Bergdorf Goodman, Manhattan
Address: 754 Fifth Avenue New York, NY 10019
Architect: Buchman & Kahn
LPC Action: Calendared 1970
LPC Backlog Hearing: Prioritized for designation
Designated - December 13, 2016
Constructed as seven individual but architecturally unified stores, this structure replaced the Cornelius Vanderbilt II mansion, one of the grandest Gilded Age residences in the city. Its distinct seven- and nine-story massing pays homage to the demolished Vanderbilt structure. Bergdorf Goodman, established in 1899 by Herman Bergdorf and Edwin Goodman, was one of the building’s first tenants. They eventually acquired the entire building, and further expanded into two adjacent buildings in 1959. In 1984, the building received a new base, designed to unify the previously separate storefronts in a way that would relate to the rest of the building. In addition to being home to an iconic New York retailer, the structure is significant for its refined design and strong classical organization, featuring a series of bays with a tight rhythm of windows. Its white South Dover marble façade, capped by a slate roof, features shallow changes of planes to create lines, shadows and decorative figures. The building is also significant for its intended role as part of a tableau with the nearby Squibb building (also by Kahn), as well as the Pierre, Sherry Netherland and Plaza Hotels.