Gimbel's skybridge near Herald Square

Gimbel's skybridge near Herald Square
The Gimbels Department Stores  company was founded by a young Bavarian Jewish immigrant, Adam Gimbel.  Gimbel arrived in American in 1834, and shortly afterwards traveled to  Indiana where he opened a trading post. Much of his business was with the Indian's, trading beads and other items for furs and pelts. He opened his first department type store in Milwaukee in 1887.
Several years later after his death   Adam's   son   Bernard--one of 14 children, seven of whom became the famous Gimbel Brothers,  brought the Gimbel name to New York.


In 1910, Gimbel’s department store set up a location in Herald Square near their main competitor, Macy’s. The competition between the two famous department stores was popularized in "Miracle on 34th Street," in which Macy's Kris Kringle would steer customers to Gimbels for better prices or selection.  Gimbel’s department store was frequently mentioned as a shopping destination of Lucy Ricardo and Ethel Mertz on the hit 1950s TV series I Love Lucy.
In 1922 the chain went public, offering shares on the New York Stock Exchange.  By 1930, Gimbels had seven flagship stores throughout the country and net sales of $123 million with 20 sites; this made Gimbel Brothers Inc. the largest department store corporation in the world.
Skybridge


Philadelphia’s Gimbel Brothers Department Store was the first one in United States to   stage  a Thanksgiving procession in 1920 with 50 people, 15 cars and a fireman dressed as Santa Claus who ushered in the Christmas shopping season.  This parade now is known as  6abc Dunkin' Donuts Thanksgiving Day Parade in Philadelphia.
The Gimbels New York City flagship store was   designed by architect Daniel Burnham. 


Manhattan Mall. August 2017
The store was open in 1910   with  its many doors leading to the Herald Square New York City Subway station. Across the street, the store had an annex, so a three-story skybridge was built to connect the two buildings. Architects Richmond H. Shreve and William F. Lamb, who later helped design the Empire State Building, designed the copper, three-story-tall structure. So  shoppers no longer had to deal with crossing the congested street below.
After 76 years of a fierce but friendly rivalry with Macy's  in 1986  , Gimbels at Herald Square went  out of business. The bridge was almost destroyed when the buildings switched ownership.

 Manhattan Mall now  stands where Gimbel’s used to.  The 1 million square foot building offers great ceiling heights, abundant natural light and a unique, grand-scale atrium. There are   over fifty different specialty shops and anchor stores in the mall. The only remnants of Gimbel’s is the skybridge.