An exploration of some of New York’s most historic and iconic department stores.
We will explore how shopping habits have changed throughout the City’s history and the effects that commerce had on everything from women’s emancipation to holiday traditions.
Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman’s, B. Altman’s, Bloomingdale's, Wannamaker’s Lord & Taylor and Bonwit Teller were some of the august names both past and present.
My guest is Rediscovering New York regular and the show’s Special Consultant, David Griffin of Landmark Branding, https://landmarkbranding.com.
The show begins by reflecting on all of the historic topics that have been covered and where they can be accessed. This then translates to a discussion on department stores with guest David Griffin who is a writer, blogger, CEO and owner of Landmark Branding.. He was originally born in Long Island and lived there for twelve years before moving a bit north to get closer to family. Many great stores in New York are no longer with us but so many remain. David majored in Art History in college and is an expert on New York history, He states that a department store is a store that sells more than one dry good. The first one in New York was Stewart’s Department Store that was the first to hold a series of fashion shows and helped develop a luxury experience when shopping. Siegell-Cooper is a store that rises and falls within a 25 year period which is rare. They originated in Chicago then moved to New York looking to expand. They grew to 120 different departments including a bank, arcade, ticketbooth and more.
Siegell-Cooper was a store that mixed dry goods with wet goods. They sold groceries along with dry goods. The downfall of the store takes place once the owner is convinced to sell the business after he over extends himself trying to make the perfect one stop shop. In addition, another store was rivalling him. Eventually he opens back up but people are no longer shopping at the same extent. Later, Macy’s opened in 1858. Business is not flowing at first but it does later. Once it does, they are forced to pay about one million dollars just to keep the corner of land they were operating on. Macy’s now hosts one of the biggest parades on the holiday of Thanksgiving. As a game, they used to have balloons float down on people who could then exchange it for a cash prize. This got shut down due to the hazard that it was creating in the 1930’s.
David founded Landmark Branding in 2014. The company offers branding and marketing support for real estate, architecture and design companies. The department store Gimbels becomes a major rival to Macy’s once it emerges. By 1930 they had several flagship stores including one neighboring Macy’s building in New York City. Gimbels was more plain and straightforward. It was not intended to be as fancy as the others. They catered to middle class people. Their downfall was their lack of appealing qualities compared to their counterparts. People began to feel like there was no need to visit New York just to shop at a generic store. B. Altman and Company was a luxury department store that was founded in New York in 1865. The flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York ran from 1906 to 1989 before falling to bankruptcy.
Another store that closed recently is Lord & Taylor. They were founded in 1826 and were located up the road from B. Altman. David recalls them as a convenient department store to stop in and admire their alluring windows.They also had great holiday displays. Sax Fifth Avenue is a store that branched from Lord & Taylor in regard to their windows along with their holiday celebrations. They were a store who hired artists to do their mirrors which acted as a way for two different types of artists to work together. Some consumers enjoyed the collaborations more than others. One of the most famous window artists was named Andy Warhol. He was hired in 1951 but did not get much popularity until about ten years later when he used his art as commercialism.
00:00:35.880 --> 00:00:37.200 Jeff Goodman: Hello everyone.
00:00:38.760 --> 00:00:44.640 Jeff Goodman: i'll say that again Hello everyone, welcome to our listeners from around the US in the big apple and around the world.
00:00:45.150 --> 00:00:54.960 Jeff Goodman: i'm Jeff Goodman, and this is rediscovering New York professionally i'm a real estate broker with brown hair Stevens, but rediscovering New York is not a show about real estate.
00:00:55.740 --> 00:01:00.060 Jeff Goodman: it's a weekly program about the history texture and vibe of our amazing city.
00:01:00.750 --> 00:01:09.420 Jeff Goodman: And we do with our interviews with historians local business owners nonprofit organizations preservationist musicians and artists and the occasional elected official.
00:01:10.260 --> 00:01:17.790 Jeff Goodman: On some shows we focus on an individual New York neighborhood we explore its history and its current energy what makes that particular New York neighborhood special.
00:01:18.480 --> 00:01:25.680 Jeff Goodman: On some shows like tonight we look at an interesting and vital color the city and its history that's not focused on one particular neighborhood.
00:01:26.550 --> 00:01:36.690 Jeff Goodman: When prior episodes you've heard us cover topics as diverse and illuminating as American presidents who came from lived in we had some interesting history with the city, about half of them.
00:01:37.350 --> 00:01:40.500 Jeff Goodman: we've looked at the history of women activists in the women's suffrage movement in New York.
00:01:41.070 --> 00:01:45.900 Jeff Goodman: we've looked at the history of different immigrant communities, including people who were brought here and slaved.
00:01:46.410 --> 00:01:52.230 Jeff Goodman: we've looked at the history of the city's LGBT community and the gay rights movement we've looked at bicycles and cycling.
00:01:52.800 --> 00:02:03.270 Jeff Goodman: we've looked at the history of punk and opera we have explored our public libraries, we have three systems, by the way the subway public art or greatest train stations and even some of our bridges.
00:02:03.990 --> 00:02:12.210 Jeff Goodman: After the broadcast you can hear each show on podcasts were on apple spotify stitcher Google podcasts and other services.
00:02:14.010 --> 00:02:15.690 Jeff Goodman: Yes, and Amazon sorry.
00:02:16.800 --> 00:02:24.330 Jeff Goodman: Tonight we're going to take a special journey it's actually one of my favorite topics in New York, and one that fills me with joy.
00:02:24.840 --> 00:02:33.840 Jeff Goodman: And maybe even a little bit more joy than baseball which we talked about last week stores department stores temples of retail, most of us love them.
00:02:34.710 --> 00:02:43.620 Jeff Goodman: So many of us were introduced to them as very young children, even babies, for me, growing up in New York, some of my earliest memories involve my mother.
00:02:44.430 --> 00:02:54.750 Jeff Goodman: sort of pushing me through some of the great lobbies of some of the great department stores in New York and some of them appear bigger than they do now in my adulthood, but anyway.
00:02:56.370 --> 00:03:05.490 Jeff Goodman: So they are a place for so many of our senses get activated new goods of colors of smells, especially the first floor of so many in the fragrance department.
00:03:06.510 --> 00:03:12.990 Jeff Goodman: There are a lot of collective experiences that are more fun than going into department stores in this actually sorry, there were a few.
00:03:13.260 --> 00:03:21.030 Jeff Goodman: experiences that are more fun collectively been going through department stores, that is if we're not doing it around holiday time we're around some famous.
00:03:21.570 --> 00:03:29.370 Jeff Goodman: holiday sale like washington's birthday will Presidents day I should say no i'm dating myself and, of course, of any city in the US, and perhaps the world.
00:03:29.970 --> 00:03:44.370 Jeff Goodman: We have an amazing collection of so many fabulous department stores here in New York, many of which are no longer with us, but which still live on, and many people's memories and also in our pride, especially in the amazing stores, that we have in this amazing state city.
00:03:45.540 --> 00:03:53.010 Jeff Goodman: My guest tonight my only guest is my friend and the shows a special consultant David Griffin of landmark branding.
00:03:53.880 --> 00:04:00.390 Jeff Goodman: David is a lifelong architectural and fuzziness he provides creative sales enhancing services for the national real estate community.
00:04:00.960 --> 00:04:06.510 Jeff Goodman: David is the founder and CEO of landmark branding his clients include architects and design firms.
