Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Gimbles on Herald Square

Here's myself in February 1972, at the very spot... the passage from the 33rd Street PATH Station to Gimbels.

Once upon a time, there was a Gimbel’s across from Macy’s in Herald Square. And, underneath Gimbel’s, a “Gimbel’s Passageway” which connected the 34th and 6th Avenue Herald Square BMT-IND subway station (currently served by the B,D,F,V and N,Q,R,W), with the PATH train, IRT Penn Station Subway (1, 2, 3 trains at 7th Avenue), IND Penn Station subway (A, C, E at 8th Avenue), along with Amtrak, LIRR and NJ Transit all without going above ground (anyone who has had to make the connection from the 6th Avenue/Broadway Line or PATH to Penn Station can relate to the futility of having to go upstairs, walk west on 34th Street, only to have to go back down stairs).

As you know, Macy’s won the day, Gimbel’s shut their NY store in 1986 (it became the Manhattan Mall, with itself is undergoing many renovations) and the passageway was shut due to “security issues”.

But a new plan for 15 Penn Plaza, a commercial tower set to replace the Hotel Pennsylvania may actually have the tunnel reopening again, and another piece of forgotten NY may re-emerge from the doldrums. Here’s for reopening the passage and being able to retell the story of some iconic pieces of NYC history.
(via Gothamist, NY Times, Wikipedia, and my noggin)

see this wonderful site about the tunnels:

 Herald Square in the 1950s. 
Looking north from Greeley Square with the Gimbles and Saks bldgs on the left - 1965.

In 1967, discount retailer Korvette's moved into the Saks bldg. They 'modernized' the façade, as seen below. Founded in 1947 by Eugene Ferkauf in a small store on 5th Ave and W 47th St. Korvette's expanded quickly, with 2,684 stores in operation by the mid-1960s. 
same view as above in 1969. read more about this place at:
 Gimbels seen from the air.
32nd Street & 6th Ave. on 8th September 1980.
Saks building at W 33rd St with its competitor Macy's one block north at W 34th St. 1902.

Gimbels on 24th January 1910 - 6th Avenue & 32nd Street with Penn Station in the background.


  1. Here's my tribute to the passage, showing where it comes out on both sides (Which is almost impossible to tell after the area renovations 20 years ago: Also includes a link to a site simulating the proposed new passage).

    That third picture is a good one I've never seen before. Is that recent?

    I wish they would scrap the new tower, and just refurbish the hotel. Will take too long to complete, and I've waited for this tunnel to reopen for over 20 years.
    I'm also awaiting the new, never opened one on 42nd between 6th and 7th! (Built in the sidewalk vault as part of the Bank of America tower, but MTA has yet to connect it on the Times Sq. side).

  2. Hi, Eric B. Nice to hear from you, someone who really cares. I got all these photos from the Internet... except the one in which I AM in... which was taken in February 1972. Thanks for writing.

  3. this is the wonderful site Eric B has done:

  4. Awesome pictures, I grew up in the area around the 2000s and I had no idea it looked like this. Thanks for sharing!!

  5. It's a pleasure, sourpatch... I wonder whether you've seen the other site... it's awsome: