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Lease signed - GIMBEL'S BROTHERS GIMBEL - 1909. 
1909 - GIMBEL BROTHERS. Lease signed (Greeley Square Realty Company to Gimbel Brothers, New York). New York, April 23, 1909. Quarto, staple-bound as issued, original cream paper wrappers; pp. 31; signed and notarized with a 35 by 27-1/2 inch floor plan and three related legal letters bound at rear. $12,500.Rare original 21-year lease for the site of New York's famous Gimbels department store, dated 1909, signed by six of the Gimbel brothers as well as the original tenant (who had run a Milwaukee Gimbels for decades), fully notarized, with a wonderful 35" by 27-1/2" folding floor plan bound in showing the first three levels of construction, elevator placement, and plans for public transit and also with three legal letters relating to the floor plan.This exceptional 21-year lease is for the site on which the Gimbel brothers built their iconic New York department store, paying $605,000 for the first three years commencing on August 1, 1910, increasing to $655,000 by July 31, 1931. The signatories to the lease include brothers Jacob, Isaac, Charles, Daniel, Ellis, and Louis Gimbel. The document is also signed by the president of Greeley Square Realty Company and the tenant. The document has also been notarized in the appropriate locations. Of particular interest is the 35" by 27-1/2" floor plan dated April 16, 1909 attached to the conclusion of this document along with copies of three letters between the New York law firm of Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett and Gimbel Brothers relating to the floor plan. The plan itself shows the first floor, basement floor, and the sub basement. The mezzanine and the location of six passenger elevators are also noted. Red diagonal lines are shown with "space hatched red to be occupied by H. & M.R.R. Co." The Hudson & Manhattan Railroad Co. is known today as PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson). Construction began on the existing tunnels under the Hudson River in 1890, but stopped shortly thereafter when funding ceased. Construction resumed twice, the second time three months after this deed was signed.Bavarian Jewish immigrant Adam Gimbel arrived in the United States in 1835. He opened a general store in Vincennes, Indiana in 1842, then moved to Danville, Illinois in the 1880s. By 1887, he had moved to Milwaukee, which was being flooded with German immigrants and which provided a perfect location to open his first department store. It was a massive success. People in Milwaukee were known to remark that Gimbel had "a surplus of capital and a surplus of Gimbels." The Gimbels were a success, but they needed to expand. In 1894, a seven-story Gimbels opened in Philadelphia. On June 16, 1910, The New York Times headlined "Gimbel Store Completed," noting that "the contract was signed on April 23, 1909, and that the excavating work consumed five months, so that the work of construction proper did not actually begin until well in October of [the previous] year." The new Gimbels had two basement floors that essentially functioned as an outlet-type version of the upper floors, meant to attract low price seekers and small wage earners. It was a new innovation. The entirety of the store became a chief rival to the store across the street, Macy's. The rhetorical question "Does Macy's tell Gimbels?" became a popular phrase, meaning that competitors were not supposed to share trade secrets. While Gimbels closed in 1986, it lives on in Miracle on 34th Street, the 1947 Oscar-winning motion picture, in which Kris Kringle (Macy's new Santa) sends a customer to Gimbels when the store does not have what the customer wants. For many, though, Gimbels remains a beloved memory of New York (and, indeed, a number of other cities). "Original-fully executed" notation and tiny initials on front wrappers.Only light soiling and slight rubbing to edges of wrappers. An exceptional near-fine piece of New York history. [Attributes: Signed Copy; Soft Cover]
[Bookseller: Bauman Rare Books]
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