Business Directory

Kaplan General Store

Unknown photographer / 1914 – 1916
2200 Yale

Kaplan General Store got its namesake from store owner and operator, Dave Kaplan. He lived above the store with his wife and their two sons, Bennett and Hermann.

Kaplan opened his business in 1913 and acquired the building above from fellow Houston Heights business owner, F. F. Ibsch in 1914. He signed a 2-year lease with Ibsch and business was fruitful enough for Kaplan to purchase his own property in 1916.

Kaplan didn’t move too far; the new property was located directly across the street at 2133 Yale (SW corner of Yale & 22nd). He constructed a new building on this property, which can be seen directly below.

Unknown photographer / 2133 Yale
Sanborn Map / 1924

The Great Depression was a rough time for Americans and it seems that the Kaplans fared no differently. In 1934, Kaplan is involved in several lawsuits for debt, foreclosure, and utilities. One of these lawsuits resulted in Dave Kaplan receiving a legal notice of garnishment.

This would only be a minor setback for the Kaplan’s. After weathering The Great Depression and WWII, the Kaplans expanded into the department store territory. Their adult sons were now interested in the business and the department was renamed in their honor: “Kaplan’s Ben-Hur Department Store.”

Kaplan’s Ben-Hur enjoyed a fruitful 60 additional years until it was closed in 2006 due to dwindling sales. In 2007, the property was razed and an apartment complex was built on the site.