6th Street and Nicollet Avenue: Before the chains rolled in and shoved out all the local players, retail establishments had proper names. Benton's. Dayton's. Rothschild. If you saw Rossman's, it was likely there was an actual Rossman upstairs in the office, worrying over the receipts or arguing with a factory rep on the phone.
Rossman's "Store of Tomorrow" opened in April 1941 on the corner of Nicollet and 6th, in the Syndicate building. It was an old structure, built in 1883; the corner had housed the Standard Clothing store until its demise in 1940. The Rossman brothers, John and Eli, poured more than $135,000 into the renovation ($2.6 million in modern dollars) and gave downtown Minneapolis an up-to-date storefront. Limestone faced the corner; bronze trim provided contrast. Inside, "Scientific Management" and "Creative Designing" gave shoppers a modern experience, as the ad described: "Here Summer or Winter you will be able to enjoy the most modern air-conditioning; you will be served from the newest store fixtures; and you will 'see what you see' under miraculous fluorescent lighting — the veritable modern Aladdin's Lamp."
The brothers' first men's clothing store opened in St. Paul in 1914. A second location followed two years later at 5th and Hennepin, which closed when the Store of Tomorrow opened. By 1955, newspaper photos of the corner show the Rossman name was gone, replaced by another. Some guy named "Penney."