00:04:06.900 --> 00:04:13.470 Jeff Goodman: In addition to developers brokers and marketing companies will have to ask them if any major department stores have used landmark branding services.
00:04:14.100 --> 00:04:19.470 Jeff Goodman: david's hosted a room at the top series it's co hosted with Jennifer wallace of nascent or New York.
00:04:20.010 --> 00:04:24.600 Jeff Goodman: it's the only ongoing networking series and real estate to feature tours of manhattan's greatest buildings.
00:04:25.290 --> 00:04:29.910 Jeff Goodman: David does writing he writes, he has blogs his latest blog every building on fifth.
00:04:30.330 --> 00:04:38.490 Jeff Goodman: Documents every single building on fifth avenue from Washington square right up to where its fifth avenue insert the Harlem river in Harlem with the Harlem armory is.
00:04:39.180 --> 00:04:52.740 Jeff Goodman: david's writing has appeared in real estate weekly metropolis dwell and the national trust preservation magazine David I always say a hearty welcome back to rediscovering New York, but especially with this great topic to talk about tonight shopping in department stores.
00:04:52.950 --> 00:04:57.330 David Griffin: Thanks a lot Jeff always a pleasure to be here and great to be speaking with you again.
00:04:59.010 --> 00:05:07.410 Jeff Goodman: Many of our listeners know what your background is, but you haven't been on the show in a while and it's we do have a growing number of listeners, especially overseas.
00:05:07.950 --> 00:05:15.120 Jeff Goodman: And it's been a while, since you've been on the show i'd like to ask you about your background you're from the area, but not the city itself, at least on originally.
00:05:15.330 --> 00:05:26.580 David Griffin: Yes, I was actually born in long island and that's where I live, for the first sort of 12 years of my life before we moved up to the Hudson river Valley.
00:05:27.510 --> 00:05:43.470 David Griffin: To be sort of closer to my grandmother's family and i've always been a New York City area resident i've lived in the city after college extensively but yeah so throughout, you know that that whole area we've actually never left New York state, however, as a place to live, which is.
00:05:44.640 --> 00:05:45.510 kind of interesting.
00:05:46.530 --> 00:06:00.030 Jeff Goodman: Well, it is the empire state, and you know if we are the greatest city in the United States right, you have to be the greatest state in the United States, you know and actually on this island where New York county in New York City in New York state I think that's unique and.
00:06:00.510 --> 00:06:11.430 Jeff Goodman: yeah United States i'm David you're deficient auto an expert in new york's architectural history um, some of which will we will be speaking about tonight, although people when they think about New York architecture.
00:06:11.760 --> 00:06:18.960 Jeff Goodman: They tend not to think of department stores um how did you get interested in architectural history and in new york's in particular.
00:06:19.680 --> 00:06:27.390 David Griffin: Well, growing up my siblings and I were the first actual employees of New York state for the parks department.
00:06:27.750 --> 00:06:37.230 David Griffin: We had jobs quote unquote roles that we played at the old bethpage village restoration on long island where we would dress up in the costumes are children from the 1850s.
00:06:37.560 --> 00:06:45.900 David Griffin: And play with the games and toys associated with that era, and we would do that for the the sort of special holidays that they added on that page.
00:06:46.650 --> 00:06:52.710 David Griffin: We really enjoyed that, and you know going out to a village restoration museum you're seeing all these old buildings you're learning about.
00:06:52.980 --> 00:06:59.760 David Griffin: How they were built and who built them it kind of helped sort of build an interest in me I think that's lasted my entire life.
00:07:00.420 --> 00:07:04.020 David Griffin: my grandmother had a historic home that was right on the Hudson river.
00:07:04.800 --> 00:07:15.810 David Griffin: You know it's just a very beautiful place and I think visually we had a lot to work with his kids and for me that translated into a real interest in my immediate environment so.
00:07:16.470 --> 00:07:34.740 David Griffin: You know just from from that day to this i've always been interested in the stories the buildings tell I majored in art history, with a focus on architectural history at college and yeah so i've gone into the field after about 17 years in the art world and I haven't looked back.
00:07:35.850 --> 00:07:39.570 Jeff Goodman: And now we're on to department stores, which i'm really looking forward to talk to you about.
00:07:40.680 --> 00:07:45.270 Jeff Goodman: Was the department store invented in New York, David departments, as we know it today.
00:07:45.420 --> 00:07:52.590 David Griffin: it's sort of a rose in different locations I wouldn't say that New York was the place where the department store was actually invented.
00:07:52.920 --> 00:07:59.370 David Griffin: We have to share that with Paris with New York and with certain other major cities in the United States.
00:07:59.910 --> 00:08:05.550 David Griffin: Such as Boston the of the department store I started was an outgrowth of what was called a dry goods store.
00:08:05.880 --> 00:08:11.190 David Griffin: And those actually became more popular perhaps in the in the US, and they were in Europe.
00:08:11.520 --> 00:08:19.680 David Griffin: Because in Europe, there were specialty stores that kind of took over what we would call certain departments departments, or is called the department, because it handles more than one thing.
00:08:20.070 --> 00:08:31.500 David Griffin: and dry goods are things that are non perishable so they could be in terms of food things like candy or coffee or canned goods, but they were also things like material they were.
00:08:31.980 --> 00:08:37.530 David Griffin: dresses and bonnets and ribbons they were articles for the household pots and pans they were furniture.
00:08:38.130 --> 00:08:42.780 David Griffin: They were sort of as many things as you could think of so department stores are stories that contain.
00:08:43.170 --> 00:08:52.740 David Griffin: Different types of dry goods that you can buy there's the sewing department there's the household goods department there's you know the automotive department there's the TV department.
00:08:53.070 --> 00:09:04.440 David Griffin: All of those things grew out of the sense of the dry goods having more than one special thing that they focused on, and that was more of an American thing than a European thing because we were a we were a newer country.
00:09:04.890 --> 00:09:11.130 David Griffin: And, be it was easier to go from let's say the farm into town and try and do as much shopping, as you could in one area.
00:09:11.400 --> 00:09:22.230 David Griffin: The general store carried a general surplus of things and that's the dry goods store that then became the department stores, as this as the city's began to evolve and everything got bigger.
00:09:23.130 --> 00:09:24.930 Jeff Goodman: What was the city's first department store.
00:09:26.220 --> 00:09:31.290 David Griffin: In in this case, most people would argue that the very first one in New York City.
00:09:31.950 --> 00:09:39.810 David Griffin: was at stewart's this was a dry goods store that was founded in the 1830s and expanded very rapidly.
00:09:40.170 --> 00:09:48.450 David Griffin: and Alexander turning Stewart was the gentleman behind it, he opened up a mercantile business on broadway it began to prosper lower broadway.
00:09:48.690 --> 00:09:57.060 David Griffin: And he had what was built what became known as the marble Palace on the side of a building called Washington Hall, to the former headquarters of the federalist party.
00:09:57.540 --> 00:10:02.760 David Griffin: Now, this was kind of a new thing dry goods stores were large and they were getting bigger.
00:10:03.030 --> 00:10:08.940 David Griffin: But Stewart wanted something that really looked grand he wanted something to fit in with the civic architecture.
00:10:09.180 --> 00:10:15.720 David Griffin: That was directly across the street this building is literally across the street from the new courthouse it was being built, during that time period.
00:10:15.900 --> 00:10:22.440 David Griffin: From City Hall, which was just a half block South facing City Hall Park, so he builds a building that actually has this kind of.
