The original tenant of a beautiful storefront or commercial building bites the dust.
The now historic storefront remains—but the new tenant is nothing like the well-heeled old one.
Consider 597 Fifth Avenue, at 48th Street (left, in a NYPL photo), a glass and iron beauty with three stories and a commanding grand staircase.
It was home to Scribners bookstore from 1913 to 1989.
Today it’s a Sephora, the beauty porn chain store.
I’m surprised Duane Reade didn’t take over this gorgeous space on Eighth Avenue and 14th Street, the longtime headquarters of New York Savings Bank (from a 1940s Life magazine piece, clearly at Christmastime).
It served as a rug store in the 1990s and then put in a brief run as a Balducci’s before CVS moved in.
Those superhigh ceilings and marble walls make it a very imposing place to pick up cold meds and soda.