Now out of Business, Lord & Taylor Began its 200-Year Run on the Lower East Side

Posted on: September 9th, 2020 at 5:00 am by

Lord & Taylor is bankrupt, and closing all of its remaining stores. Every last one.

The financial ruination is a result of online competition and diminished mall traffic, further exacerbated by the novel coronavirus. Burying the big-box company after 194 years in business.

All 38 remaining stores and official website are offering liquidation sales.

So, it’s definitely worth revisiting the Lower East Side origins of Lord & Taylor

In 1826, Lord & Taylor put down roots at 47 Catherine Street. Founded by 23-year-old Samuel Lord and his wife’s cousin George Washington Taylor, the eponymous business had been considered the “oldest upscale, specialty-retail department store chain in the United States.” They specialized, as now, in “fashionable dry goods” that catered to women. The original location was inside a three-story dwelling, and doubled in size within a year of its opening. The growth continued, and the company annexed 49 Catherine six years later.

47 Catherine Street

Growth and good fortune were on their side. Lord & Taylor continued to expand, first with a relocation to 61-63 Catherine in 1838 where it would remain for fifteen years. Then the formidable company built itself a new headquarters at 255 Grand Street (southeast corner of Chrystie). According to the Landmarks Preservation Commission, this Lower East Side building had “a domed rotunda and large windows which allowed natural light to flood the interior.”

Not too long after, Lord spotted an empty parcel at 461-467 Broadway, and began construction of its flagship palatial digs. The five-story “marble emporium” debuted on August 29, 1859, and became the “first of the major retailers to move to Broadway after the opening of A. T. Stewart’s department store at Broadway and Chambers Street.”

Fifty-five years later saw the move to the once-mighty Fifth Avenue flagship, designed by Starrett & Van Vleck, and erected in 1914.

Recent Stories

Jing Fong Workers Protest Dining Room Closure and Rumored Shutdown

Despite the brisk weather, several dozen union members and Jing Fong employees rallied Tuesday morning in front of the East West Bank on Centre Street to save save the iconic dim sum restaurant. Advocates called on the Chu family, which owns the Elizabeth Street property (and the aforementioned bank), to stop killing Chinatown and to keep […]

Forever Stalled Delancey Street Condo Tower is Finally Rising

Stop the press – there is actual real world progress to report on a long-stalled development at the east end of Delancey Street. The 12-story “boutique condo” at the corner of Delancey and Pitt Streets has seen some serious progress in recent months, after spending most of its life cycle as a stalled steel skeleton. […]

Asian Man Pummeled Outside East Broadway Station in Latest Biased Attack

An Asian man was assaulted in an unprovoked attack outside the East Broadway subway station Tuesday night, adding to a recent spate of biased assaults against Asians across the city. Cops said the 56-year-old victim was entering the F train station – the Rutgers Street entrance by Woo’s Wonton King – at about 8:50pm when […]

NY PopsUp with Performances at Essex Crossing

A small crowd gathers outside the entrance to the International Center of Photography on Essex Street. Rain be damned. Music blares onto the street. Inside the sparse Essex Crossing storefront, behind plate-glass windows, a group of dancers prance around to the rhythm. The weekend spectacle was part of NY PopsUp, the months-long festival billed by […]

Lady Gaga’s Former Lower East Side Apartment is Back on the Market

The Lower East Side apartment formerly inhabited by Lady Gaga before she was famous is again available for rent. The one-bedroom abode at 176 Stanton Street (#4A) is currently listed for $2,000 per month via StreetEasy, and has been on the market for about thirty-five days. And the broker babble was recycled from past listings. […]