When you wake up to the promise
of your dream world comin’ true
with one less friend to call on —
was it someone that I knew?
Away you will go sailin’
in a race among the ruins.
If you plan to face tomorrow, do it soon.
Lyrics from “Race Among the Ruins” by Gordon Lightfoot, 1976.
Photo by Rick Stachura. The Lord & Taylor Building along West 39th Street. September 28, 2022.
From the ashes of the old retailer comes Amazon.
After 104 years in business, Lord & Taylor closed up shop here on January 3, 2019. Its proprietor, the Hudson Bay Company, then sold the building to co-working space conglomerate WeWork for $850 million. WeWork intended to move its headquarters here, but a scandal surrounding the firm’s IPO on Wall Street incinerated the plan. Instead, WeWork turned over the building to Amazon for $1.15 billion in March 2020. Since then, the facade has been in constant refurbishment. The structure was landmarked by the City in 2007; so, thankfully, it can’t be torn down.
But high above ground, builders have added a one-story glass multi-purpose space and rooftop garden. And the conversion of the former department store to high-tech office continues. By 2023, Amazon anticipates about 2,000 employees will finally be working here.