Lord & Taylor

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Features, History, holidays

Shoppers check out a holiday window, via The Library of Congress

Santa rode in on his sleigh at the end of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and you know what that means: It’s officially the holiday season in New York. It’s fitting that Macy’s heralds the beginning of our collective good cheer since R. H. Macy himself revolutionized the holiday season when he debuted the nation’s very first Christmas Windows at his store on 14th Street in 1874. Since then, all of New York’s major department stores have been turning merchandise into magic with show-stopping holiday window displays. Historically, New York’s holiday windows have deployed a combination of spectacle, science, and art, with cutting-edge technology and the talents of such luminaries as Andy Warhol, Salvador Dali, and Robert Rauschenberg. From hydraulic lifts to steam-powered windows, take a look back at the history of New York’s holiday windows, the last word in high-tech, high-design holiday cheer.

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Design, Midtown, Starchitecture

As 6sqft reported earlier this month, Bjarke Ingels’ restoration of the landmarked Lord & Taylor building won’t alter the design of the original structure all that much. But one major update the Bjarke Ingels Group will bring to the 104-year Fifth Avenue department store includes a new roof terrace with multi-use areas and a glassy courtyard. The firm’s proposal, set to be presented to the Landmarks Preservation Commission on Tuesday, reveals a new rendering of the rooftop as well as plans to change the iconic store’s signage.

Design updates here

Design, Midtown, Starchitecture

Via Bjarke Ingels Group

The first set of renderings of Bjarke Ingels’ restoration of the landmarked Lord & Taylor building was released last month and it appears the starchitect’s firm will not sway too far from the original structure’s design. WeWork hired BIG last year to preserve the 104-year-old store, which will become the co-working company’s new global headquarters. In its presentation on Oct. 30 to Manhattan’s Community Board 5, the firm explained its plan to reconfigure the ground-floor, install canopies, replace signage, and more, as first reported by the Associated Press.

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Midtown

Photo courtesy of Lord & Taylor

At the beginning of next year, Lord & Taylor will close its Fifth Avenue flagship after a 104-year run. Owner Hudson’s Bay Co. sold the 676,000-square-foot Italian Renaissance building to WeWork for $850 million a year ago in an attempt to keep the department store brand afloat. With just a few months left at their storied location, Lord & Taylor will launch on Thursday a final “store closing” sale that will last through the holidays, according to the Post. And speaking of the holidays, they’ve also decided that instead of their normal six window displays between 38th and 39th Streets, they’ll only decorate two this holiday season.

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Midtown, real estate trends

Photo courtesy of Lord & Taylor

Lord & Taylor’s iconic New York City flagship store will close its doors next year, after occupying the Fifth Avenue building for 104 years. In an attempt to keep afloat last year, Hudson’s Bay, owner of the department store, sold the 676,000-square-foot building for $850 million to WeWork, who planned to make the landmark its new global headquarters.

While Lord & Taylor was left with roughly 150,000 square feet of space at 424 Fifth Avenue, the company struggled to maintain profitability after the turnover of the building to WeWork. Including the iconic flagship, the company will also close as many as 10 Lord & Taylor stores total (h/t Bloomberg). In a first-quarter report, Hudson’s Bay said: “Exiting this iconic space reflects Lord & Taylor’s increasing focus on its digital opportunity and HBC’s commitment to improving profitability.”

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Midtown

Photo courtesy of Lord & Taylor

With rising rents and a national shift towards e-commerce, retail vacancies in NYC have continued to rise, especially in affluent areas like the Fifth Avenue corridor. Old-school department stores, which once served as cultural destinations where shoppers would spend entire afternoons, have been hit especially hard since they occupy such large sites. One of Midtown’s most iconic, the 103-year-old Lord & Taylor flagship at Fifth Avenue and 39th Street, has decided to stay afloat by selling its 676,000-square-foot Italian Renaissance building to WeWork for $850 million. The co-working company will relocate its global headquarters to the landmark, reports the Times, leaving less than a quarter of the space, roughly 150,000 square feet, to Lord & Taylor.

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Midtown, New Developments

The 103-year-old landmarked Lord & Taylor flagship store at 424 Fifth Avenue may be getting a luxurious makeover. As the New York Post learned, the speculative project includes constructing a steel-and-glass skyscraper and redeveloping the building into an office and residential tower, keeping the 11-story department store as the base. Sources tell the Post that NYC property executive Richard Baker, who acquired Lord & Taylor in 2008, is behind the development talks. And though few details are known, “real estate insiders” point out that nearby towers rise as high as 60 stories.

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