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Macy’s makeover simplifies Art Deco look

27 November 2012 No Comment

An iconic American department store is to receive a makeover costing in the region of $400 million, nytimes.com reports. Macy’s flagship store on West 34th Street Manhattan, is in the process of undergoing a revamp that is promised will ‘maintain the store’s architectural integrity’.


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The work commenced a few months ago and much of the first floor is partitioned off. While the store has undergone many refits since it opened in 1902, this is the most extensive renovation Macy’s has ever attempted, according to gothamist.com.

The new look is not winning everyone over


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However, the new look is not winning everyone over. Preservationist, Theodore Grunewald bemoans the pared back-look, which has removed much of the familiar and striking Art Deco features. Once covered in elegant marble cladding panels, the columns had been simplified and the ‘dramatic’ chandeliers have also been removed.

Historic department store building

Mr Grunewald said:

“Macy’s has something unique. Why do they want it to be like everyone else?”


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That being said, the project is also keen to restore as many interesting features as possible. This includes work on the ornate memorial entrance and the majority of the famous wooden escalators. After all, the store was awarded National Register of Historic Places status in 1978.

Famously featured in Xmas feel-good classic ‘Miracle on 34th Street’


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The department store assumes almost an entire block between Seventh Avenue and Broadway. It provides the backdrop for the annual Thanksgiving Parade in which huge floats pass along the street. It is also known for featuring in the Christmas feel-good classic, ‘Miracle on 34th Street’.

Author: Elizabeth Smythe   Date Written: 27 November 2012

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