It started with a philosophy
At the laying of the cornerstone, US Senator Millard Tydings praised Hecht’s for its “do and dare” philosophy that led them to build the huge new warehouse, which “will stand as a monument to the business genius which has made America the country it is.”
— Washington Herald, 1936
The Hecht Company
A hustler to the core, Samuel Hecht, Jr., got his start on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay, peddling his wares from town to town. He eventually settled down, opening “Hecht’s Reliable Store” on Aliceanna Street in Baltimore. Samuel’s sons and grandsons grew the business over the following decades, until Hecht’s eventually became a major department store, competing with Saks, Sears, J.C. Penney, and other national stores. Though its 81 remaining stores were merged into Macy’s in 2006, the Hecht’s spirit lives on in Ivy City.
Home of the hard working
Long before the Hecht Warehouse was built, Ivy City was home to scores of workers on the nearby Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. Ivy City slowly grew into the neighborhood that its oldest residents fondly remember, with hard working families, neighborhood block parties, baseball teams, and bowling leagues.
This is one of DC’s smallest, oldest, and least-known neighborhoods—until now. What makes Ivy City so remarkable is its fierce resilience. When the tracks moved and the local train service left town, the neighborhood responded by becoming totally self-sufficient. When federal officials proposed a six-lane highway that would have ripped through Ivy City, residents came together to stop it. And when the Hecht Warehouse became vacant, a group of builders, shop owners, and restaurateurs came forward to fill the void. Through it all, the soul of this neighborhood has remained intact.
This is a place for the bold, a home for pioneers.