I call Marks Isaacs Department Store "New Orleans' forgotten retailer." It is not even mentioned in the WYES series Where New Orleans Shopped. Do you have any information on the old landmark?
I'm sure WYES didn't intentionally neglect this fine old department store.
Marks Isaacs was founded in 1909 at 715 Canal St. It eventually expanded, and the address was 711-725 Canal St. In 1926, the store opened an annex of six stores on Royal Street between Canal and Iberville streets, but it was connected with the main store. The founder died in 1912, but the store continued to be family-owned and operated until it closed in the mid-1960s.
One treat you could buy at Marks Isaacs was Martha Washington Candy. The candies were made further up Canal Street, and Elie Sheetz sold them at the department store at Christmas.
The founding father of the store, Marks Isaacs, lived in a building I'm sure you know -- the splendid residence on St. Charles Avenue that is now the Milton Latter Memorial Library. The house was built for Isaacs and his wife in 1907. It boasted a third-floor ballroom and an elevator, and it was the epitome of opulence.
I know the Warehouse bar closed down, but does the building still exist? And do you know the address? I know (Doors singer Jim) Morrison damaged the floor there, and I am wondering if it's possible to see.
The place officially named A Warehouse was located at 1820 Tchoupitoulas St. and was so named because it really was originally just that: a warehouse built in the 1850s to store cotton and coffee.
From 1970 to 1982 A Warehouse was the place to be if you wanted to see the likes of the Grateful Dead and Fleetwood Mac, who played at the first concert on Jan. 30, 1970.
It was pretty dreadful when the place was full. Imagine 3,500 folks crammed together in an unair-conditioned warehouse. Most didn't seem to care, however, and they came back again and again to see performances by Pink Floyd, Chicago, Bob Marley, the Who, Kiss, ZZ Top and The Doors.
Jim Morrison played his last concert with The Doors at the Warehouse on Dec. 12, 1970. It was indeed an embarrassing time for the band when Morrison smashed a hole through the stage with the microphone stand.
I'm sorry you won't be able to see any damage done by Jim Morrison, because the building was demolished in April 1989. Perhaps, though, you might be interested in visiting his grave in Pere Lachaise cemetery in France. Jim Morrison died at age 27 on July 3, 1971 in Paris and rests with other greats such as Edith Piaf, Richard Wright, Oscar Wilde and many other artists, singers and writers.
Do you maintain an archive? I have misplaced some clippings of two old columns. I would appreciate it if you would send me a cut and paste of them by email.
Gambit Weekly maintains an archive that goes back to 2001. Just go directly to www.bestofneworleans.com and click on "Archives" in the top row on the right.
Your question gives me a chance to tell readers that Old Blake does not send personal responses to questions or requests for help with research. However, if you send a question, I'll answer it in my column in Gambit as soon as I can. Thanks so much for reading.