11 October 2012

Now There's Irony

A year or so ago, Brooks Brothers opened their hip version of themselves, The Flatiron Shop, in a corner space at Broadway and 20th Street. I didn't get a good look at it until accidentally passing by the place yesterday, so I didn't realize that it had taken up residence in the old Lord & Taylor building.

The structure, the third built and occupied by Lord & Taylor, was erected in 1870. The department store abandoned it to newer digs uptown in 1915. It used to occupy much of the block, but now only a sliver of the original edifice remains, and it is that sliver that Brooks Brothers now calls home. Brooks Brothers was, or course, one of Lord & Taylor's main rivals throughout the 19th century and beyond. The store was located at Broadway and Bond when Lord & Taylor was at this address, and later moved to 23rd Street. Brooks decamped for midtown the same year L&T did. Wrote the New York Times in 1915: "When Lord & Taylor decided to go to Fifth Avenue and 38th Street it was rumored Brooks Brothers would soon joint the uptown movement."

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