Decades after closing its doors, L.S. Ayres and Company still holds a special place in the hearts of Hoosiers. Now, the Indiana Historical Society (IHS) is making it possible for old friends to reconnect and celebrate their shared history.
On Friday, May 20, IHS is holding an Ayres Appreciation Day at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., IHS is offering free admission to anyone who worked for the department stores or the Ayr-Way discount stores.
Event highlights include a “Conversation Corner,” where former Ayres employees can catch up over a cup of coffee, and access to the IHS exhibition You Are There: That Ayres Look. The exhibition features costumed actors portraying characters from the company's past. Another popular aspect of You Are There: That Ayres Look is the Ayres cherub, on display for the first time outside of the holiday season. The cherub, on loan from Downtown Indy, will stay at the History Center until the exhibition closes on Aug. 6, 2016.
Just one floor down from the exhibition, guests can purchase a traditional chicken velvet soup for lunch in the History Center's Stardust Terrace Café. The special menu item is a nod to the L.S. Ayres Tea Room, which closed in Indianapolis in 1990.
Finally, former Ayres employees will receive a storewide discount at the History Center's Basile History Market. The store sells several Ayres-related items such as a diamond box, a coin purse and the IHS Press book L.S. Ayres & Company: The Store at the Crossroads of America by Kenneth L. Turchi.
For more information about Ayres Appreciation Day and other IHS events, call (317) 232-1882 or visit IHS online at www.indianahistory.org. You Are There: That Ayres Look is presented by Ayres Foundation Inc. and Nancy Ayres, with support from Nicholas H. Noyes, Jr., Memorial Foundation, Inc. and Lisa Carrington Bohn; Ruth Lilly Philanthropic Foundation and Mr. and Mrs. Peter Nicholas; and Griffith Family Foundation, Inc.
SOURCE: Indiana Historical Society