365 5th Avenue
NYC by the Movies

Miracle on 34th Street – 365 Fifth Avenue

The building on the Northeast corner of 34th and Fifth Avenue is one of my favorites in the area. It has the most beautiful accents over the doors, like fragile turtle shells leading to a world I long to be in: The CUNY Graduate Center, most specifically, the Gotham Center. You can get an advanced degree in NYC history there. How cool is that? But the building has been more than that. In 1906, the B. Altman Department store opened its Flagship store in this building. The company had been around since 1865. The first store opened on the Lower… Read More

Historic, but not famous

Adolph Namm, dry good store owner in Brooklyn

Adolph I. Namm (1856 – 1920) was a Polish immigrant, coming to NYC in 1870, and opening  an embroidery and upholstery business in Manhattan along Ladies Miles on 6th AVenue. In 1885, he moved his business in Brooklyn, and by 1891 he opened a new store at 452 Fulton. At the time, that stretch of Fulton Street was emerging as a popular commercial shopping destination. His son, Benjamin Harrison Namm, eventually took over the business in 1910 due to Adolph’s poor health. During its heyday, the store was enormously successful. It was also one of the largest cash-only enterprises in… Read More

Historic, but not famous

Louis Blumstein, department store owner

In 1885 Louis Blumstein arrived in the United States from Germany. He worked as a street peddler and in 1894 opened a store on Hudson Street. In 1898 he moved to West 125th Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues, already a major regional shopping center. Mr. Blumstein died in the 1920s and his family took over the store. The family tore down the store after his death and built a 5 story building. It was a beautiful $1 million art deco building, second largest on 125th street after the Hotel Teresa and completed in 1923.  They were the largest department… Read More