It had a tone of fun and amusement but there was also an air of elegance to the stores and so we had to dress up to shop there. Not quite wearing our crinolines, but no shorts or pants were permitted. We always parked in the rear of Hochschild’s because it was shady in the summertime and rarely congested like the front lots were. The escalator ride to the second floor toy department was a joyful ascent. They had the Tiny Tears doll that I coveted in 1957 and I would often visit her and dream of being her nurse. The Tommy Tucker Five and Dime was another favorite spot for children. They had all kinds of toys and novelties that were affordable for just about everyone. I wonder how many paddle-ball sets they sold in one year? Near Tommy Tucker there was a snazzy French restaurant called Mischanton’s where my school classmates would meet for Saturday lunch when we were old enough to dine without our parents. It had the hustle - bustle atmosphere of a Parisian Brasserie.
At the other end of the stretch, in front of Hess Shoe Store, were the mechanical horses one could ride for five cents. If you yanked back on the reins, the horse would go faster. Of course just about everyone remembers Hess Monkey Town. I have written about it here before and so will include a link to that.click on the painting of "Hess Monkey Town" to read more
And of course the gorgeous movie theatre was where we saw so many first run Disney films among others. There were many merchants displaying their wares and clothing. Some of them included Gammerman’s, Whalen’s, Food Fair, Reamer’s and many more that I need help remembering.
Christmastime at Edmondson Village was almost indescribably special. Every year on Thanksgiving night they would throw the switch to power lights strung across the rooftops and over the trees that grew near the brick wall by the busy Edmondson Avenue. Santa, as I recall, was driving his reindeer on the roof of Hochschild’s. What a splendid sight for everyone to see. It brought gawkers from everywhere in the Baltimore metropolitan area. The shopping center changed with the times. There was unbridled blockbusting which undermined the area beginning in the 1950’s. W. Edward Orser has written an excellent account of the history of the area his book “Blockbusting in Baltimore: The Edmondson Village Story."