- One must be a fox in order to recognize traps, and a lion to frighten off wolves. Machiavelli Niccolo
Walk Gimbel's Bridge
A three-story copper skybridge connects two Manhattan buildings with Art Deco luxury.
After retail giant Gimbel’s purchased the Saks Company in 1923, they became one of New York’s largest retailers, along with Macy’s. Always in competition with Macy’s, whose massive flagship store was just a few blocks uptown, the new conglomerate solidified their position by connecting their 34th Street store to Saks’ Fifth Avenue location with a grand skybridge.
Built in 1925, the second story bridge was designed by architectural firm Shreve and Lamb who would go on to develop the Empire State Building just a few years later. The skywalk is suspended over 32nd and features an Art Deco, copper facade that has turned a vibrant green with the passing of time. The bridge is in itself almost its own building at three-stories tall and featuring wall to wall windows on either side so that people could watch the streets below.
Once open to shoppers, Gimbel’s bridge now connects private floors of its terminus buildings, but visitors rushing to Penn Station can look up and remember a New York where dueling department stores could produce architectural wonders.