Arnold Constable & Co. Building // 1868

This seven-story department store building was designed by (extremely underrated) architect Griffith Thomas in 1868 for the prominent dry-goods company of Arnold Constable & Company. ‘The Palace of Trade’ as it became known as, is located at the corner of 5th Ave and 19th Street in Manhattan, the stunning Second Empire building is faced in marble, brick, and cast-iron, features stacked arch orders and a prominent, two-story, pavilioned mansard roof. Arnold Constable & Co. was founded by Aaron Arnold, an immigrant from the Isle of Wight, who opened a small dry goods store in the city in 1825. As the business prospered he moved into larger quarters numerous times. In 1842, James Constable, an employee, married Arnold’s daughter Henrietta and was subsequently made a partner. From this, the company was renamed Arnold Constable & Co. In its heyday, Arnold Constable & Co. was the largest dealer to the elite in New York City, supplying the latest fashions to a clientele that included the leading families in the city. The company continued expansion through the 20th century but struggled later with its suburban model. The building was sold and operated as a New York Public Library Branch for some years.

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