A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from November 20, 2006
Crystal District

The Crystal District is Madison Avenue, between 58th and 63rd Streets, where a conglomeration of stores sell crystal decorative objects and jewellery. The name was coined by New York City’s tourist bureau, NYC & Company, in 2002.


New York City Districts
Crystal District
Located on Madison Avenue between 58th and 63rd streets, five luxury boutiques partnered in marketing and launched the Crystal District. Stores include Swarovski, Stuben’s, Baccarat, Daum and Lalique, fearturing crystal decorative objects and jewellery from around the world.
Address: Madison Avenue between 58th and 63rd Streets New York NY USA

NYC & Company
NEW YORK CITY UNVEILS MADISON AVENUE’S NEWEST SHOPPING JEWEL: THE CRYSTAL DISTRICT
Five Blocks of Madison Avenue Reveal the
World’s Richest Concentration of Luxury Crystal

New York City (September 26, 2002) – New York City’s reputation as the best shopping city in the world is based on one simple fact: you can find better quality and greater variety of anything you’re looking for here than anywhere else. Whether you’re a New Yorker or just visiting, a casual browser or a dedicated shopaholic, there’s always a fantastic new neighborhood to explore and store to discover.

Now, the city that has it all is preparing to unveil its newest shopping jewel: the Crystal District. With the opening of Steuben’s flagship store in 2000 and the arrival of Swarovski’s new boutique in late 2001 – joining those of Baccarat, Daum and Lalique – the five-block stretch of Madison Avenue between 58th and 63rd Streets has become home to the richest concentration of crystal decorative objects and jewelry in the world.

In forming the Crystal District, these five luxury boutiques are creating more than just a marketing partnership. They are demonstrating a deep commitment to their industry by hosting a series of events to teach both connoisseurs and novices about the rich traditions and cutting edge fabrication techniques displayed by each crystal manufacturer.

“You could travel all the way around the world and not find the beauty, quality and variety of crystal on display in this small, sparkling corner of New York City,” said Cristyne L. Nicholas, president & CEO of NYC & Company, the city’s official tourism marketing organization. “From dedicated lovers of crystal to those who simply appreciate the decorative arts, I invite you to come experience New York City’s Crystal District for a shopping experience you won’t soon forget.”

“Luxury and convenience go hand in hand,” said Matthew Bauer, president of the Madison Avenue Business Improvement District (BID). “We applaud the world’s leading designers and glassmakers for not only making Madison Avenue their official showcase for the crystalline marriage of technology and art, but for their efforts to educate the public on the beauty and craftsmanship that embodies works in crystal.”

Baccarat

In 1764, the French King Louis XV gave Bishop Montmorency-Laval permission to found a glassworks in the village of Baccarat in eastern France. Today, Baccarat creates luxury crystal that mixes tradition with modern innovation.

Baccarat came to New York City in 1948. Their U.S. flagship 4,500-square-foot store (625 Madison Avenue at 59th Street, 212/826-4100, http://www.Baccarat.fr, Monday-Saturday, 10a.m.– 6p. m., open Thursday until 7p. m.) features an entire section devoted to their jewelry collection; an exclusive Corporate Business area for business gift-giving, corporate decoration, premiums, incentives and awards as well as custom commissions; and a new second-floor showroom for chandeliers, vases, stemware, Gien china and new jewelry collections.

Daum

For more than 120 years, Daum has been recognized for its creativity, innovative styling and masterful craftsmanship. Located in the heart of the Crystal District (694 Madison Avenue between 62nd-63rd Streets, 355-2060, 866/BUY-DAUM, open Mon-Sat 10:00a.m.- 6:00p.m. Sundays in December only noon-6:00p.m., this elegant shop showcases the magnificent world of decorative objects and tableware, special gifts and jewelry, handcrafted furniture, lighting and objets d’art in Pâte de Verre – an ancient technique performed only by Daum’s master craftsmen. With crystal used as a base material contributing to a distinctive brilliance and translucency, this precious material is unique in giving objects a true sculptural dimension.

Today, Daum is the only crystal maker in the world who can create this exceptional substance with a quality of production and a capacity that can fulfill the international demand. Daum offers designs specially created by such avant-garde artists as Dan Dailey, Jean Cocteau, Salvador Dali, Hilton McConnico, Christophe Pillet, Aman, Sosno, Philippe Starck, Andre Dubreuil and Franck Evennou, Manolo Valdes.

Lalique

For nearly a century, the name Lalique has been synonymous with luxury, craftmanship and artistry. Internationally recognized for creating crystal objets d’art, jewelry, silk scarves, perfume, leather accessories and beautiful porcelain, Lalique is dedicated to design excellence and unveiling products of the highest quality. The Lalique boutique is located in the heart of the Crystal District at 712 Madison Avenue, off of 63rd Street. The phone number is 212/355-6550 and our website address is http://www.lalique.com/. Lalique is proud to display works of art that mix turn-of-the-century designs with a modern sensibility.

Lalique pieces have been exhibited at museums as diverse as the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, the Smithsonian International Gallery, the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC.

Steuben

Recognized internationally as the benchmark of excellence for fine crystal, Steuben was founded in Corning, New York in 1903 by English glassmaker Frederick Carder. In 1933, under the new leadership of Arthur A. Houghton, Jr. the company dedicated itself solely to producing a pure, colorless crystal using a new formula developed by Corning scientists. Steuben is still created by artisans in its one and only factory using a slow and meticulous craft system, utilizing many hand processes which ensure objects of the highest quality. Steuben masterpieces embody an expertise in glassblowing. The skills of the Steuben master craftsman include hand-cutting, meticulous copper-wheel engraving, and hand polishing which produces the radiance that is distinctly Steuben. Named by Forbes FYI Magazine as one of the 50 Best Products of America, Steuben has often been the Gift of State beginning with President Truman’s wedding gift to Queen Elizabeth.

Moving from its long-time Fifth Avenue location, Steuben opened its New York flagship store at 667 Madison Avenue in May 2002. The Ralph Applebaum designed store displays a stunning collection including classical and contemporary bowls and vases, Steuben’s signature animals, elegant ornamental designs, and extraordinary one-of-a-kind sculptures.

Swarovski

For more than one hundred years, Swarovski, a family-owned Austrian company based in Wattens, Austria, has been the world’s leading manufacturer of full cut crystal.

The world of Swarovski includes Crystal Décor; a line of tabletop objects designed by acclaimed artists that combine crystal with natural and manmade materials, Silver Crystal; a collection of 140+ figurines and decorative items, and Crystal Memories; an assembly of more than 130 miniatures, pendants and brooches. Also included in the crystal collection is Swarovski Jewelry; a collection of classic and trend driven crystal jewelry and Daniel Swarovski Paris; a collection of haute couture eyewear, handbags and jewelry, as well as a line of luxury products for the desk and home.

Swarovski New York Gallery Store, 625 Madison Avenue between E. 58th and E. 59th Streets, 212/308-1710, http://www.swarovski.com/, Store Hours: Mon. – Fri. 10a.m. – 7p.m., Sat. 10a. m. – 6 p.m., Sun. noon – 5 p.m.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityNeighborhoods • (0) Comments • Monday, November 20, 2006 • Permalink