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Nathan Goldblatt

Nathan Goldblatt was born on March 24, 1895 in Stashov, Poland, and came to United States in 1904. As recent immigrants from Poland, the Goldblatt family ran two businesses, a butcher shop and a grocery store on the west side of Chicago. When Nathan and his brother Maurice were teens they worked at the Iverson department store in Milwaukee Avenue, where they sold piece goods and shoes. In 1617 the Goldblatt brothers opened their first tiny store together on Chicago Avenue near Ashland Avenue with a budget of five hundred dollars. To benefit their customers the store was opened at 7 a.m. to late in the evening. At the end of the store’s first year, the sales totaled fifteen thousand dollars. With this money they were able to buy an adjoining lot and double the size of their store.

In 1928, they formed the Goldblatt Brothers Inc. and expanded their store. Even during the Great Depression in 1930s, Goldblatt’s store was able to make enough profit, to stay in business, allowing the brothers to purchase smaller department stores and even develop their brand. By 1946 Goldblatt had owned fifteen stores with an annual sixty-two millions in sales.  As the years passed Goldblatt’s growth was beginning decline in the face increasing competition. New chain stores like Kmart and Sears found their ways to the suburbs where the middle class people lived, proved to be a difficult obstacle for Goldblatt’s company. In the end, Goldblatt reopened six stores, with a new goal to appeal to poorer families.

Goldblatt’s flagship store was sold to the City of Chicago by Mayor Jane Byrne as a public library, which was later sold to DePaul University as the Harold Washington Library. In the 2000’s Goldblatt’s company finally came to a closure, as the company was liquidated. Nathan Goldblatt died on November 3, 1944 in his home located on Sheridan Rd, Wilmette.  Goldblatt was ill for many months as he spent three weeks at the Mayo clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.  His brother Maurice Goldblatt founded the Cancer Research Foundation in 1954 ten years after Nate’s death. Many years later, the Nathan R. Goldblatt School was established near west Adams Street.



Works Consulted:

Hampson, Philip. “CHICAGOLAND WEEK IN REVIEW.” Chicago Sun-Times. N.p., 17 Aug. 1986. Web. 16 July 2014.

“History / Cancer Research Foundation / Research – The Best Hope Against Cancer.” Cancer Research Foundation / Research. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 July 2014.

Lynn, Taylor. “Goldblatt Store Stirs Memories.” Chicago Tribune. N.p., 12 June 1969. Web


— Dawn Xiong

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