanks to Friend of LiveMalls Aryan666 for additional historical information.


  1. Two minor corrections to your article:

    1. Last time I was at Tuttle, Macy's still operated two stores at the mall, ostensibly because deed covenants required them to keep the store in operation.

    2. The Union flagship building actually sat directly across from Lazarus at Town & High. The closing Macy's store sits at the other end of the mall at 3rd & Rich Sts.

    It can now be said that the mall is officially a dead mall. The eviction hearing is next week and given that Simon has skipped three (3) months rent to the city, it's a good bet that the city gets back the mall in a few weeks.

    What remains to be seen is if Columbus will have any recourse against the mall owners for remaining lease payments or the cost to demolish the mall. I wouldn't be surprised if the cost of demolishing the mall didn't run into the millions.

  2. Thanks for the edits. I knew I needed help on a few details ;-)

    The City of Columbus will most definitely do a better job with the place than Simon did. Simon didn't even try to revive the place. It's a shame. This was such a cool mall before, one of my favorites, in fact. I think I still have one of the shopping bags.

    Even though it's going to cost a bundle to get rid of City Center, hopefully opening up the grid again will encourage some new downtown development that's more fitting to the area.

  3. It was obvious that the Macy's was on its way out ever since last year when all of the Kaufmann's were coverted to Macy's and they just threw a temporary Macy's tarp over the Kaufmann's sinage. Not exactly a vote of confidence in a store's future if you don't install permanent sinage.

  4. True. It was obvious this store was not long for this world.