Skip to main content



The Hecht Company, last of DC's department stores

When Hecht's finally ceased to exist in 2006, it was more than just the end of one of Washington's oldest and most successful businesses. It was the end of large-scale, locally-owned retail as an industry. Other local department store giants, some of which we have previously chronicled, had already fallen: Lansburgh's in 1972, Kann's in 1975; Garfinkel's in 1990; and Woodies in 1995. For a long time, Hecht's bucked this trend. When the company built a brand-new, freestanding store downtown in 1985, it seemed to breathe new life into a tired enterprise and bolster the resurgence of downtown as a shopping destination. But nothing lasts forever.

Latest Posts

The rise and fall of Samuel Rutherford's National Benefit Life Insurance Company

Trinity Episcopal Church, once one of the city's finest houses of worship

The Long and Colorful History of the 14th Street Bridge(s)

The Many Lives of George Washington’s Townhouses on Capitol Hill

An Historic Synagogue in an Historic Neighborhood

Brentwood, an extraordinary estate in a changing countryside

A Closer Look: Washington's Notorious Rum Row, circa 1880

General Anson Mills And His Office Building on Pennsylvania Avenue

Ebenezer United Methodist Church, aka "Little Ebenezer," Turns 180

Douglas Row: the lost homes of politicians, generals, war wounded, and orphans