00:10:22.770 --> 00:10:27.960 David Griffin: monumental quality to it it's the first building in New York City to be built from what is called Tucker home marble.
00:10:28.650 --> 00:10:39.720 David Griffin: And it is also one of the very first buildings to have an Italian Renaissance theme throughout it so it's a very distinguished looking building the inside, was also very grand and stewart's department store.
00:10:40.260 --> 00:10:45.630 David Griffin: featured a number of real innovations at the time, designed to increase kind of the volume of turnover.
00:10:45.900 --> 00:10:49.170 David Griffin: and keep up with the increasing capacity of industrial manufacturing.
00:10:49.410 --> 00:10:59.340 David Griffin: So he is among the very first to set fixed prices for goods you don't have to barter you don't have to come in and say you know, can I get a deal on this, that if I buy this i'll get that and the other thing.
00:10:59.670 --> 00:11:07.170 David Griffin: He also drew female customers began to target women as customers through special sales and also fashion shows, he is potentially.
00:11:07.380 --> 00:11:16.050 David Griffin: The first department store anywhere to actually host a series of fashion shows, so these things begin to drive the department store forward as a place for.
00:11:16.530 --> 00:11:24.930 David Griffin: genteel people and particularly genteel women to go and have a kind of a cultural experience or an experience about fashion.
00:11:25.170 --> 00:11:38.250 David Griffin: As opposed to simply by you know stopping by and buying things that they really need it, all of a sudden this becomes a kind of a luxury experience, and that is very important for the development of department store, as we understand it through the 19th and 20th centuries.
00:11:38.760 --> 00:11:42.300 Jeff Goodman: Well, speaking about old New York department stores any bad Stewart specific way.
00:11:43.080 --> 00:11:48.060 Jeff Goodman: You know in in a city that where we where we keep tearing things down and building new things up.
00:11:48.420 --> 00:11:59.250 Jeff Goodman: matt is that many of the old department stores are still there, even if they're no longer occupied by the stores originally, and that is true for the original at Stewart because you can still see it and.
00:11:59.730 --> 00:12:04.680 Jeff Goodman: you describe the structure and it's right across the street from the tweet courthouse and it's great and it's great to say.
00:12:05.820 --> 00:12:12.480 Jeff Goodman: Then during the civil war, the store moved uptown which in those days was night street how did it different from the original he Stewart.
00:12:13.050 --> 00:12:22.020 David Griffin: It was it's very interesting in 1862 stewart's true department store, the one that most people would remember quote unquote if they're talking about students.
00:12:22.710 --> 00:12:32.310 David Griffin: it's referred to as the iron palace, and that was built that year, it was a six story building, so it was about the same size as the marble building downtown.
00:12:32.700 --> 00:12:38.100 David Griffin: And it was made out of cast iron and had a huge cast iron front of that a glass Dome skylights.
00:12:38.640 --> 00:12:46.560 David Griffin: was a very grand looking building it was almost transparent and had a very sort of birdcage like appearance, unlike the marble building.
00:12:47.400 --> 00:13:06.180 David Griffin: Up to 2000 people were employed in this store and it occupied a major portion of an entire city block just south of grace church on broadway from 930 to 10 street astor place to broadway there were 19 departments which included silk stress goods carpets and toys.
00:13:09.270 --> 00:13:17.730 David Griffin: And by 1877 and it expanded to 30 departments carrying a wide variety of items, the New York Times noted at one point.
00:13:18.510 --> 00:13:30.120 David Griffin: In some I think wonderment at how much this was evolving into, as I said a single place for people to shop quote unquote a man may fit up his house they're down to the building's carpets and upholstery.
00:13:30.990 --> 00:13:49.200 David Griffin: So this store unfortunately caught fire during a renovation in the 1950s and burn to the ground, so we don't have it, it was otherwise very singular work of cast iron architecture, ironically, the reason why they chose cast iron was they felt that it was fireproof and it isn't.
00:13:49.500 --> 00:13:50.310 Jeff Goodman: Surprise, surprise.
00:13:51.060 --> 00:13:55.350 David Griffin: You get a building hot enough and the cast iron will actually begin to melt down all the way into pieces.
00:13:55.920 --> 00:13:56.820 Jeff Goodman: And that's what happened with.
00:13:58.890 --> 00:14:04.290 Jeff Goodman: David we're going to take a break in a couple minutes, but before we do that, I want to talk about one of the store sequel and Cooper.
00:14:04.650 --> 00:14:14.610 Jeff Goodman: Many people don't know of sequel and Cooper I know have some I knew of some historic department stores, but I hadn't heard until sequel and Cooper until recently What was it who had of its star.
00:14:14.790 --> 00:14:25.710 David Griffin: seagull and Cooper is actually a very interesting thing because it's one of the few really monumental instances during this period, where we have evidence of what we call the sort of a flash in the pan.
00:14:26.130 --> 00:14:35.640 David Griffin: This was a store that rose and fell, it was wildly popular at its height in almost less than a 25 year period, most of these stores actually continued for.
00:14:35.970 --> 00:14:45.240 David Griffin: You know 6070 some of something going on for 100 120 years and this store was founded in the 1890s with the world's Columbian exposition in Chicago.
00:14:46.350 --> 00:14:57.450 David Griffin: It was highly successful there and they went to New York, two years later at 95 and they have the architects dilemma some chords build an enormous structure which is still largely.
00:14:57.840 --> 00:15:13.650 David Griffin: intact they're in a very sort of ornate kind of almost steampunk Renaissance revival style it's a rather bizarre looking building and they managed by you know 1905 I think that the company was already sort of in trouble, and by.
00:15:14.910 --> 00:15:22.650 David Griffin: It was simply gone, but by the in the interim, it had grown to 124 different departments.
00:15:23.400 --> 00:15:34.230 David Griffin: They were the only department store to have a dentist and doctor's office they had their own beautician and barbershop a post office they had an office for theater tickets, much like the tickets booth that's in Times Square.
00:15:34.800 --> 00:15:45.120 David Griffin: And they had a branch bank located in the store, there was a huge fountain by Daniel Chester French, who did the famous statue of Abraham Lincoln and the Lincoln memorial.
00:15:45.480 --> 00:15:56.010 David Griffin: And, ladies would say well let's meet under the fountain and they met let's go to siegel Cooper and we'll have a day you know sort of a genteel day of elegant shopping in this kind of amazing arcaded Wonderland.
00:15:56.790 --> 00:16:03.240 David Griffin: The building is now still open for shops, there are actually three different department stores that share space there.
00:16:03.810 --> 00:16:15.120 David Griffin: So it's one of the rare instances where a store of this magnitude has been kind of repurposed again as a shopping destination or though nowhere near at the level that siegel Cooper was when I was at its height.
00:16:16.680 --> 00:16:24.630 Jeff Goodman: Well we're gonna take a short break and when we come back we're gonna talk a little bit more about siegel Cooper um we will take that break now and we'll be back in a moment.
00:19:21.690 --> 00:19:25.440 Jeff Goodman: you're back to episode 111 and rediscovering New York.
00:19:26.070 --> 00:19:30.240 Jeff Goodman: bout department stores my guest is David Griffin of landmark branding who's also our show.
00:19:30.240 --> 00:19:31.080 Jeff Goodman: Special consultant.
00:19:31.470 --> 00:19:33.240 Jeff Goodman: David before we move on from siegel and Cooper.
