Posts Tagged ‘Gimbels’

Holiday toy shopping at Gimbels in 1934

December 8, 2010

In the thick of the Depression, I wonder how many lucky New York kids got one of these cool toys for Christmas.

That police car with the electric lights would be worth a lot more than $1.31 today. As for the cowboy suit, it comes with a gun and bullets. Can you even buy a slightly realistic looking toy gun these days?

This ad comes from a December 1934 edition of the Daily News. Gimbels was huge then, as anyone who has ever seen Miracle on 34th Street knows.

The department store giant started  held on until the mid-1980s. A faded Gimbels ad on 30th Street is all that’s left.

Herald Square in the 1950s and today

April 21, 2010

“One of the most popular shopping centers in the world” proclaims the back of this 1950s-era postcard.

It’s a nice look back at what would still be considered Herald Square’s department store glory days, before its decline into a more low-rent district.

There’s Gimbels, defunct since the 1980s, and Macy’s next door. Far off  on the right is the sign for the Hotel McAlpin, the largest hotel in the world when it opened in 1912.

On the right is the Hotel Martinique. Once a stately place to rent a room when Herald Square was the city’s theater district, it would become a disgusting welfare hotel in the 1970s and 1980s.

Herald Square today is spruced up, with a Bloomberg-era pedestrian plaza in front of the cleaned up Radisson Martinique.

Gimbels’ old building is covered in glass. Macy’s remains, of course, as does the McAlpin, now apartments.

A shuttered subway passageway at 14th Street

July 8, 2008

This pedestrian tunnel, which links the 7th Avenue 1-2-3 station to the 8th Avenue A-C-E-L lines, remains locked behind iron bars. It’s located just to the side of the token booth. Could be that the MTA closed it down when it sealed off about 15 other underground passageways in 1991 after a woman was raped in one at 42nd Street.

According to the The Municipal Art Society of New York, Penn Station has an extensive network of long-closed underground tunnels that connect to the Pennsylvania Hotel, the old Gimbels store between 32nd and 33rd Streets (the current Manhattan Mall), and the Farley Post Office across 8th Avenue. And the city is looking into opening them up again. If you like old subway porn, check out the pictures here.

Defunct department stores: Gimbels

April 19, 2008

The G is a little faded, but this ad on the side of a building on West 30th Street is remarkably well-preserved. Gimbels bit the dust in 1986 after at least 100 years as one of New York’s top department stores and longtime rival of Macy’s. Manhattan Mall now occupies its former 33rd Street site.