Jim Terrell | Design Transformation

Jim Terrell (1944-1989) was an architect who transformed the look and flow of major department stores in the 1970s and 80s, including Macy's, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale's, and Marshall Field, among others. He notably also designed the Perry Ellis "in-store" boutiques as well as the Perry Ellis showrooms, tying retail store design to some of the leading fashion trends of his time. Because he believed that individual departments within large retail stores should be experienced as "a theater....tied together by architecture'' his award-winning designs informed the aesthetics of a generation and were widely adopted internationally as well. Jim's architectural work affects millions of shoppers worldwide to this day, who enjoy the theater of shopping - the featured designers and retail themes that bring order, distinction and variety, the wide open interiors and the grand scale of better retail spaces. Jim's architectural accomplishments also went well beyond retail spaces: he also designed award winning corporate spaces, including the renowned Kwasha Lipton Building, featured in this portfolio.

Jim was also exceptionally talented at drawing, and this portfolio displays personal sketches done for friends, such as his design for Perry Ellis's home and some personal sketches done while Jim was in the hospital being treated for complications from AIDS. His look outward to the city landscape shows an appreciation of the beauty that sustained him through all his trials.

His family extended the impact Jim Terrell had on the public in another way: his sister, Nancy Terrell was also known to millions as "Miss Nancy" on ABC's long running national broadcast of the first show for pre-schoolers, "Romper Room." Miss Nancy was the hostess in the 1960s and early 1970s when Romper Room was seen on ABC-owned and operated stations throughout the United States in locales that did not have their own hostesses.

Unlike his sister, Jim Terrell's works were not recorded, and pre-dated the digital era. Finding and digitally preserving his works and the works of other artists who died before the late 90s can present special challenges, as Jim's portfolios did. For these images we are grateful to Debra Robusto | Stoneworks.

image Personal Sketch | Jim Terrell Year Unknown
image New York Hospital Room 1619 | Jim Terrell Year Unknown
image Perry Ellis Home | Jim Terrell Year Unknown
image Bloomingdales NY | Jim Terrell Year Unknown
image Bloomingdales Palm Beach | Jim Terrell Year Unknown
image Bloomingdales Chicago | Jim Terrell Year Unknown
image J.W. Robinson's, Cosa Mesa | Jim Terrell Year Unknown
image J.W. Robinson's, Los Angeles | Jim Terrell Year Unknown
image Cavendish Square, S.A. | Jim Terrell Year Unknown
image Shop Design Rendering | Jim Terrell Year Unknown
image Marshall Field's Chicago Design Rendering | Jim Terrell Year Unknown
image Marshall Field's Chicago | Jim Terrell Year Unknown
image Saks Fifth Ave NY | Jim Terrell Year Unknown
image Kwasha Lipton Building | Jim Terrell Year Unknown