Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Louis Sherry Restaurant, New York

The large plate-glass windows were planned to draw the attention of passersby to the elaborate displays of gourmet foods sold in what was called the "table luxury shop". Behind the store were a tea room and ice cream parlor and a balcony restaurant.
Louis Sherry Restaurant, New York                                                                              McKim, Mead & White, Architects
   New York Times March 21, 1928 - A two-story building to be occupied by Louis Sherry, Inc., will be erected by the Henry Phipps estate on its property at the north-east corner of Madison Avenue and East Sixty-second Street. McKim, Mead & White are the architects. The site has been leased by the restaurant concern for twenty-one years, at an aggregate rental of over $1,000,000. The plot fronts 60 feet on the avenue and 68 feet on the street, with an ell in the rear, comprising approximately 5,000 square feet. Douglas L. Elliman & Co. were the brokers.

   The main Sherry establishment is at 300 Park Avenue, between Forty-ninth and Fiftieth Streets. There are two shops on Fifth Avenue, at Fifty-eighth and Thirty-fifth Streets, and two branches in Paris, France, Sherry's is a subsidiary of the Boomer-Dupont Corporation, which owns the Waldorf-Astoria and other hotels.

Louis Sherry died aged 71 on the 9 June 1926 but his business and legacy carried on. Many unique items were sold such as cavier, olive oil, pate, coffee and foie gras. 
Louis Sherry Restaurant, New York                                                                              McKim, Mead & White, Architects

   New York Times April 18, 1937 -  The two-story building at the northeast corner of Madison Avenue and Sixty-second Street, formerly occupied by Sherry's, has been sold by the Henry Phipps Estates to an investor, it was announced yesterday. It is assessed at $445,000 and has been vacant for several years. The structure, which recently was involved in negotiations for a moving picture theatre, fronts 60.8 feet on the avenue and 68 feet on the street. It will be offered for rent for stores or restaurant purposes, according to Pease & Elliman, Inc., broker in the transaction.

   The Phipps interests bought the property in April, 1923, at which time it consisted of old remodeled dwellings. Louis Sherry, Inc., the famous restaurant, leased it in May, 1928, for twenty-one years and the present building was erected, at a cost of more than $150,000 from plans by McKim, Mead & White, architects. The George A. Fuller Company was the builder. Later this lease was canceled. 

   New York Times April 22, 1937 -  Porter's, a ladies' wearing apparel shop now at Broadway and Eighty-first  Street,  has  leased a large corner store and the entire second floor in the building at 691 Madison Avenue, northeast corner of Sixty-second Street, formerly Sherry's. The lease was arranged by Alfred N. Williams & Co., Inc., and Pease & Elliraan, Inc., and reveals Major Edward Bowes, radio entertainer, as the buyer of the property in a recent deal with the Phipps estate.

   Pease & Elliman, Inc., brokers in the recent sale to Major Bowes, said the building would be reconstructed, the proposed changes to feature a modern type of glass structural work. Plans for the alterations were drawn by Douglas P. Hall, architect, and the construction work will be done by the O'Day Construction Company. The reconstructed building will be air-conditioned.
Monthly rent is reputed to be $425,000.
   Called the "Matrons' Art Deco" and a Madison Avenue anachronism into the 1980's the building was taken over by The Limited, who added the greenhouse-like addition. In 2000 Hermès opened their flagship store HERE.

Upper East Side Historic District Designation Report - Erected in 1928 by McKim, Mead & White.

Style - stylized neo-Classical

Elements - Two-story commercial building; two-story shopfronts with glass block in second story windows; stone piers and bands between and above windows; band of gilded foliage above second floor windows; stylized carved baskets of fruit above gilded cornice.

Alterations - 1950 changed to stores and manufacturing use; new store front built by Oscar I. Silverstone for Morris and Henry Luskin.

History - Replaced three residences on Madison Avenue and one on 62nd Street. Originally built as a store and restaurant for Louis Sherry.


  1. The penthouse addition was added by Beyer Blinder Belle Architects for The Limited (Victoria's Secret). The addition was inspired by the 1960s Neo-Regency penthouse of the triple-wide Jock Whitney townhouse on E 63rd Street.

  2. I have always wondered about the story behind the architecture of the Hermes store! Just found your blog and it is lovely. Thanks for such informative posts - I'll be reading!