Photo of the Day: Blumstein’s

Blumstein’s department store for many years was Harlem’s largest. The handsome Art Nouveau-style 1923 building was designed by Robert Kohn and Charles Butler (who with Clarence Stein designed Temple Emanu-El of 1927-29 on Fifth Avenue at 65th Street). In the 1930s, local residents, led by the Rev. Adam Clayton Powell Jr., boycotted Blumstein’s, where all the customers were black, yet where only whites were hired for clerk and cashier positions. Blumstein’s began to hire blacks, and in time gave America its first black department-store Santa.
Read more: NY Times Archives


2 thoughts on “Photo of the Day: Blumstein’s

  1. Martin Luther King Jr was stabbed there during a book signing by a woman with a letter opener in 1958.

    My mother always told me about the Black Santa Claus that they had there. She was very proud.

  2. The store also had the first Animated Santa with sound window display on 125th street, which became a major attraction at holiday time.

Comments are closed.