You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Mon, Sep 12, 2011 : 5:59 a.m.

Final day arrives for Borders' flagship store in downtown Ann Arbor

By Nathan Bomey

Update: Store officials confirmed that the store closed for good at about noon Monday.

Forty years after it was forged, downtown Ann Arbor's unique connection to Borders will be severed today.

Borders will close its flagship store today, carving a 40,000-square-foot hole at the corner of Liberty and Maynard streets and leaving downtown Ann Arbor without a Borders store for the first time in 40 years.


Borders' flagship store in downtown Ann Arbor will close for good today.

Steve Pepple |

Founded in Ann Arbor by brothers Tom and Louis Borders in 1971, the bookstore chain announced July 18 that it would liquidate, abandoning its attempts to restructure under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The original Borders store was located steps away from the current store in an 800-square-foot space on South State Street.

In the mid-1990s, the store moved to a former Jacobson's department store along Liberty Street — and that's where the store remains today.

What will you miss most about Ann Arbor's downtown Borders store? Post your thoughts in the comments section below.

Here's more coverage of the closure of Borders' flagship store:

--Possible new tenant for Borders store in downtown Ann Arbor emerges

--Liquidation starts: Borders store in downtown Ann Arbor enters its final days


The original Borders Book Shop is shown on South State Street in downtown Ann Arbor in this undated photo from the 1970s.

Photo courtesy of Ann Arbor District Library

--Auctions may decide fate: Will Borders stores in downtown Ann Arbor, Pittsfield get new tenants?

--Borders 'now hiring' for its downtown Ann Arbor, Lohr Road stores as liquidation continues

--What's next for downtown Ann Arbor Borders store after chain closes?

--Downtown store closure also means a loss of arts and music venue

--Borders plans to liquidate, ending 40-year-old bookstore chain

--Borders' rise and fall: a timeline of the bookstore chain's 40-year history

--Borders files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

--Column: Where are they now? Borders brothers long gone from Ann Arbor as chain nears bankruptcy

Contact's Nathan Bomey at (734) 623-2587 or You can also follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's newsletters.



Mon, Sep 12, 2011 : 5:29 p.m.

I am sure that we'll have another downtown bookstore that carries something other than best-sellers and newspapers. It might not be the ideal (aka the Original Store on S. State), but this is a town filled with bibliophiles. We have the Antiquarian Book Fair, the Kerrytown Book Festival, and some pretty good used bookstores. There is B&N and Nicola's, too. It might be a few years, but I hope that it will happen. I have fond memories of the S. State location, and the early days on Liberty. But, I never once set foot in there after they started liquidation.

Jojo B

Mon, Sep 12, 2011 : 4:47 p.m.

UPDATE: I went there today (Monday) at noon and they were already turning people away. The downtown Borders is now CLOSED to the public! (I thought today was going to be the final dollar day, but they are already done.) Farewell, Borders.


Mon, Sep 12, 2011 : 3:45 p.m.

Think of it as evolution in action.


Mon, Sep 12, 2011 : 2:56 p.m.

RIP Borders. I enjoyed your cafe a lot, thank you. I loved popping in before or after Michigan Theater visits, while a student, as well. Dying to know what will go in that space next. :/

Tom Joad

Mon, Sep 12, 2011 : 2:01 p.m.

Flagship, hardly. Store looked liked every other cookie cutter Borders. The State St store was the flagship


Mon, Sep 12, 2011 : 1:52 p.m.

Sorry to see it go. For those leftist socialist democrats who bask in democrat class warfare, this should be a teachable moment for you. This is what happens when one of those pampered CEO's who flies on private jets and makes a lot of money in salary and bonuses ....fails. ....thousands lose their jobs or in other case hundreds of thousands or a million. Still think they're over paid? LOL Time for the democrat party to grow up.


Mon, Sep 12, 2011 : 11:08 p.m.

Huh? Spoken like a democrat. You must imagine an unlimited supply of CEO's who somehow compete with each other based on compensation, like a ditch digger applying for a job. LOL ...but they are recruited! ..begged and cajoled, often from places they have no reason to leave. The reality is that the best CEO's in almost every sector are scarce and attracting the right guys may take private jets, big cash and benefits. In return for a good fit, the company prospers. If they Board fails, they over compensate the wrong guy and the company goes bankrupt anyway. Like most democrats, your perspective has been fundamentally warped by class warfare politics and a failure to appreciate the talent of those who rule corporate America. If you work for a company with a Board who knows what they're doing in an economic environment where your business can exist at all, you get to keep your job working for a well paid CEO. ...and pray regularly that a competitor does not attract him away.

Jojo B

Mon, Sep 12, 2011 : 5:27 p.m.

I love how everybody puts their twisted political spin on why events happen. If anything, it teaches how limited and naive our points of view are, liberal or conservative. Frankly, I blame the fall of Borders on those pesky Libertarians! (kidding)

say it plain

Mon, Sep 12, 2011 : 2:47 p.m.

Huh?! realize you're making the argument that even one of those overpaid pampered CEOs are fallible, and that maybe aren't worth the salary they 'earn', right?! This era of CEOs living for the short-term stock-price result is part of what has caused the sinking of our economy. This era of CEO's ability to make a lifetime's worth of money in a couple of years has been good for nobody but the CEOs. Analysis indicates that this era of obscene increases in the ratios of CEO salary to average company employee has come with *no* increase in jobs, with *no* increase in stock-index levels either. Time for the GOP to wake up.


Mon, Sep 12, 2011 : 1:12 p.m.

I'm as sentimental as the next person but let's move on. Borders is closing, just like a gazillion other businesses in this area. I loved Borders too but Borders could not compete. Time to start figuring out how to keep jobs around here instead of wallowing in the ones already lost.


Mon, Sep 12, 2011 : 1:06 p.m.

Also, I'm pretty sure Borders never occupied the space in the photo.


Mon, Sep 12, 2011 : 1:05 p.m.

I want to personally thank for their thoughtful, compassionate reporting throughout this whole process.

Silly Sally

Mon, Sep 12, 2011 : 11:59 a.m.

It seems unreal, not being able to walk into Borders, especially on a winters day. What time is the final closing?