The holiday village that used to draw hundreds of thousands of people to Lit Bros.’ department store in Philadelphia has found its new home at American Treasure Tour Museum in Oaks, writes Gary Thompson for The Philadelphia Inquirer.
The village originally began in the early sixties, when Lit Bros. decided invested $1 million in a Christmas display to compete with other Market Street department stores.
In-house designer Thomas Comerford worked with a German company to create a block-long installation styled as a colonial village.
The displayed featured mini buildings including a blacksmith, baker, matchmaker, and toymaker. There was also a family gathered for a feast and many animated figurines.
The installation was a great success from the very start, bringing anywhere between 500,000 and 700,000 people to the department store each year.
The department store closed in 1977, but interest for the exhibit remained. So the display kept changing its host over the years, from Philadelphia History Museum to Longwood Gardens to Please Touch Museum.
Now, it has found its permanent home in Oaks.
Read more about the Lit Bros. holiday village at The Philadelphia Inquirer by clicking here.
*This post orginally ran in 2020.