Sunday, March 30, 2008

Department Store Building of the Week, No. 2

This building once housed Atlantic City's only real department store, known for most of its career as the M.E. Blatt Co. Bertha and Samuel Braunstein opened a dry goods business on Atlantic Avenue around the turn of the century. At that time, Atlantic City had mostly small dry goods shops and a couple of branches of Philadelphia stores. The Braunsteins expanded rapidly and created the first metropolitan-style store in the resort. Son David Braunstein went into partnership with Max Blatt, who had been in various mercantile enterprises; Blatt quickly purchased the Braunstein interests and moved the store a block and a half east to this building at 1300 Atlantic Ave. at South Carolina Avenue. After Blatt's death, the store was sold to the Philadelphia-based Bankers Securities chain and operated briefly as a branch of N. Snellenberg & Co.; Snellenberg's collapsed in the early 1960s amid a strike and the stores were divided up among another related chain, City Stores' Lit Bros. So this building ended its mercantile career when Lits gave up in the late 1970s. It now houses various governmental offices.

No comments: