NEW YORK — Macy’s Herald Square commemorated its centennial Tuesday by unveiling a bronze plaque on the cornerstone on 34th Street and Broadway, where construction began on the world’s largest store precisely 100 years ago to the day.
“My research department came up with this fact — let’s hope they are right — first-day sales 100 years ago were $11.06,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said during the ceremony on Broadway by the main entrance. “Presumably it’s more now.” He thanked Macy’s for the Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Fourth of July fireworks, and noted the city’s ban on fireworks will be lifted for the Macy’s event.
Hal Kahn, chairman and chief executive officer of Macy’s East, said the flagship has a yearlong celebration set, with special events and sales.
Paul Kurzman, chairman of the Straus Historical Society and a great-grandson of Macy’s founder Isidor Straus, said: “When Macy’s was down on 14th Street, the center of commerce was there. It was considered a folly to build a store of one million square feet. Look where we are 100 years later.” Macy’s was founded on 14th Street in 1958.
The plaque is designed in bronze by Gregg LeFevre, measures 30-by-22 inches and weighs 70 pounds. It has a portrait of the store and an inscription indicating: “The World’s Largest Store. Marks the Centennial of Its Herald Square Building. Founded in 1858 on 14th Street, Macy’s pioneered the move of the retail trade to the Herald Square area with the opening of this magnificent building in 1902. Designed by DeLemos and Cordes, it is lauded by critics as one of the architectural jewels of turn-of-the-century New York.”
Daniel A. Biederman, president of the 34th Street Partnership, said the plaque is the first of several that will seen along 34th Street.
Macy’s Herald Square gets an average of 30,000 visitors a day, and is considered the third-most-visited site in the city after the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty.

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