Sign up for Hirshfield's
e-mail Newsletter and stay up to date on the latest in home decorating fashions.

About Hirshfield's

Painting History
for 110 Years

1894: Frank & Elizabeth Hirshfield open the 1st Hirshfield's store at the corner of Washington & Broadway in Minneapolis with a $100 loan. Frank, a German immigrant and a skilled craftsman, does wallpapering while Elizabeth manages the day-to-day operations of the store. They live in the back of the store.

By 1916: Frank & Elizabeth move the store to a new location on 8th Street, next to Dayton's Department Store, and are now marketing the sale of paints and wallpaper directly to consumers. They guarantee every item they sell!

1924: Frank refocuses the company from contracting to the wholesale and retail sale of wallpaper and paints. Hirshfield's becomes a distributor of O'Brien Paints & Varnishes - a relationship that will continue for 75 years!

Early 1930s: Hirshfield's sets the style for the business that continues today - a showroom that features "the best of everything," including beautifully merchandised paint and wallpaper. Located at 325 East Lake Street (which remains a Hirshfield's store today), the new store even has an entire floor dedicated to the binding and construction of Hirshfield's own wallpaper sample books. A fire destroys the Hirshfield's store near Dayton's. A new store is built a few blocks away at 824 Hennepin.

1942: Founder Frank Hirshfield passes away; his son Dr. Frank Hirshfield takes over the business, which consists of two stores and an extensive distribution network throughout the Upper Midwest.

The 1940s & 1950s: Hirshfield's continues to expand its distribution network to commercial and retail accounts. As a major wholesaler of wallpapers and paints to paint, wallpaper and hardware store accounts throughout Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and the Dakotas, Hirshfield's services over 100 wallcovering lines. The company stocks 40,000 patterns in its warehouse! More than 5,000 dealers depend on Hirshfield's as their primary resource for wallpaper.

1957: Dr. Frank Hirshfield passes away; his son Frank "Bud" Hirshfield is the third generation Hirshfield to lead the company.

1959: Bud Hirshfield follows the post-war urban sprawl to the suburbs. The company's 1st suburban store opens in Richfield. Bud's successful strategy is to locate free-standing stores near the new major shopping centers. He did not want the stores to be inside the shopping malls - but close enough to them to provide easy access and parking for the contractors.

1965: Another Hirshfield's store is built near Brookdale Shopping Mall in Brooklyn Center.

1966: When Rosedale opens, Hirshfield's opens another store. These stores are colorful and customer-friendly. Merchandise is artfully displayed. Paint departments are extensively stocked with quality products. Parents can shop at their leisure while their children are entertained in play areas.

1970: The Richfield store relocates across from Southdale Shopping Center.

1973: A Hirshfield's store is located near the new Ridgedale shopping center in Minnetonka.

1977: A Hirshfield's store is located near the new Burnsville shopping center in Burnsville.

1981: Hirshfield's & Warner Wallcoverings open The Hirshfield-Warner Showroom - a wallcovering & fabric showroom catering to the professional designer trade. The showroom is located in Harmon Court, a small merchandise mart in downtown Minneapolis modeled after the Chicago Merchandise Mart.

1982: Hirshfield's embarks on a new venture - manufacturing its own line of paints & coatings. By manufacturing its own brand, Hirshfield's could exercise control over all aspects of quality, distribution & pricing to complement the national brands on their shelves. Originally called Creative Paint Manufacturing, Hirshfield's Paint Manufacturing was an enormous success with both consumers and contractors. With expansions over the years, the paint factory now offers singe batch runs of 3,000 gallons and a warehouse inventory capacity of 150,000 gallons.

1983: A Hirshfield's store is located near Maplewood Mall in Maplewood. Bud Hirshfield eventually expands the firm from 2 to 27 stores in Minnesota, with more than 350 employees.

1984: Harmon Court expands to the former Munsingware factory, which has been renovated into International Market Square. The Hirshfield-Warner Showroom was one of the original tenants at International Market Square.

1985: Hirshfield's Painter-Maintenance Division was established, marketing the company's private label paint to painting contractors.

1986: Hirshfield's 1st Contractor Service Center opened in the J.R. Clark Building, an historic building just outside downtown Minneapolis. In addition to paint, the facility provided contractors with products dedicated to their needs - spray equipment, deep inventories on sundry products and commercial grade paints. The 4-story warehouse provided rapid fulfillment of orders. Hirshfield's opens its 3rd St. Paul decorating center on South Robert Street in West St. Paul. The existing store on East Lake Street is converted into a Hirshfield's Outlet Store.

1960s, 1970s & 1980s: The building boom in the 1960s resulted in a proliferation of new multi-family housing units and office buildings. To meet the growing demand for commercial wallcoverings, the Hirshfield's Commercial Wallcoverings Division was created to market the company's products to architects, building owners, property managers & commercial space interior designers. Today, this division covers 13 states, with sales offices in Kansas City, St. Louis, Chicago, Milwaukee, Des Moines and the Twin Cities.

1990s: To keep prices down for its customers and to stay competitive with the national warehouse-style building supply stores, Hirshfield's is one of the founding members of ALLPRO - an allied purchasing power cooperative. Allpro also offers selected paints and painting supplies under a private label - which features a good quality product at a price competitive with the discounters. Allpro products are first class products at extremely competitive prices.

1990: Hirshfield's Decorating Center makes its first expansion outside the Twin Cities Metro Area - Rochester. The facility is located just down the highway from Rochester's largest shopping mall.

1991: The Hirshfield-Warner Showroom at International Market Square relocates across the street to the current Hirshfield's corporate campus. The new showroom is called Hirshfield's Design Studio and serves the design community with high-end wallcoverings, designer fabrics, plus custom furniture, carpeting, lighting & design accessories.

1992: All of Hirshfield's growing departments have relocated to the corporate campus in the J.R. Clark Building.

1993: Because of increasing competition from nationwide mega-distributors and manufacturer-direct sales, Hirshfield's closes its dealer sales distribution business. A difficult decision, but a wise business move because the company could focus on other growth areas.

1994: Hirshfield's celebrates its 100th Anniversary - a landmark few family-owned and operated companies ever reach. Bud's son Frank Hans Hirshfield takes over the helm of the company as his dad retires.

1995: Hirshfield's opens its 2nd retail/contractor store outside the Twin Cities Metro Area - St. Cloud. The facility is a remodeled paint and wallpaper store.

1997: New contractor service centers open in Savage in 1997, in Richfield in 1999 and in the northern suburbs in 2003. New stores open in Eden Prairie in 1996, Anoka & Woodbury in 1997, and Maple Grove in 1999.

1998: Benjamin Moore Paint brand is introduced into Hirshfield's stores, positioned along Hirshfield's own paints and Pratt & Lambert products.

2000: Lathrop Paint, with 7 stores in the Twin Cities, is purchased by Hirshfield's, and the stores are converted in the next few year's to Hirshfield's. The company's total store count is now 27.

2001: Hirshfield's opens its 3rd retail/contractor store outside the Twin Cities Metro Area - the Brainerd Lakes area.

2002: Hirshfield's becomes the 1st licensed distributor of Devine Color Paints. This high quality paint line features Mini Paint Pouches, giving customers the opportunity to audition the colors at home.

2003-2004: Monticello and Bemidji open in 2004.

Previous Page