Girish Mahajan

Marbridge Building

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The Marbridge Building is an office establishment located at 1328 Broadway between 34th and 35th Streets, on the east side of Herald Square, Manhattan, New York City. It opened in 1909, an 11-story building, utilized in part by Rogers Peet. Until October 1910 it stood opposite the Alpine apartment house, which was at the northeast corner of Broadway and 33rd Street. The Alpine and old stores between 33rd and 34th Streets were demolished to make room for the $5,000,000 Hotel McAlpin near the end of 1910. On the other side of Broadway were located the Macy's and Saks Incorporated stores, with the Gimbels store just below.


Initially, John McGraw, then the manager of the New York Giants baseball team, ran a billiards parlor in the newly opened building. He was associated in this venture with Mike Donlin, one of the Giants' outfielders. Pool playing phenomenon Willy Hoppe took over this business in January 1912 when McGraw and Donlin moved to the Studebaker Building, 48th Street and Broadway. They started a new billiard and pool room there.


Sam Kronsky formed a syndicate to buy the Marbridge Building in 1920. He opened a real estate office in 1906 after serving a short apprenticeship. His specialty was mortgage refinancing. The Samuel Kronsky Company obtained a new low interest mortgage for $2,000,000 on the building in January 1951. The mortgage was extended by the East River Savings Bank. At this time Macy's used a large part of the basement of the structure for offices. Kronsky died at the age of 76 in 1966 in Palm Beach, Florida.

A syndicate of investors headed by Henry Goelet and Morris Furman bought the building in October 1954. In April 1969 Harry B. Helmsley and Irving Schneider purchased thirty buildings which comprised the total assets of the Furman-Wolfson Trust, which was valued at $165,000,000. The twenty-two office buildings involved in the sale included half the land under the Marbridge Building. RFR Holding purchased the building in 2000 from the Investment Properties Associates portfolio, formerly controlled by Harry B. Helmsley.

Dudley Scrymser Macdonald, a real estate broker, was manager of the Marbridge Building for thirty-five years. A Princeton, New Jersey native, his father was the personal physician of President Woodrow Wilson when he was president of Princeton University. Macdonald died in 1959. Maurice Meyer, a past president of Meyer Brothers department store of Paterson, New Jersey, was a former officer of the Marbridge Building Corporation. He died at age 84 in 1961.

As a business building

The edifice became a popular locale for business organizations. Ashley M. Herron moved his offices from the St. James Building to the Marbridge Building in February 1908. The Lincoln Stock & Bond Company maintained offices there in 1910. as did S. Andrew Hartman. The Emerson Motor Company leased space at the Marbridge Building in 1916. The corporation sold their Emerson Four for $395. It was advertised as the lowest-priced 110-inch-wheelbase (2.8 m), five-passenger car in the world.

J.G. Gavigan, Irving J. Isbell, and George Plane, of the firm J.G. Gavigan & Co., were arrested by United States Post Office inspectors at their Marbridge Building office on the morning of August 19, 1911. They were charged with using the mail service in defrauding stock investors of the Manhattan Real Estate Company. This corporation was also located in the building. The postal service acted on complaints from all over the United States. A grand jury returned indictments against the three along with a former president of the Manhattan Real Estate Company. They were charged with mail fraud in connection with real estate schemes on Long Island.

Members of the committee on course rules and regulations for a New York City-to-San Diego long-distance yacht race met in the Marbridge Building in March 1912. The race was associated with the San Diego Exposition of 1912, which maintained its offices in the establishment.

As a shoe store

The building was renovated for additional office space and stores in 1951 by C.P. Xenis, engineer. In 1955 Sebago-Moc Co. footwear leased a store in the structure as did Kitty Kelly Shoes. The latter was the largest store in a chain, with an area of over 6,000 square feet (560 m2). It included a mezzanine which continued through to 35th Street.

In February 1960 the building became the home of the Mercedes Shoe Import Corporation and the Milan Shoe Corporation. Later in the year Gamins, Inc., Matthew Gronfein, and Julius Alderman leased space there. The Marbridge Building was primarily a home to the women's footwear industry in New York City in 1960. The men's shoe industry was centered in the Reade Street and Duane Street area.

The Empire State Building and the Marbridge Building were primary lessors to the footwear industry in the 1970s. By late 1984 these businesses began to relocate to an area of midtown Manhattan from 5th Avenue to the Avenue of the Americas between 56th Street, 57th Street, and 58th Street.

21st century

Publicis, a marketing firm, moved its United States offices to the Marbridge Building in 2002. The company is a division of the Publicis Groupe of Paris, France. It leased 114,000 square feet of space in the ninety-three-year-old building. The space encompassed four E-shaped floors. Morris Adjmi, then an architect with the firm MAP, encouraged Publicis executives to take a second look when they at first opposed relocating there. It turned out that the E-shape design enabled Publicis to situate many employees on the same floor while avoiding the appearance of an insurance company. Adjmi designed an elliptical staircase from the 8th to the 11th floors. This provided a continuity of drawing the floors together. Publicis utilized their space on the north facade to hang a red banner with the company's lion-head logo.


Marbridge Building Wikipedia

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