It was surprising in May 2013 to get an inquiry from a contractor about a building that was designed more than 30 years ago. During the 1970’s Joel Ives, AIA Architect designed 20 full size stores for the Mercantile Stores Company. The stores were located from coast to coast. Mercantile Stores Company Inc. until 1998 was a department store retailer operating 102 fashion apparel stores in 17 states. The stores were operated under 13 different nameplates with the average approximating 170,000 sq ft. Stores the Ives office designed included Bacon’s, Castner Knott, Gayfers, , Hennessy’s, J. B. White, The Jones Store Company, Joslins, Lion Store, McAlpin’s,
In May 1998 Mercantile Stores was acquired by Dillard’s of Little Rock, Arkansas, for $2.9 billion. Dillard’s sold off many of the acquired locations.
A call came in requesting information on a Castner Knott store in Decatur, Alabama. The Ives firm had designed stores for Castner Knott in Nashville, Tennessee, Bowling Green Kentucky and Tullahoma, Tennessee. The buildings still stand however; in the volatile retail world have changed hands many times.