00:19:33.240 --> 00:19:37.590 Jeff Goodman: let's talk about its opening day it sounds like it was the most fabulous opening day of any.
00:19:37.590 --> 00:19:39.600 Jeff Goodman: business in the world up into that point.
00:19:40.770 --> 00:19:46.560 David Griffin: Yes, the store was was actually visited by nearly.
00:19:46.560 --> 00:19:48.840 David Griffin: 150,000 people.
00:19:50.010 --> 00:19:51.420 David Griffin: Attempting to enter.
00:19:51.900 --> 00:19:53.370 David Griffin: There were 3000 employees.
00:19:53.430 --> 00:19:54.960 David Griffin: That point waiting to serve them.
00:19:55.650 --> 00:19:59.070 David Griffin: And there was sort of a a amazing kind of.
00:19:59.070 --> 00:20:08.130 David Griffin: display of the the the the fountain that I mentioned by Daniel Chester French was brass with a face it, arms and white marble.
00:20:08.610 --> 00:20:18.330 David Griffin: And colored lights illuminated the fountain it is currently in the glendale cemetery actually in California was salvage from the store and move there as a permanent fixture.
00:20:19.710 --> 00:20:26.340 David Griffin: And in addition to the expected goods, which of course for things like silver linens clothing and China, for example.
00:20:26.910 --> 00:20:35.160 David Griffin: Seal Cooper also sold groceries which was sort of an odd thing for a department store to do again we're looking at the division between wet goods and dry goods.
00:20:35.490 --> 00:20:41.280 David Griffin: And a lot of them were delicacies things that were actually canned on the premises for buyers.
00:20:42.000 --> 00:20:46.260 David Griffin: In the fish department, there were huge tanks displaying live fish for the shoppers.
00:20:46.650 --> 00:20:57.270 David Griffin: Ease of choice and on the roof, there was a vast conservatory that offered palms orchids and rare plants for sale, so it was actually in some ways, closer to.
00:20:57.600 --> 00:21:11.310 David Griffin: The really sort of mega big box stores, so we think of like walmart where there are all sorts of different departments that include groceries and lawn care, and you know outdoor things that it was you know almost any other department store that's been in New York sensors before since.
00:21:12.570 --> 00:21:27.990 Jeff Goodman: Well i'd like to ask you what happened to siegel and Cooper and in that question, you know when one big store goes down and other big store is going to rise and take away a lot of its business, you want to talk about what led to the downfall of siegel and Cooper in New York.
00:21:28.410 --> 00:21:35.100 David Griffin: Yes, 1994 Henry siegel, who was the sort of the progenitor, of course, of the store.
00:21:35.790 --> 00:21:52.140 David Griffin: Had financially overextended himself, he put too much of his money into making this store the kind of one stop Wonderland that it was, and he was forced to sales department store to a gentleman named Joseph green hot for $500,000 which doesn't sound like a bad deal but.
00:21:53.280 --> 00:22:02.940 David Griffin: Actually there's a sad moment green i've read a report to the CEO evidently wept during this transaction, it was you know, giving up something that he really felt was his baby, in a way.
00:22:03.750 --> 00:22:09.210 David Griffin: But greenblatt's timing, however, turned out to be bad siegel wound up getting very much the better, part of the bargain.
00:22:09.810 --> 00:22:23.520 David Griffin: Because by 90 go to roll and macy's had moved his business to place called macy's of course uptown to 34th street and built a block encompassing store there that took away the title of largest department store from sequel Cooper.
00:22:24.330 --> 00:22:29.610 David Griffin: They actually use the same architect, but you must have been a little bit of a kick in the butt.
00:22:30.720 --> 00:22:37.800 David Griffin: Little by little, the shopping district followed this behemoth and sort of by the time rolled around.
00:22:38.610 --> 00:22:48.720 David Griffin: siegel Cooper failed he reorganized, and reopen Greenock under greener last Sunday another three years closing for good in 1918 people would simply no longer shopping.
00:22:49.020 --> 00:22:54.150 David Griffin: At that level on that particular stretch of sixth avenue, and one of the reasons why that.
00:22:54.630 --> 00:23:02.730 David Griffin: stretch of architecture is the sort of cortical frozen and aspect for so long is because so much of the commercial focus moved further and further up admit town.
00:23:03.030 --> 00:23:16.620 David Griffin: So a lot of the older department stores that were closer to the dry goods stage of things have survived architecturally and some of those have been reopened as major department stores ended up themselves in the last 20 or 30 years.
00:23:18.630 --> 00:23:26.880 Jeff Goodman: Well, now that we're speaking about macy's do you want to talk a little bit about macy's background, I mean we could do we could spend a whole show talking about macy's.
00:23:26.880 --> 00:23:35.280 David Griffin: yeah could be could be an entire show in and of itself and it had several different locations before it was settling at.
00:23:36.030 --> 00:23:51.270 David Griffin: 34th street was originally named the age of the ra H macy and company store the macy's building, as I said, was completed in 1902 and has been added to the national register of historic places it was made a national historic landmark in 1978.
00:23:52.440 --> 00:23:55.110 David Griffin: It was founded by rolling hussey may see between.
00:23:57.330 --> 00:24:08.550 David Griffin: open for retail dry goods store, including the original macy's store in downtown haverhill Massachusetts the macy's family are from Massachusetts and they are from nantucket.
00:24:09.330 --> 00:24:19.440 David Griffin: They are well a whaling family, and if you go to nantucket to this day, there are the macy houses line certain streets of the small village of nantucket.
00:24:20.490 --> 00:24:31.800 David Griffin: So the star, for example, that is associated with the macy's department store, the famous red star was actually a tattoo that may see himself had acquired during his seagoing days.
00:24:32.280 --> 00:24:39.900 David Griffin: And he just put that into the logo of the store as a kind of you know his own personal stamp of approval, which I think is very amusing.
00:24:41.640 --> 00:24:51.390 David Griffin: So the first day of business in 1858 in New York City was actually at the corner of 14th street six avenue, they did not do, particularly well.
00:24:52.500 --> 00:25:00.750 David Griffin: They made $11 that's the equivalent of $326 today, which actually is not enough to really keep the lights on.
00:25:01.650 --> 00:25:09.930 David Griffin: But moving the the store up further uptown and just expanding it may see really kind of I think hit on a.
00:25:10.620 --> 00:25:17.130 David Griffin: A kind of a he caught lightning in a bottle in a way, it was a new location, it was definitely a very imposing store.
00:25:17.910 --> 00:25:28.470 David Griffin: there's a rumor that unfortunately has gone sort of unproven that the small corner of macy's that actually faces 34th and herald Square.
00:25:28.860 --> 00:25:34.680 David Griffin: you'll notice, if you look at the building that building seems to go around something there was a small building the I That was a holdout.
00:25:35.130 --> 00:25:43.410 David Griffin: That person did not want to sell their store to macy's, and so they rented the facade of it and they put that huge shopping bag billboard up around it.
00:25:43.770 --> 00:25:53.850 David Griffin: And they did later acquired the building itself it's now I think interior offices for macy's it was called the million dollar corner because that's what may see had to pay in order to get that real estate.
00:25:54.180 --> 00:25:59.730 David Griffin: But he wasn't doing it on $11 a day that's for sure, by the time that that that happened so.
00:25:59.970 --> 00:26:05.520 Jeff Goodman: By the time they purchased that the rest of the store had been built around it So yes, exactly it looks it looks quite cute.
00:26:06.900 --> 00:26:09.090 Jeff Goodman: Little tiny building, you know, in the middle it.
