Symons Department Store suffered two major setbacks before it moved into this longtime location in 1906. Founded by William and Henry Symons and J. E. and H. E. Oppenheimer in 1897, the original store building collapsed in 1898 during remodeling, when a structural beam was removed. Rebuilt in sixty days, that building served until 1905, when fire caused the store a $250,000 loss. But like the legendary phoenix, Symons rose again here in its magnificent new fire-proof home a year later. The store, which spread over the first three floors, then proclaimed itself the largest department store in the state. In 1922, Symons’ 300 employees honored their bosses with a bronze plaque and heartfelt cheers on the store’s twenty-fifth anniversary. Mayor James Cocking declared that the feeling between manager and laborer at Symons was “… in line with the new democracy among the working public….” The store stayed in business until 1964. Although brick and plate glass have replaced the original rusticated stone pillars and paned windows, architect Herman Kemna’s splendid turn-of-the-century design remains intact.