The Macy’s flagship at Herald Square is currently in the process of a long overdue top-to-bottom renovation. She’s still a grand old lady, with her wooden escalators and gleaming elevators, but her finery was starting to look a little tattered and we wouldn’t want the place to eventually degrade into a Miss Havisham squatting next to Penn Station, now would we?
However, the New York Times reports that the proceedings have at least one preservationist a little alarmed. On a recent visit he noticed that the columns in the Broadway-facing “Great Hall” are missing their marble, and the chandeliers are gone. And upon whom does Theodore Grunewald cast blame for these developments? Apple, of course:
“I hate to say it, but what they’ve got is Apple store fever. It seems to me that every retail designer now thinks that copying the Apple store will land them the same success that Apple has had with the millennials,” Mr. Grunewald said. “But right now, I’ve got Apple fatigue, because everywhere you go, you see the same idiom of clear glass cases, glass banisters on staircases, minimal ceiling and floor detailing.”
A Macy’s spokesperson defended the plan, calling attention to the plans to restore the grand 34th street entrance. She also pointed out that the marble was added in the 1970s.
At least they’re not veering too far in the other direction and co-opting the twee stylings of so many New York startups–stripping it down to the bare brick walls and installing IKEA furniture. That would be a true travesty.