00:26:09.420 --> 00:26:16.470 David Griffin: works out, you know it's like a great sort of pop art sort of well what have what happened here, well, it was it was an architectural hold out as.
00:26:17.700 --> 00:26:31.560 Jeff Goodman: Well let's talk about something that macy's does, which to me, is one of the brilliant things about about branding for me to department store it has it hosts one of the most famous parades in the world and it bears the macy's moniker.
00:26:31.980 --> 00:26:41.280 David Griffin: Yes, the macy's thanksgiving day parade in New York, this is actually the world's largest parade which sort of surprised me when I started looking into its history.
00:26:41.880 --> 00:26:49.230 David Griffin: presented, of course, by the macy's department store the parade started in 1924 and was not the first thanksgiving day parade.
00:26:49.770 --> 00:26:59.280 David Griffin: we'll talk a little bit more about that coming up, and there was also there were two parades that predated it, but it is the longest running parade in the United States.
00:26:59.670 --> 00:27:09.690 David Griffin: And it's tied for second oldest thanksgiving rating United States with the thanksgiving American thanksgiving day parade in the city of Detroit, which is actually held by the municipality of Detroit.
00:27:11.040 --> 00:27:24.750 David Griffin: So the three our parade is held in Manhattan it starts on Central park West I believe up and at first street near the museum or natural history and concludes in herald square outside of the grand facade of the macy's flagship store.
00:27:25.800 --> 00:27:39.390 David Griffin: It has been televised nationally on the NBC network since 1953 and all employees macy's department stores across the country have the option of choosing to march in the parade so it's definitely sort of something where.
00:27:39.690 --> 00:27:47.520 David Griffin: they're able to kind of take the day off if they want to travel and they can participate in putting on the parade as assistance and volunteers.
00:27:48.390 --> 00:27:53.880 Jeff Goodman: With a famous balloons David always part of the parade but When did they get introduced.
00:27:54.090 --> 00:28:02.460 David Griffin: They were introduced very early on, surprisingly early in 1928 they replaced a parade of live zoo animals.
00:28:03.090 --> 00:28:09.480 David Griffin: Because people thought well it's not really safe to have you know zoo animals traipsing around and what we do with them once the parade is over.
00:28:10.260 --> 00:28:22.650 David Griffin: So there was a designer called sark who created these large animal shape balloons and they are produced by the Goodyear tire and rubber company in akron Ohio from the 1920s, through the year 1980.
00:28:23.460 --> 00:28:31.950 David Griffin: The first year that they did this, there was no procedure that they came up with to deflate these things, so they let them just fly away, which I think.
00:28:32.400 --> 00:28:42.600 David Griffin: must have caused some alarm and outlying communities as these you know gigantic dragon some cats and mice and whatnot to sort of float over your town, but there you go.
00:28:44.070 --> 00:28:48.450 David Griffin: In 1928 five of the larger balloons were designed and filled with helium.
00:28:48.810 --> 00:28:58.080 David Griffin: to rise above 2000 feet and then slowly deflate for whomever was lucky enough to capture the contestants it was called macy's balloon race.
00:28:58.350 --> 00:29:04.110 David Griffin: And then they would be returned for a reward that was equivalent to more than $1,500.
00:29:04.530 --> 00:29:18.660 David Griffin: And this lasted until 1932 I think it was sort of discovered that when these things deflated gradually they actually did create a sort of a hazard or a nuisance if they happen to float down into a traffic intersection or wind up on top of City Hall somehow.
00:29:18.660 --> 00:29:18.930 Jeff Goodman: So.
00:29:19.530 --> 00:29:20.490 David Griffin: They stopped doing it.
00:29:21.480 --> 00:29:22.530 David Griffin: Well, so.
00:29:22.560 --> 00:29:24.660 Jeff Goodman: In addition to, but the mother, the.
00:29:25.350 --> 00:29:26.850 Jeff Goodman: Something being the mother of invention.
00:29:27.300 --> 00:29:28.200 David Griffin: The thing like that.
00:29:28.380 --> 00:29:29.190 Jeff Goodman: yeah yeah.
00:29:30.960 --> 00:29:41.910 David Griffin: In addition to the balloons and floats the parade also features live music and performances and it always ends with Santa Claus and Santa Claus is something that basically macy's really.
00:29:42.450 --> 00:29:49.560 David Griffin: sort of had under its wing as part of the branding process of macy's is the inventor of the department store Santa.
00:29:51.300 --> 00:29:52.710 Jeff Goodman: wow well right.
00:29:53.370 --> 00:29:53.670 well.
00:29:55.020 --> 00:29:55.440 Jeff Goodman: Sorry.
00:29:55.770 --> 00:29:57.000 David Griffin: Oh that's the film miracle on.
00:29:57.000 --> 00:29:58.830 Jeff Goodman: 34th street right right.
00:30:00.750 --> 00:30:07.050 Jeff Goodman: All right, well, David we're going to take a short break and when we come back we're going to start the second half of the program talking about.
00:30:07.740 --> 00:30:19.350 Jeff Goodman: A then major competitor of macy's, which is no longer here, but which a good many of our audience may have heard of, especially as depicted in that famous film miracle on 34th street we'll be back in a moment.
00:33:05.340 --> 00:33:22.350 Jeff Goodman: we're back and you're back to rediscovering New York and our episode 111 on new york's department stores, past and present our guest is David Griffin from when more branding support from our program comes from our sponsors the mark mom and team Morgan strategist at freedom.
00:33:23.220 --> 00:33:26.820 Jeff Goodman: For assistance and any kind of residential mortgage mark and his team can be reached at.
00:33:26.820 --> 00:33:30.330 Jeff Goodman: 646-330-4735.
00:33:31.110 --> 00:33:33.240 Jeff Goodman: and support also comes from the law offices of.
00:33:33.240 --> 00:33:34.110 Jeff Goodman: Thomas the aca.
00:33:34.350 --> 00:33:37.740 Jeff Goodman: Focusing on wills estate planning probate and inheritance litigation.
00:33:38.280 --> 00:33:48.570 Jeff Goodman: Tom and his staff can be reached at 212-495-0317 you can like the show on Facebook and you can follow me on instagram and Twitter my handle is with Jeff had been nyc.
00:33:49.290 --> 00:33:55.170 Jeff Goodman: If you have comments or questions or you'd like to get on our mailing list, please email me Jeff at rediscovering New York ny say.
00:33:56.370 --> 00:34:03.000 Jeff Goodman: One of the note before we get to the second half of the show on shopping and department stores, even though rediscovering New York is not sure about real estate.
00:34:03.420 --> 00:34:09.330 Jeff Goodman: When i'm not on the air, I am indeed a real estate agent now amazing city where I help my clients buy sale lease and rent property.
00:34:09.900 --> 00:34:20.700 Jeff Goodman: If you or someone you care about is considering a move into active within New York I would love to help you with all those real estate needs, you can reach me and my team at 646-306-4761.
00:34:21.840 --> 00:34:28.620 Jeff Goodman: Our guest is David Griffin of landmark branding David tell us a little bit about landmark branding and some of the projects that you're working on recently.
00:34:29.670 --> 00:34:41.940 David Griffin: Sure, things are so I founded landmark branding in 2013 and it is a marketing support service for real estate professionals, be the brokers developers architects designers.
00:34:42.330 --> 00:34:53.640 David Griffin: I do everything from VIP tours to writing listings histories and web content for my clients and also developing sort of special outreach projects and programs for them.
