Not many retail establishments can trace their roots back before the Civil War. But R.H. Macy opened his eponymous store at the corner of 14th Street and 6th Avenue in Manhattan in 1858, then later moved to 18th Street and Broadway as the business grew. Finally, further growth took the flagship store to 34th Street and Broadway — Herald Square — in 1902, where it remains to this day. Its
building, an art deco masterpiece, is designated as a National Historic Landmark.
With about two million square feet of retail space, Macy’s claims to be “The World’s Largest Store.” Maybe it is, but it’s certainly the one that’s been permanently linked in the minds of Americans everywhere as what New York elegance is all about. The Thanksgiving parade (Great American Things, November 25, 2009) for which the company is justifiably proud, dates back to 1924, and is still one of the most anticipated events of the holiday season.
In the last century, Macy’s merged with other department store chains and is now a national brand found at many regional malls. But there’s still something magical about that store in Herald Square. Sure, the branches are Macy’s, but the Manhattan store is MACY’S.
- A glance at Macy’s history (seattletimes.nwsource.com)