The Iconic Sterling Lindner Davis Christmas Trees

December 23rd, 2012 Posted in Antiques and Vintage, Downtown

If you’ve spent any amount of time in Cleveland for the Christmas holiday season, no doubt you’ve heard of the spectacularly huge Sterling Lindner Davis Christmas trees of the downtown store. Although the store closed in 1968 (and the building was torn down to become a parking lot- one of the city of Cleveland’s poorer decisions), it is still legendary for its holiday decor.

 The store moved into its 1215 Euclid Avenue building in 1909, where it remained until the ’68 closing. The tradition of the Christmas tree began in 1927.

1933 Christmas tree

Most of the trees stood between 50-60 feet. Amazing. Norway spruces were most often used.

They were the largest indoor trees in the country.

1936 Christmas tree

The decorating of the trees took “1000 yards of silver tinsel, 60 pounds of tinfoil icicles and 2500 ornaments.”*

Because fire regulations prohibited the practice of placing lights in the trees, they were lit with floodlights. To decorate the tree each year, it took 650 man-power hours!


Decorating the tree…whew!

 Which is your favorite?

1940 Christmas tree


1952 Christmas tree


1954 Christmas tree


1955 Christmas tree


1958 Christmas tree


1959 Christmas tree


1960 Christmas tree


1962 Christmas tree


1966 Christmas tree


1967 Christmas tree- the LAST one


[1, 2-11, 12, 13,14, *]


2 Responses to “The Iconic Sterling Lindner Davis Christmas Trees”

  1. Ann Klicar says:

    My grandmother would always take me Christmas shopping in the late50′s- early 60′s First and last stop was SLD, to buy an ornament in the Trim a Tree shop. I still have a beautiful HUGE red globe from back then. It’s on my tree.
    Ann Klicar
    Downers Grove, Illinois
    Thanks for the memories

  2. Hal Schroeder says:

    Thank you for showing these historic photos. I worked for Sterling Linder from 1958 to 1968. During that time I had the opportunity to help decorate each of those trees. When I became the store’s Operation Manager, one of my jobs was to pick out the tree with the help of the Davey Tree Co., they were the last two. An enlarged photograph that was given to me by Agnes Brodie the Adver. Dir., I have donated to Cleveland State Historical Dept. I have some great memories from working in that store, if can be of any help on this subject please contact me.

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