00:34:54.480 --> 00:35:03.600 David Griffin: Be that things such as mailings or bringing people together for a panel on a particular subject so offer a very diverse range of subjects sort of and services.
00:35:04.140 --> 00:35:09.660 David Griffin: You can find out more on my website, as he said, which is www dot landmark branding COM.
00:35:10.260 --> 00:35:19.650 David Griffin: The blog that you mentioned every building on fifth is also on that website i've written for brown stoner for metropolis dwell and for real estate weekly.
00:35:20.010 --> 00:35:30.630 David Griffin: and continue to do so, I am currently in the process of designing and launching a second blog titled to be determined on architecture around the country.
00:35:31.020 --> 00:35:41.250 David Griffin: And i'm also working on a project that will be a history of the penthouse as a New York and American architectural type so a lot of things kind of.
00:35:42.510 --> 00:35:56.400 David Griffin: under construction as far and yeah looking forward to moving forward in this year, as you know, we sort of re emerged from the pandemic with mark and back into a sort of more public mode of discourse, shall we say.
00:35:57.420 --> 00:36:07.860 Jeff Goodman: i'm looking forward to seeing your work on the pen house of senior produce other content about 10 houses and it's fascinating, not to mention really drew me to imagine oneself living in these in these great spaces.
00:36:09.750 --> 00:36:16.140 Jeff Goodman: Back to department stores gimbals they were a major competitor to macy's once upon a time where are they.
00:36:16.350 --> 00:36:25.020 David Griffin: Yes, so much so, there was at one point, the phrase does macy's tell gimbals when someone didn't want to release information that they felt was inappropriate.
00:36:25.800 --> 00:36:38.550 David Griffin: gimbals was a major rival to macy's, and yet they it's a very kind of interesting story, the company was founded by a young immigrant Adam gimbal.
00:36:39.060 --> 00:36:55.020 David Griffin: who opened a general store in indiana and then, as many of these people did macy being one of them, for example, siegel Cooper and other be moved gradually to New York City, which was the the sort of the lexus of capitalism and shopping.
00:36:56.430 --> 00:37:01.530 David Griffin: So he relocated to New York City and found the flagship store.
00:37:02.430 --> 00:37:12.960 David Griffin: He acquired a building that was opposite macy's and had Daniel H burnham was a well known architect to design the flat iron building design the gimbals department store.
00:37:13.470 --> 00:37:29.580 David Griffin: And so there was a real rivalry between them and macy's, of course, and to distinguish itself from macy's and other more luxurious quote unquote department stores or and then rising along fifth avenue gimbals advertising promised settle.
00:37:30.210 --> 00:37:35.670 David Griffin: No select don't settle, in other words, they promised a greater range of merchandise overall.
00:37:37.140 --> 00:37:46.680 David Griffin: gimbals had seven flagship stores throughout the country by 1930 and sales 420 $3 million, which would have been $1.9 billion today.
00:37:46.980 --> 00:38:02.280 David Griffin: Across 20 stores, this may gimbal brothers largest department store corporation in the world at the time by 1953 sales have risen to 300,000,002.9 billion today and in 1962 gimbals acquired a number of competitors throughout the country.
00:38:03.600 --> 00:38:09.510 David Griffin: gimbals principles and merchandise sought to reflect what they considered the ideals of middle class, America and other words.
00:38:09.780 --> 00:38:20.640 David Griffin: A lot of these department stores were what we now call aspirational they they sort of provided a quote unquote upper class fantasy of shopping or that was the general theme and gimbals did not.
00:38:21.660 --> 00:38:29.430 David Griffin: They were seeking to attract shoppers to restore who could also sort of fit their budgets, they kept the store very plain architecturally inside and out.
00:38:29.940 --> 00:38:33.660 David Griffin: Their programming was far less extravagant than some of their competitors.
00:38:34.020 --> 00:38:41.730 David Griffin: And gimbals use the slogan from time to time, you know the customer pays for fancy frills and other words he's providing you with a plane kind of.
00:38:42.060 --> 00:38:48.540 David Griffin: progenitor of the big box store not quite serious which had a similar approach was more male catalog oriented.
00:38:48.870 --> 00:39:03.060 David Griffin: gimbals was still a department store but it wasn't intended to be a highfalutin destination, it was a place where you went in and you bought on tax and jam and other household necessities, it was actually closer in spirit to the original dry goods stores, in that way.
00:39:04.350 --> 00:39:10.290 David Griffin: In 1925 gimbals linked it's herald square store to an acquired annex across the street, to the south.
00:39:10.650 --> 00:39:16.230 David Griffin: And I want to talk a little bit about something that new Yorkers can still admire, to this day, which is this gorgeous.
00:39:16.620 --> 00:39:25.950 David Griffin: copper bridge three stories tall that bridges over this that street was created by Richmond age shreve and William F lamb.
00:39:26.310 --> 00:39:39.390 David Griffin: And this was a cutting edge art DECO project for to architects who would then go on to assist in the designing of much more famous building on 34th street and 33rd street the empire state building on fifth avenue.
00:39:39.540 --> 00:39:41.460 Jeff Goodman: right down the block actually.
00:39:42.480 --> 00:39:43.800 Jeff Goodman: Whatever happened to give those David.
00:39:45.420 --> 00:39:53.280 David Griffin: I think in the long run of there's a lot of different you know sort of theories about what caused this to happen, but gimbals.
00:39:53.550 --> 00:40:02.850 David Griffin: sort of focusing on a more austere approach wound up I think kind of shooting them in the foot in a little bit it's sort of like well if we're really just going to have a plane.
00:40:03.390 --> 00:40:12.570 David Griffin: dry goods approach to this Why am I going all the way into the middle of New York City in order to to shop here there's no there's no sense of destination, in other words.
00:40:13.740 --> 00:40:30.480 David Griffin: But they were acquired in the 1960s by another store because they've been sorted passing out of fashion by 1986 the the under the new owners decided to close the gimbals division and sell all the store properties, so that was sort of the end of that.
00:40:32.070 --> 00:40:42.300 Jeff Goodman: let's spend a couple of minutes talking about one makers and their branch in New York, they were originally founded in Philadelphia and When did they extend their reach into New York City.
00:40:43.050 --> 00:40:55.110 David Griffin: In 1896 the store was founded in the post civil war period in Philadelphia, as you pointed out, and they have a magnificent building there anyone who's visiting Philadelphia, and you know once buildings become open again.
00:40:55.500 --> 00:41:05.340 David Griffin: I highly suggest taking a look at Atlanta makers it's about a block away from City Hall in Center city Philadelphia, and it has one of the largest pipe organs in the world constructed.
00:41:05.970 --> 00:41:15.990 David Griffin: Ever constructed installed within so Philadelphia Philadelphia store used to give Oregon concert music recitals to visitors and shoppers as they weren't being a perusing the departments.
00:41:16.470 --> 00:41:27.540 David Griffin: And they opened up a another store also very grand in New York City having acquired the at stewart's business, so the old iron store that I mentioned.
00:41:27.810 --> 00:41:37.800 David Griffin: They built a new annex across the street from that to the north, between the iron Palace and grace Church is the one makers building, and that is also by Daniel H burnham.
00:41:38.160 --> 00:41:45.180 David Griffin: It really is a superb piece of architecture it's very austere but it's extraordinarily beautiful proportion.
