More May Company Pics

We received a great response to our post last week about the remnants of May Company, including a few comments from people remembering the old department store. Here are a few of our favorites:

Wow does this bring back memories!! My mom and I used to shop here and Bullock’s Wilshire , Farmer’s Market, Canters. Ladies wouldn’t think of going shopping in slacks. We’d get dressed up and make a day of it. We weren’t even from LA. We came from San Gabriel Valley. Lots of good memories. I’m glad this is still here.

My father was one of the first employees when the store opened. He worked in the linen department, but soon after became the assistant buyer, then the buyer, and moved to the downtown store. We lived in Parklabrea, so the Wilshire store was convenient for him. Downtown meant a bus ride, then a drive when we got a secnd car. My mother and I did almost all our shopping at the May Co. Wilshire.
I was very happy when LACMA took over the building, saving an important historic landmark.


Brought back memories of working here, 1943 and 1944 after school (Hamilton High) and summer vacations. Was an elevator operator, chosen for “looks”, wearing a smart light brown uniform, and reciting what merchandise was on each floor. In summers worked at the information desk, and modeled in the Oval Room on Thursday evenings.


Do you have any memories to share about the May Company store? We’d love to hear them; leave them in the comments section below. Meanwhile, here are some more photos from behind the scenes.

This is where the telephone operators used to sit.

Ring before entering.

Elevator cable.

Bank teller windows.

Bank vault.

The floor pattern for the Craft and Folk Art Museum.

Escalator U

Old lubricant cans in the escalator room.

Giant gears.

Drop box in a stairwell; this is where you could deposit your May Co. payment.

Cold storage.

Again, is it just me or does this remind you of Dr. Strangelove?



Weight and pulley system.

Civil Defense door in the basement.

Meghan Moran

3 Responses to More May Company Pics

  1. Thea Page says:

    Grandma used to take me shopping there. The place was grand, solid, like one of Uncle Louis’ Cadillacs.

  2. My mom and aunt, as teenagers, got a summer job there and worked in the candy department on the first floor. In the first month they each gained around 30lbs eating the candy. Finally my grandmother told them they had to quit because of all the candy they were eating and their gaining so much weight. My mom and aunt are now in their 80′s and every time we pass the May Co. they recall this incident and say what wonderful candy it was!

  3. Kathy says:

    I remember when I was really young my Aunt in Ohio use to send use these chocolate snowballs she would get from their downtown May Company. I wish I could find those today, they were so good.

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