Monday, June 4, 2012

The Copa Before the Dance Floor

Speaking of The Copa, here's a newspaper clipping from August 24, 1929 announcing improvements to the building when it was home to the Herbert N. Bush store. (Click on images to enlarge.)

Thanks to Gary G. for the article.


  1. Great post, but it will always be the Metropolis to me!

  2. As it should be! I say use the name it had when it meant something to you.

  3. The final incarnation of the Copa, was the short-lived Copa Cafe a coffee house on Lewis and Broadway circa 1995. It was in the same building as Julie's Bar. Actually, it was just the Copa's neon sign, but still.

  4. Who was Herbert N. Bush? Max Vorce apparently bought the store in 1964. Did he buy it from Herbert N. Bush?

    Remember the perfume atomizer just inside the entrance on the ceiling?

    The building was old even in the 1960s.

    Another facade that was interesting was the Maas window facade. I wonder what was behind that.

    1. My uncle Herbert G. Bush from Chicago inherited it from his uncle, Herbert. He eventually sold it not sure when, but in the 60's

  5. I’ve been thinking of all the downtown Flint stores of my childhood. Bush’s was one of my favorites. Something so old-world and elegant. I remember the pneumatic cash tubes. Everything old is new again.

  6. In 1925, newlywed sisters Helen and Aliene moved from Iowa to Flint so their husbands could work in the factories. The sisters found work at Bush's Department Store. Also employed at Bush's was a local gal named Leona. With their husbands, they began socializing.

    In 1927, Aliene died giving birth to her only child. Her sister Helen raised the baby for 2 years before he was sent to live with his grandparents back in Iowa. Helen stayed in touch with the child, and Leona stayed in touch with Helen. Many years later that child, Aliene's son Richard, moved back to Flint and married Leona's only child, Joan. Their 4 children often heard about the store. To think it all started when 3 young women were hired at Bush's Department Store.

    Thanks to this blog, I now see a picture of it. That's fantastic! Thank you.


Thanks for commenting. I moderate comments, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. You might enjoy my book about Flint called "Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City," a Michigan Notable Book for 2014 and a finalist for the 33rd Annual Northern California Book Award for Creative NonFiction. Filmmaker Michael Moore described Teardown as "a brilliant chronicle of the Mad Maxization of a once-great American city." More information about Teardown is available at