00:41:45.540 --> 00:41:52.410 David Griffin: And it's you know marble inside now it's sort of a reference to the Tucker whole marble Palace that's do it himself and founded down on broadway.
00:41:52.860 --> 00:42:01.800 David Griffin: And it didn't last particularly long, unfortunately, and you know the one makers did close down.
00:42:02.370 --> 00:42:14.520 David Griffin: The building is now occupied on the ground floor and the basement floor by a kmart I believe and the upper floors have been reconfigured as offices, but it was a very grand piece of architecture and it's day.
00:42:15.630 --> 00:42:32.460 Jeff Goodman: Well let's move down the block from macy's before we take a short break and let's talk about another major department store that went up on fifth avenue and 34 street the building, of course, which is still there, but not the store anymore and i'm referring to the famous be old men yes.
00:42:34.200 --> 00:42:39.840 David Griffin: bought by some people to be the most architecturally significant of the department stores ever constructed in New York City.
00:42:40.500 --> 00:42:50.610 David Griffin: Be altman was a luxury department store right from the get go founded in 1865 by Benjamin oldman and its flagship store the be altman and company building.
00:42:51.090 --> 00:42:56.760 David Griffin: stands at fifth avenue 34th street, and this is another story that did have other locations prior to that.
00:42:57.450 --> 00:43:08.910 David Griffin: This building was designed in 1902 to 1906 and it was built with an entirely marble facade again it's a reference to the tech a whole marble marble palace.
00:43:09.210 --> 00:43:18.690 David Griffin: By at Stewart but trowbridge and livingston where the designers of this store and that's very significant because travelers and the links to know the most people don't know them as an architectural firm.
00:43:18.960 --> 00:43:23.700 David Griffin: or responsible for many of the great fifth avenue mansions and altman wanted his house.
00:43:24.120 --> 00:43:36.750 David Griffin: Is a department store to have the sort of the pedigree of a fifth avenue mansion he wanted to fit in architecturally so they produced a very restrained, but at the same time very opulent building inside and out.
00:43:37.140 --> 00:43:43.320 David Griffin: And some of that survive in its current incarnation it's owned by I believe them New York university.
00:43:44.970 --> 00:43:45.540 David Griffin: So.
00:43:45.840 --> 00:43:49.950 Jeff Goodman: It really wasn't actually the city University of New York has sent to them, thank you.
00:43:50.010 --> 00:43:56.940 David Griffin: kimmy I forgot what the department is it's down there but they retain the elevator doors some of the chandelier is another interior details.
00:43:57.630 --> 00:44:12.690 David Griffin: Other things, for example, charleston gardens, which used to be a an actual restaurant modeled after a charleston South Carolina Villa and it's garden have been removed, of course, but it is still quite as quite a striking building.
00:44:14.250 --> 00:44:25.590 Jeff Goodman: Well, David we're gonna take a short break and when we come back we're going to speak about four more stores in our last segment if we can get through all of this wonderful content will take a short break and we'll be back in a moment.
00:44:27.570 --> 00:44:29.940 Jeff Goodman: you're listening to talk radio.
00:44:30.150 --> 00:44:30.600 And my.
00:46:41.790 --> 00:46:47.670 Jeff Goodman: we're back to episode 111 and rediscovering New York in our show on new york's fame department.
00:46:47.670 --> 00:46:48.780 Jeff Goodman: stores, past and present.
00:46:49.170 --> 00:46:59.460 Jeff Goodman: My guest is David Griffin founder and CEO of landmark branding and also our programs special consultant, thank goodness for special consultants for shows, like the state but it's good to have you back yeah i'm.
00:47:00.240 --> 00:47:09.480 Jeff Goodman: Moving a couple of Blocks up from beyond and let's take a brief visit to another fifth avenue department store that recently closed and i'm referring to Lord and Taylor.
00:47:09.960 --> 00:47:11.370 David Griffin: Yes, yeah it really.
00:47:11.370 --> 00:47:18.120 David Griffin: sort of a shame, I used to work more or less across the street from lord and Taylor, and it was actually really helpful to have it there.
00:47:18.750 --> 00:47:29.490 David Griffin: It was just nice to be able to go into that store and pick up you know items that you know I felt that I might need at some point or another, they also had a wonderful restaurant up on the top floor that I remember visiting several times.
00:47:30.030 --> 00:47:39.030 David Griffin: So lord and Taylor was founded in 1826 again as a dry goods store it moves up fifth avenue as be altman opens up that section of the city.
00:47:39.300 --> 00:47:49.560 David Griffin: For commercial retail they settle into a very elegant building by start and then click who become the sort of preeminent department store architects in this part of New York City.
00:47:50.160 --> 00:47:59.130 David Griffin: And for generations long tail or help define Christmas in New York, it was the city's first department store turn it's big sidewalk windows and animated.
00:47:59.430 --> 00:48:04.140 David Griffin: theatrical holiday displays and I believe it was the first such store in the world to do so.
00:48:04.770 --> 00:48:15.240 David Griffin: Then tourists would line up and see these windows sort of transformed into a chance for us gingerbread palaces wintery cityscapes they actually added motion to some of these.
00:48:15.720 --> 00:48:23.370 David Griffin: In 1938 there was an unseasonable E warm November, for example, and Lord and Taylor created a snow quote unquote blizzard behind glass.
00:48:23.640 --> 00:48:34.410 David Griffin: Using fans and cornflakes with signs announcing winter is coming sooner or later, so a little bit pre game of thrones and maybe more cheerful than that turned out to be.
00:48:35.370 --> 00:48:40.740 David Griffin: But i've still remember the Lord and Taylor window displays even when I was you know working in New York City very close by.
00:48:41.100 --> 00:48:55.410 David Griffin: You know just take a break, and you know after work go out when it was dark out just take a look at those gorgeous windows that they used to have it was really sort of an icon and help build that entire type of culture up and down fifth avenue from lord and Taylor all the way to tiffany's.
00:48:56.010 --> 00:49:05.820 Jeff Goodman: And didn't the window displays at wouldn't Taylor inspire another kind of creative window display up further up fifth avenue 140 ninth and 30th street.
00:49:06.540 --> 00:49:07.590 David Griffin: Are we talking about.
00:49:07.920 --> 00:49:14.820 Jeff Goodman: Saks fifth avenue, yes, or sometimes you know, in a particular movie as blacks fifth avenue but we'll call it sex because that's what it what.
00:49:15.030 --> 00:49:27.060 David Griffin: Saks fifth avenue is again a store by start and then luck and it was designed really so the the ground floor windows became the the the primary attraction that's not the case in stores like.
00:49:28.200 --> 00:49:35.340 David Griffin: macy's, for example, the ground floor window displays are negligible, but at Saks fifth avenue the the.
00:49:35.880 --> 00:49:45.510 David Griffin: sort of corners of the building facing fifth avenue at 49th and 30th are chalford That means that they are cut triangular least what they face the corner point.
00:49:45.780 --> 00:49:56.310 David Griffin: As opposed to just the street, and that means that you can even across the street sort of ascertain what are in those windows and it's it really becomes a kind of a wrapper around the glass at that for a store.
00:49:56.610 --> 00:50:12.420 David Griffin: And yes, Saks fifth avenue picked up what on on what lord and Taylor did, and they just ran with it, I feel, to this day, that they are the the preeminent store for Christmas decoration in New York City I haven't seen too much that's better elsewhere around the world.
00:50:13.770 --> 00:50:22.710 David Griffin: And inside now, but basically those windows are really masterpieces of kind of technology and craft and they have been for many, many years.
