Today, we take a look at some of New York City’s most notable architectural holdouts–those buildings that refused to be demolished in the face of oncoming development and remain today, curiously and sometimes incongruously in the urban landscape.

1. Macy’s Shopping Bag at 34th Street

1908. Photo from Library of Congress.

Recently, the giant shopping bag at the front of Macy’s made its way onto our Daily What?! series. Well, really we mean the building covered by the Macy’s bag, an architectural holdout that forced Macy’s to build around rather than over it. But it wasn’t so much that the building owner refused to move, as he was holding the corner unit hostage hoping to force Macy’s to give up its earlier location on 6th Avenue and 14th Street. Macy’s called the bluff, so the owner demolished the building and replaced it with a 5-story building on which Macy’s started advertising on in 1945. Even today, it’s still owned by a separate entity from Macy’s, the Rockaway Company.

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4 thoughts on “10 NYC Architectural Holdouts: Buildings that Stood in the Way of Development

  1. I started reading one article ONE! and now this is my 5th…
    damm you Untapped cities!

  2. Untapped Cities is the most interesting and best website I have ever been to and enjoyed! I thank you for all your articles and stories you post. I find myself sitting and going from one to another story for hours and feel like it’s just been for a few minutes. Please keep the great articles coming. Joe Sabella.

  3. There’s also a great holdout on the corner of 17th Street and 10th Ave. The Caledonia is wrapped around it. You can see the little hold out in tons of historical pictures if the High Line.

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