Macy’s closing downtown Portland store: ‘A bit of Oregon history is lost’

Updated 5:24 p.m.

If Pioneer Courthouse Square is the heart of Portland, the surrounding retailers are what makes it tick.

With Macy’s announcement Thursday that it will sell and close its store in the historic Meier Frank Building, the heart of Portland will beat a bit differently.

The decision marks the end of an era for building, which has housed a department store — first Meier Frank and later Macy’s — since 1909.

“A bit of Oregon history is lost,” said Gerry Frank, whose great-grandfather helped start Meier Frank in Portland in 1857. “It was a great institution. It was the heartbeat of Portland, and people came from all over the state of Oregon to shop there.”

Though the grand terra cotta shell of the store will remain, the last vestiges of a rich retail tradition – especially magical during the holidays – will probably disappear.

Shoppers will have one last holiday season to enjoy the festive window displays and

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