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For more than 100 years, B.Siegel was one of Detroit’s finest women’s apparel stores out of this building on the southwest corner of Woodward Avenue and State Street named the Parker Block. Opening on Feb. 21, 1884, it initially housed M.S. Smith & Co., a jeweler and import shop.
Meanwhile, Benjamin Siegel had opened his clothing business in March 1881, and would relocate to this store in the fall of 1904.
The retailer eventually grew to eight locations, and the one at Livernois and Seven Mile helped give that stretch the nickname “the Avenue of Fashion.” The retailer had several bouts with bankruptcy throughout the early 1980s, and then closed this downtown location in January 1985 after water pipes burst.
An attempt to revive the brand and the downtown store failed. On Feb. 22, 1990, the building was destroyed by fire and demolished a few days later. The Gordon W. Lloyd-designed gem was one of the last cast-iron-fronted structures in the city. Today, as far as we are aware, only the Detroit Cornice & Slate Building remains of their kind. [Dan Austin of HistoricDetroit.org]