|Bonwit Teller's facade, 1950s|
As a lover of fashion, New York City, shopping, old department stores and violets, it was terrible to read this in the NY Daily News.
I don't expect you to haul out your magnifying glass to see it, so please allow me to transcribe.
Bonwit Teller and Tiffany shared the block of Fifth Avenue between 56th and 57th Streets. The building with the 56th Street corner opened briefly in 1929 as Stewart & Company. Considering the year, we can have a pretty good idea what happened to it. Bonwit Teller bought the structure in 1930. The pre-existing 15-foot tall limestone relief panels depicting nearly nude women became known as a "Bonwit Teller signature".
NY DAILY NEWS, AUGUST 18, 2017:
"President Trump thinks destroying sculptures is bad— but that wasn't always the case.
Trump Tower, the skyscraper that put the former real estate developer on the map, was steeped in controversy after the future President reneged on a promise to save valuable pieces of artwork.
The contentious tale goes back to 1980, about a year after Trump bought the Bonwit Teller building on Fifth Avenue and 56th St.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art offered to take a pair of sculptures from the 11-story Art Deco building, which Trump planned to raze to make way for the Trump Tower. Trump ordered them destroyed anyway.
John Barron, a Trump Organization executive later revealed to be Trump himself, told the New York Times the preservation was scrapped because 'the merit of these stones was not great enough to justify the effort to save them.' The faux spokesman also told The Times the sculptures weren't even worth $9,000 in 'resale value'.
At a party at his Grand Hyatt Hotel in November 1980 attended by a New York magazine reporter, Trump said the gold table cloths and lion's head medallions there were 'real art, not like the junk I destroyed at the Bonwit Teller.'"
— Terence Cullen
"Can you imagine the museum accepting them if they were not of artistic merit?", a spokesperson for the Met's Board of Trustees told the New York Times at the time. In addition to the bas reliefs, the huge Art Deco nickel grill over the front entrance, also promised to the Met, disappeared. The faux spokesman, "John Baron," again said "We don't know what happened to it".
|Good day, Sunshine|
One person did manage to capture a bit of Art Deco history. Louise Sunshine, a real estate developer who worked for Trump for 15 years has one of the bas relief heads in her Miami Beach apartment.
|We got this instead|