Lot 268: Lengthy partly-printed DS, signed "Jacob Gimbel," "Isaac Gimbel," "Charles Gimbel," "Daniel Gimbel," "Ellis A. Gimbel," "Louis S. Gimbel," and "Nathan Hamburger," 31 pages, 8 x 10.5, April 23, 1909. The original 21-year lease agreement between Greeley Square Realty Company and Gimbel Brothers, New York, for the land upon which they built their flagship NYC department store. The agreement dictates that they pay $605,000 for the first three years beginning on August 1, 1910, increasing over time to $655,000 until the end of the lease on July 31, 1931. It also provides terms granting the Hudson & Manhattan Railroad Company "the right to the exclusive use and occupation of the spaces hereinafter specified, for the purpose of handling and storing baggage, mail and express matter, and for ticket offices and any other necessary purposes of and adjuncts to...the underground railroad station to be located at Broadway and Thirty-third Street." Attached at the conclusion is a fold-out floor plan of the store, 35 x 27.5, showing the sub-basement, basement, and first floor, also noting, "9th Story Floor to be 327.47Â´ elevation." Sections of the plan are marked with red diagonal lines noted "space hatched red to be occupied by H. & M.R.R. Co." In fine condition, with expected document wear and light soiling to the cover.
Although there was already a Gimbels in Philadelphia, the New York store became an icon of retail commerce in the city. The building was completed on June 16, 1910, and the department store soon became the primary rival to Macy's, which had a branch across the street. One of the most attractive elements of the location was its many doors leading to the Herald Square New York City Subway station, providing easy access for thousands of shoppers. It achieved considerable fame nationwide, most notably as the setting of the classic 1947 Christmas film Miracle on 34th Street. Representing the foundation of a major New York landmark, this rare document is of the utmost desirability.
RR Auction's Fine Autographs & Artifacts
Friday, 23rd October 2015
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