Saks Fifth Avenue is one of the grand flagship department stores that turned Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan into the city’s and the country’s premier shopping street.
Designed by department store specialists Starrett & Van Vleck and built in 1922-24, Saks had to conform both to the conservative impulse to harmonize with the architectural character of Fifth Avenue, as promulgated by the Fifth Avenue Association, and to the modern requirements of an up-to-the-minute luxury department store, as well as to the new zoning law of New York which mandated upper floors to be progressively set back from the lot-line. The resulting design was a handsome, but restrained and dignified neo-Renaissance style retail palazzo, with its administrative offices occupying the less visible setback stories above the seventh floor.
STATUS Designated Individual Landmark
“I don’t know what the City would be without HDC. [They] testified before LPC time after time and helped us focus on the right issues. We would not be an historic district without HDC! ”
Doreen Gallo: DUMBO Neighborhood Alliance
“Use HDC as a resource because they know what they are doing and can offer advice on how to go about creating a district from every front: architectural, political, LPC, and the media. I had floundered prior to my involvement with this invaluable organization.”
Fern Luskin: Lamartine Place Historic District; Friends of Lamartine Place & Gibbons Underground Railroad Site
“HDC provided guidance and shared information during that process—we knew which Council members were going one way or another and we changed a few minds. I don’t think NoHo would have had as cohesive a district had it not been for HDC’s aid.”
Zella Jones: NoHo Historic District; NoHo East; and NoHo Extension
“I remember Richard saying at a meeting, we have someone here from HDC, Nadezhda Williams, Director of Preservation and Research, to help us. She said to us, ‘You are not the only ones going through this.’ HDC included us in an enormous community”
Erika Petersen: West End Preservation Society