In 1977, Gallery I opened at Market East, bookended by Strawbridge and Clothier to the east and Gimbels to the west. This urban mall was an effort to compete with the suburban shopping experience, which had grown considerably in the years prior. While the Strawbridge’s building had been in use for decades, Gimbels occupied a (remarkably unattractive) newly constructed space, moving from their original location across the street.
Original Gimbels from the Department Store Museum
Opening of the new Gimbels, photo by Jack Byrne1
Initially, the Gallery achieved quite a bit of success, which led to the construction of Gallery II in 1984. In recent decades, however, the Gallery is considered an architectural failure, creating an unwelcome experience for pedestrians with its inward looking design. With virtually no street presence, the Gallery creates a…
Starting in the mid-19th century and lasting for over one hundred years, Philadelphia’s garment sector boomed. The city was home to the so-called Big Six—the Milwaukee-founded Gimbels, the Pittsburgh-based Frank & Seder, and the Philly-based Wannamaker’s, Strawbridge & Clothier, Lit Brothers and Snellenburg’s. Of the four chains founded in Philadelphia, Snellenburg’s
As Philly.com has self-referentially reported, the offices of the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News are moving to 8th and Market Sts., to the former Strawbridge and Clothier building.
The new digs
From a distance
They will be downsizing dramatically, from 525K sqft at their longtime home in the Elverson Building at Broad and Callowhill Sts. to a mere 125K sqft on the third floor of the historic former department store at Market East. The future for the area surrounding their former home seems clear. Big-time developer Bart Blatstein has purchased their old HQ along with the former State Building up the street and will be redeveloping both, while PMC Property Group is in the process of reshaping the former Wilkie dealership and Biberman building into apartments and…