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The Bowery Boys recently took us into Gimbel’s traverse, a gorgeous skybridge located on West 32nd Street in Herald Square. In 1910, Gimbel’s department store set up a location in Herald Square near their main competitor, Macy’s. Other departments stores followed suit, and a shopping district was born. To distinguish themselves from the other department stores, Gimbel’s was known for various marketing ploys like the “bargain basement.” If that wasn’t enough to attract attention, they also created a skybridge  in 1925 which connected the department store to the newly-acquired annex next door. Architects Richmond H. Shreve and William F. Lamb, who later helped design the Empire State Building, designed the copper, three-story-tall structure. With this marvelous feat of engineering, shoppers no longer had to deal with crossing the congested street below.

NYC Gimbel's Traverse sky bridges Untapped Cities Sabrina RomanoSketch of the traverse by Gerald K. Geerlings, 1927. Image via the Museum of the City of New York

Gimbel’s never reached the high status that Macy’s still holds on to today. Almost 90 years later, the Manhattan Mall stands where Gimbel’s used to. The only remnants of Gimbel’s is the oxidized green skybridge. Although intact, it has become dilapidated and is no longer used. There are rumors going around that this sky bridge may be torn down in the near future.

A listener of the Bowery Boys podcast and worker in the Gimbel’s building was recently given access into the structure and shared some amazing photographs from the interior:

current state of traverseImage via The Bowery Boys

Gimbel's traverse sky bridge Untapped Cities Sabrina RomanoImage via The Bowery Boys

View from Gimbel's traverse sky bridge Untapped Cities Sabrina RomanoImage via The Bowery Boys

Gimbel's traverse sky bridge Sabrina Romano Untapped CitiesImage via The Bowery Boys

Gimbel's traverse sky bridge Untapped Cities Sabrina RomanoImage via The Bowery Boys

The Gimbel’s traverse is only one of countless skybridges in New York City. For more New York City sky bridges, check out the skybridges in Madison Square Park, Columbia, and Herald Square and an array of skybridges in other neighborhoods of New York City.

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