00:50:23.280 --> 00:50:27.030 Jeff Goodman: How many locations with Saxon prior to becoming Saks fifth avenue.
00:50:28.770 --> 00:50:36.330 David Griffin: I don't know the number of locations, but I do know that they were they were in numerous places.
00:50:37.020 --> 00:50:51.840 David Griffin: There is a sex with avenue store that I believe is now the home of a museum and i'm unfortunate i'm blanking on the name of the museum, but I believe that was on West 17th street between sixth and seventh avenues.
00:50:51.930 --> 00:50:53.100 Jeff Goodman: Is it the rubin museum of art.
00:50:53.100 --> 00:50:58.230 David Griffin: Yes, the rubin museum, thank you, that was originally a sex location and.
00:50:59.370 --> 00:51:00.150 David Griffin: let's see.
00:51:01.980 --> 00:51:10.050 David Griffin: I can't there was at least one other location before they moved to the the current place on fifth avenue, but I can't remember the exact address.
00:51:10.860 --> 00:51:27.960 Jeff Goodman: And that brings us to to me, one of the most iconic stores, which is no longer there, but was iconic also because of the artists who helped create some of the fabulous window displays and i'm talking about bond with Teller when was when did bandwidth open.
00:51:29.640 --> 00:51:32.340 David Griffin: That I don't know.
00:51:32.880 --> 00:51:33.960 Jeff Goodman: I love, something you David.
00:51:35.190 --> 00:51:35.550 Jeff Goodman: Really.
00:51:35.850 --> 00:51:41.970 David Griffin: I know that the original building was put up the the building that we're talking about was put up in the 1920s.
00:51:42.300 --> 00:51:48.510 David Griffin: And it's actually two different firms that worked on it, the first firm was born and wet more who designed grand central terminal.
00:51:48.810 --> 00:51:56.850 David Griffin: And this store that they created for bond retailer was one of their rare essays and art DECO and it was very fabulously ornamented inside now.
00:51:57.270 --> 00:52:09.810 David Griffin: And then sometime around 1927 1928 the store decided, maybe this is a little bit too over the top it's kind of competing with the things that we sell because they sold fine jewelry was really sort of their key item.
00:52:10.200 --> 00:52:16.500 David Griffin: And they hired a live chaka Khan, who, I think, is one of the greatest art DECO architects of all time.
00:52:16.770 --> 00:52:26.730 David Griffin: To come in and kind of give the store a bit of a makeover so he simplified the lines of Warren and What more is building he introduced them works of sculpture, and an incredible.
00:52:27.000 --> 00:52:37.410 David Griffin: Nickel grill it was three stories tall above the main entrance and unfortunately the building is no longer there, it was torn down in 1980 to 1983.
00:52:38.010 --> 00:52:43.200 David Griffin: By a developer, who happened to be named Donald J trump for trump tower.
00:52:43.590 --> 00:52:49.800 David Griffin: And what are the things that I think people were very annoyed at at the time was the fact that trump promise both the nickel plated grill.
00:52:50.070 --> 00:53:00.570 David Griffin: and certain portions of the art DECO sculpture, to the metropolitan museum of art and instead smash the sculptures installed and evidently sold the grill itself for scrap value.
00:53:01.470 --> 00:53:12.570 David Griffin: But the windows that Jeff was talking about are really remarkable because they were a store that hired artists in order to do their windows and one of their first ones was.
00:53:13.290 --> 00:53:27.660 David Griffin: Actually, in 1929 Salvador Dali so there was this kind of history of creative collaborations there dahlias windows interesting because he had these sort of grotesque elements wax hands holding mirrors.
00:53:28.140 --> 00:53:38.340 David Griffin: bathtub that was filled with water and sort of upholstered in black mink and lambskin there was a mannequin entering that top in an outfit of green feathers.
00:53:38.880 --> 00:53:47.190 David Griffin: poster beds that were floating or had buffalo legs waxed mannequins sitting on beds of false coals that were on fire.
00:53:47.520 --> 00:53:53.550 David Griffin: So actually people were very off put off by this display this window was not a success.
00:53:53.910 --> 00:53:59.490 David Griffin: And so, one retailer decided, you know let's just start removing it and we'll put in, you know more regular things.
00:53:59.820 --> 00:54:08.580 David Griffin: dally found out about this hopped into a cab had a huge fight in the actual bond with Teller window he tried dragging his BAT back into the window.
00:54:08.820 --> 00:54:21.510 David Griffin: He slipped so did the tub and the two of them went through the window and out onto the sidewalk of fifth avenue, so you can say it's the first time dally really made a splash New York what's with that incident.
00:54:22.920 --> 00:54:31.350 David Griffin: There were other artists, of course, who worked with one would tell her some became famous after they worked as window dressers others were well known at the time.
00:54:31.650 --> 00:54:38.730 David Griffin: But, for example, Jasper Johns and rauschenberg collaborated on some very rare work, including some early son of types.
00:54:39.300 --> 00:54:44.580 David Griffin: Jasper Johns did a word called Blue ceiling in 1955 that debuted at bond with Taylor.
00:54:45.420 --> 00:54:53.940 David Griffin: James rose and Chris was another artist associated with bond retailers windows, who was employed as a billboard painter for a number of years before becoming a fine artist and an.
00:54:54.870 --> 00:55:00.780 David Griffin: began to designing the display windows for bond with Teller and rush and brightness on to help them actually get that shot.
00:55:01.290 --> 00:55:16.890 David Griffin: But probably the most famous window artists outside of Dolly in terms of the work itself kind of helping them launch a career was none other than Andy warhol who was of course a fabric designer fashion designer fashion, artists, I should say in a commercial artist for many years.
00:55:18.000 --> 00:55:27.630 David Griffin: As specifically an illustrator so 1951 bond with Teller hired warhol to provide artwork for the shops windows as an extension of his work.
00:55:27.900 --> 00:55:36.900 David Griffin: And they didn't realize, I think that he had these kind of off guard pop sort of impulses and warhols work was also not being very taken very seriously New York at the time.
00:55:37.440 --> 00:55:49.590 David Griffin: and linking 6110 years later, brought a really big break the artists hung hangs five paintings behind department store models, and this was sort of a way where he announced the significance of his own artwork.
00:55:50.220 --> 00:56:04.890 David Griffin: They were lowbrow subjects was kind of a cheeky take on commercialism comic books strips newspaper advertisements things that he had painted behind these very stylish Lee dressed figures and playing very directly with the idea of art as advertising.
00:56:04.950 --> 00:56:05.400 Jeff Goodman: So.
00:56:05.640 --> 00:56:06.660 David Griffin: We can almost say that.
00:56:07.890 --> 00:56:10.890 David Griffin: Andy warhol really got his start in the window Obama Teller.
00:56:11.070 --> 00:56:21.180 Jeff Goodman: Well, David we're at a time, the one store that we can't talk about is bergdorf, which is a few blocks north of where bomb was but it's still there for all to say.
00:56:21.810 --> 00:56:32.370 Jeff Goodman: Well, David thanks so much for being a guest on our show our guest today has been David Griffin from landmark branding and his web address is www dot landmark branding COM.
00:56:33.450 --> 00:56:42.510 Jeff Goodman: Thanks for joining us on the show about department stores in New York, if you have comments or questions about the show if you'd like to get a mailing list, please email me Jeff at rediscovering New York penn nyc.
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