The History of Kern’s Department Store

The Ernst Kern Dry Good Company, was a department store established in Detroit in 1883. In 1886, the original store was consumed by fire and was rebuilt at Randolph and Monroe. In 1900, the company purchased a five story building at Woodward and Gratiot to accommodate increasing business. After World War I, additional space was once again needed for expansion, and the department store acquired the adjoining nine-story Weber Building. In 1929, the store was demolished and a new store was erected. In 1957 the family decided to sell Ernst Kern Co., by then Detroit’s third-largest department store, to Sattler’s Inc. of Buffalo, New York. Following numerous corporate problems and changes in management, the store closed its doors for the final time on December 23, 1959.

The block was torn down in 1966, along with Detroit’s old City Hall, and the Paradise Building across the street, as part of Detroit’s downtown urban renewal. The site remained an undeveloped park until 1999, when the Campus Martius Park project began development. The former site of Kern’s is now occupied by the corporate headquarters of Compuware. Although the store may be gone, the beloved Kern’s clock has been reinstalled at the corner of Woodward and Gratiot Avenues in downtown Detroit. Information found at Wikipedia.com

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About Tom and Ann Gendich

Founders of Rochester Media. Looking to provide great local news to all people in and around Rochester and Rochester Hills. Send them a note at info@rochestermedia.com.

Comments

  1. it sits in my family room in grosse pointe shores mi. thank you

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