Posts Tagged ‘old department stores in New York City’

The humble beginnings of two fashion giants

September 8, 2010

Luxury department store Bergdorf Goodman has been at its current location on Fifth Avenue and 58th Street for over 70 years.

Which is why it’s easy to forget that like most massive New York City retailers, the company started small much farther down Fifth Avenue.

On a grimy, neon-lit stretch of 32nd Street just east of Fifth Avenue stands the second Bergdorf building, constructed in 1906. Here, Herman Bergdorf, immigrant tailor from Alsace, ran a successful ladies tailoring shop until he outgrew the space in the 1920s.

The Lerner company also got its start in midtown with a small namesake building.

In 1907, this once-huge mass market fashion chain—does the label even exist anymore?—opened on Seventh Avenue in the 30s as a plus-size retailer.  

See the green and yellow emblems flanking the top of the facade? They’re quite a majestic touch!