Race Among the Ruins

"Race Among the Ruins." Photo by Rick Stachura. September 28, 2022.



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. 




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