Keefe Family

Keefe’s Men’s Wear Miracle Mile History
In 1950 the firm of Sheldon-Thomas, Inc. bought the land from W.M. Livingston (Minneapolis) and S.F. Carmean (St. Louis Park) and requested a permit to build a 14-store shopping center, estimated to cost around $1 million. The plan was presented to the Village Council by a Phillip Neville. Despite a petition against the plan signed by 425 residents presented to the Village Council by attorney Hyman Edelman, the permit was granted on July 20, 1950. The subject of the objection was a 50-ft. driveway into Wooddale Avenue that was originally supposed to be part of a 100-ft. buffer strip between commercial and residential zoning. The President of Sheldon-Thomas was identified as Charles M. Redman (d. November 1, 1959).

Excerpt from Miracle Mile History

Keefe’s Men’s (and Students) Wear
5301 Miracle Mile: 1951-67.
This store (with W.T. Grant) was the second to open after Warner Hardware in June 1951. It was originally called John Keefe, Inc. Mr. Keefe, a graduate of the U of M, was described as having 20 years in the clothing business, the most recent at the New York office of the Dayton Company. He had also been associated with the Varsity Shop and Maurice L. Rothschild. The store was 20 ft. wide and 100 ft. deep, the last 40 ft. being storeroom space. The interior was decorated by Weidt Associates in white and pastels. In 1958 you could rent a tux for prom.

Excerpt from Miracle Mile Tenants.

Photos from about 1952
1955 photo courtesy Minnesota Historical Society, colorized by Emory Anderson
Interior of Keefe’s Men’s Wear. Left to right: Unknown, Byrne, Hugo, John

I remember going with my Dad and Mom on shopping trips to the store. While it was open, it was the only store my Dad bought his clothes at. I remember being very proud to see the Keefe name on the sign.

-Dinah Keefe

Our family visited the store on our visit in 1958, the first I can remember. The time before that was 1951 when I was only two years old. When we visited in 1958 it was called Keefe’s Men’s Wear. Byrne and John were both there. That was also the visit when your dad took the three of us and at least a couple kids from your family on a boat ride in a motorboat he borrowed from a friend. That was our first time in a motorboat so it was pretty exciting!  My parents were probably delighted to get a few hours of free time without the kids!

-Peter Whittredge

I remember the store and the display window. I was born in 1950. We moved from 51st and Sheridan to Ashley Road in 1956. The drive from Ashley to the store, on Excelsior Blvd was single laned and canopied by elm trees on both sides of the road. The phosphates at the counter in Snyder’s were tasty. Later I “manned” the floor at the store, worked for both my Dad and Uncle Byrne, bought cigarettes at Snyders for 27 cents a pack, and found that girls my age tended to work at the dry cleaner’s a couple of doors down.

-Danny Keefe

Ahh, memories!  I worked in the store, too.  Father’s Day was especially fun -all those ties!  And wrapping them in paper.  I don’t think I worked there after Byrne joined.  I think I was living in Washington.

-Mary J Keefe

Facebook post from 2014