Hutzler Photograph Collection - PP5

Hutzler Photograph Collection - PP5
Maryland Historical Society
Photograph Collection Inventory List
Special Collections Department
201 West Monument Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21201
410-685-3750 x359; [email protected]

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Title: Hutzler Photograph Collection, ca. 1850-ca. 1990


The Hutzler Brothers Company department store was founded in 1858 in Baltimore by Moses Hutzler (1800-1889), who came to Maryland from Hagenbach in Bavaria, Germany in 1838. Moses owned his own store on Eutaw Street before opening up a store in 1858 at Howard and Clay Streets for his son, Abram, who at age 23, was not old enough to secure credit.

In 1867, Abram brought his brothers, Charles and David, into the business. David looked after the Howard Street location while Abram and Charles opened a wholesale business on Baltimore Street. After the Civil War, the brothers realized the retail store was more lucrative and expanded the Howard Street location from 1874 to 1887.

As the company expanded, the Hutzler brothers decided they needed to create a new space, leading to the construction of the Palace Building on Howard St. by 1888. Designed by leading Baltimore architects, Edwin Baldwin and Josiah Pennington, this building became the nucleus of a complex that would develop over the next 60 years.

Louis S. Hutzler took over the company in 1901. The company was officially incorporated as the Hutzler Brothers Company in 1908. In 1916, a five-story structure was opened on Saratoga Street, which expanded in 1924 to a ten-story building. Albert Hutzler Sr. took over as President in 1919 followed by Charles G. Hutzler II in 1926.  Hutzler’s famous Art Deco structure was added to the original Hutzler Palace in 1932.

By the 1940s Hutzler’s downtown complex was comprised of six stores including parking facilities, an underground tunnel connecting to the Saratoga St. store and offices.
After World War II, Hutzler’s kept up with the suburbanization of the Baltimore metropolitan area and developed the Towson store in 1952 at Dulaney Valley and Joppa Road followed by the Eastpoint store in 1956 at Eastern Avenue and North Point Road. In Hutzler's centennial year, 1958, the Westview store opened at the intersection of Baltimore National Pike (Route 40) and the Beltway. Centennial celebration activities went on throughout the year in 1958, a highlight being a Centennial Exposition in late February at the Main (Howard Street) store featuring exhibits and demonstrations.

Suburban expansion continued in 1965 with the Southdale Shopping Center in Glen Burnie. In the 1970s, Hutzler’s started struggling. An Inner Harbor location was opened in 1980 without much success. After looking for outside help, Angelo Arena was brought in as president in 1983 and he reopened the downtown Palace location in 1985.

But Hutzler’s could not adjust to Baltimore’s changing demographics and struggled with high inventory levels and cash flow problems. Starting in 1987, Hutzler’s started closing down each branch. The Towson location was the final store to close in 1990. The company ended quietly, liquidating its assets without declaring bankruptcy.

Collection Origin:

Gift of Hutzler Brothers Co., 1980 (76148) and 1990 (002845).

Scope and content:

The collection consists of approximately 2748 items including photographs, drawings, cartes de visites, cabinet cards, lantern slides, and film housed in 30 boxes, created in ca. 1850-ca.1990. Many items are undated. The Blakeslee-Lane photography studio made many of the photographs. There are also some photographs and lantern slides made by Barnett & Jaffe baja, Alexandre Georges Photography, Rettberg Brothers Photography and J.H. Schaefer and Son Photography.

Subjects encompass many aspects of the Hutzler Brothers and Co. department store on Howard St., as well as branch stores at Towson, Eastpoint, and Westview. Images include buildings, aerial views, retail departments, merchandise and displays, service vehicles and buildings, events in the stores including anniversary celebrations, fashion shows, and seasonal or theme events, and activities in the store during World War II. There are portraits of Hutzler family members as well as cabinet cards and cartes de visites of unidentified people. Some events featured local and national celebrities such as Buddy Deane, Johnny Unitas, WBAL-TV personalities, and Lauren Bacall. There are also images of typical Baltimore scenes and subjects, evidently taken for Hutzler's publications, including crab cookery and feasts, Pimlico horse races and sports teams such as the Orioles, Colts and Bullets with fans celebrating victories. There are also architectural sketches of Hutzler buildings and etchings by Emily Krize and Anne Didusch.

Identification of people, places, and dates are uneven across the collection. For those photographs which were already identified on the reverse of the image, or which could be identified in the course of processing, there is often ample information. However, many of the photographs remain unidentified and undated.

Arrangement also poses difficulty in this collection. The order of the collection has been unaltered as it was found in 2013, with the exception of removing ephemera of non-photographic material. However, given the breadth of subjects in the collection, and the random nature of the original organization, the boxes are not organized according to subject categories or by material. 

Note: Related materials are found in the Manuscripts Department of the Maryland Historical Society: MS. 476 and 476.1, the Hutzler Papers; and in MS. 2691 and 2746, the Hutzler Brothers Company Papers and Supplement.

A collection level finding aid was created by Katherine Cowan with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in March 2000. Processing was completed in 2013 by Joe Tropea, Lauren Davin, and Sarah LaCorte.

For information about how to purchase digital reproductions and for permission information, please visit the Rights and Reproductions page.

Container List

Hutzler Photograph Collection Boxes 1-5

Hutzler Photograph Collection Boxes 6-10

Hutzler Photograph Collection Boxes 11-15

Hutzler Photograph Collection Boxes 16-20

Hutzler Photograph Collection Boxes 21-25

Hutzler Photograph Collection Boxes 26-30