Categories
Landmarks

Going Up: New York got its first commercial elevator 160 years ago

Cast-iron construction, pioneered in America by architect James Bogardus in the 1850s, became the preferred method of building large dry goods shops and department stores in the mid- and late nineteenth century, thanks to the speed with which these enormous buildings could go up and the savings they presented over heavier, more cumbersome construction methods. Today […]

Categories
Neighborhoods

Lord & Taylor’s splashy move to Fifth Avenue in 1914, to the “very centre of the sphere of fashionable activity”

Lord & Taylor’s at Fifth Avenue and 38th Street, in the 1920s, photo by the Wurts Brothers (courtesy NYPL)Loehmann’s, the once-great Brooklyn-based department store, closes all their locations for good tomorrow, another causality of the changing economy and people’s changing tastes in shopping. But let’s not dwell on the decline of the department store. Let’s […]

Abercrombie & Fitch used to be more robust and gentlemanly

I’ve never understood why tourists wait in line to get into the Fifth Avenue Abercrombie & Fitch clothing shop, with its several floors of basic casual clothing, perfumed showrooms and salespersons who are often barely wearing the apparel they are attempting to sell. But visiting an Abercrombie & Fitch store from one hundred years was quite […]

Abercrombie & Fitch used to be more robust and gentlemanly

I’ve never understood why tourists wait in line to get into the Fifth Avenue Abercrombie & Fitch clothing shop, with its several floors of basic casual clothing, perfumed showrooms and salespersons who are often barely wearing the apparel they are attempting to sell. But visiting an Abercrombie & Fitch store from one hundred years was quite […]

Categories
Christmas

Christmas in the afternoon: A tour around Greeley Square

I’m not 100% sure on the date of this photo, but I’ll place it in the late 1940s, as Life photographer Nina Leen did a great many photoshoots for the magazine in this period. The statue of Horace Greeley sits astride the big Christmas tree as perfect afternoon light casts shadows upon the corner of 33rd and […]