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Look Around a Grand Knoxville Department Store in 1955

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Welcome back to Monochromes, a Friday mini-series wherein Curbed delves deep into the Library of Congress's photographic annals, resurfacing with an armful of old black-and-white photos of architecture and interior design. Have a find you want to share? Hit up the tipline; we'd love to hear from you.


While this circa-1955 photographic tour of Rich's Department Store is unambiguously midcentury, the roots of the Atlanta-based franchise date back to the middle of the previous century, when it began as the dry goods store M. Rich & Co. in 1867. These photos, provided by the Library of Congress' Gottscho-Schleisner collection, show off the contents of a monolithic box in Knoxville, Tenn.: backlit credenzas holding ceramics, chandeliers and vases in the dining room, stacks of luggage seemingly plucked from the set of Pan Am, rows of hats, and—a total necessity in Tennessee—a room entirely dedicated to furs.

· Rich's Department Store in Knoxville, Tenn. [Library of Congress' Gottscho-Schleisner Collection]
· All Monochromes posts [Curbed National]
· All Dwelling posts [Curbed National]
· All 1950s posts [Curbed National]