8. Lord and Taylor
Another recent example of New York City’s lost department stores, Lord and Taylor was founded in 1824 by English-born Samuel Lord as a dry goods business. Lord would open the company’s first store in 1826 on Catherine Street in what is now Two Bridges, providing customers with hosiery, misses wear, and cashmere shawls. He would later be joined by his wife’s cousin George Washington Taylor in 1834. Renaming the store Lord and Taylor, the two went on to open various locations across the city, including one on Broadway at Grand Street in 1846, which was described as a “five-story marble emporium.”
Located at 424-434 Fifth Avenue between 38th and 39th Streets is the Lord & Taylor Building, which formerly served as Lord & Taylor’s flagship department store in New York City. The 11-story building was constructed from 1913 to 1914 and designed by Starrett & van Vleck in the Italian Renaissance Revival style. Complete with a base of limestone, gray brick facade, copper cornices, and a chamfered roof, the building is often described as the first “frankly commercial” structure to have been built on Fifth Avenue north of 34th Street.
The building was also unique for its modern features, such as an electric delivery vehicle garage, elevator, hidden conveyor system to move goods, and an on-site electrical generator and heating system. Named a New York City landmark in 2007, the building was mostly sold to the workspace company WeWork in 2019, with Lord & Taylor closing down their store inside. Currently, the building is owned by Amazon, with plans to open brand new offices in 2023.