UES010-01.jpg (82552 bytes) New York Architecture Images-Upper East Side

Hermès Landmark


McKim, Mead and White


691 Madison Ave at E62. Map it


1929, restored 1984 Beyer  Blinder Belle


Art Deco  







  McKim, Mead & White is best known for its grand Beaux-Arts designs, but here the architectural firm created an Art Deco gem.

This low-rise retail building was erected originally for Louis Sherry, who had had a famous restaurant on Fifth Avenue at 44th Street from 1898 to 1919. 

In his book, "Touring the Upper East Side, Walks in Five Historic Districts" (The New York Landmarks Conservancy, 1995), Andrew S. Dolkart remarks that the restaurateur blamed "prohibition and war-born Bolshevism" for the closing of his restaurant," adding that "An eating establishment with Sherry's name was revived following his death when this stylized Neo-classical building, inspired by contemporary French commercial design, was opened to the public."

"The large plate-glass windows," Mr. Dolkart continued, "were planned to draw the attention of passersby to the elaborate displays of gourmet foods sold in what was called the 'table luxury shop.' Behind the store were a tea room and ice cream parlor and a balcony restaurant. In 1984-85, the Limited clothing chain hired Beyer Blinder Belle to restore McKim, Mead & White's building and construct a rooftop addition. The original building received an award from the Fifth Avenue Association in 1929 and the restoration has won several design and preservation awards."

In 2000, the store underwent another renovation to become the New York showcase for Hermès, the French fashion company, which moved from 57th Street between Fifth and Madison Avenues. During construction, the building was stylishly, not surprisingly, enclosed in the store's orange box with brown ribbon. The building is a landmark and the renovation did not change the exterior except to add a sprightly uniformly Frenchman astride a rearing house carrying flags at the pinnacle of the building. The renovation of the interior by Hèrmes was quite spectacular with a spiral staircase leading up to the skylit top floor.


Hermes, the French luxury brand, recently opened their new Madison Avenue flagship, (691 Madison Ave) and it 'drips' with the look and feel of 'old money.' Everything exudes good taste, and a timeless, subtle, chic, and of course, the small collection of baby items mimics the mood perfectly. Colors are soft and pleasing to the eye- pastels like gray, aqua, pink that somehow resist being too cloyingly sweet, and of course, white.

There are the softest pillows in the shape of a rocking horse, or teddy bear ($160), and the famous Hermes blanket that the store is famous for is downsized for baby: $450 for a 'H' logo blanket, (wool and angora blend), or $900 for a fringed 100% cashmere version.

Lace-up booties and Mary Janes are done in wool and angora, ($75), there's an elegant 100% cashmere belted shawl collar robe ($295) that oozes baby 'chic', and the softest white cotton imaginable (would you expect anything less?) is fashioned into tailored pajamas that are piped in aqua ($185). But the store's piece-de-resistance is called 'Quelle Idol,' a miniature 'Kelly' bag magically transformed into a tiny doll complete with leather feet and legs, and metal eyes. At $1095, the doll will be available in orange, black, or burgundy. (It is currently out of stock, and Hermes is awaiting a shipment in time for the Christmas season.)



Women's Clothing
Its claim to fame may be handbags, but overlooking Hermès apparel would be a major mistake. Look for a duffel coat in double-faced cashmere ($5,600), and a pleated trench coat in beige water-repellent wool gabardine ($4,750). A rolled-up fringed cardigan jacket in tobacco light cashmere ($4,300) goes great with a matching sleeveless high-neck dress($1,050).

Men's Clothing
An Hermès tie ($130) does wonders to perk up work clothes. Designer Véronique Nichanian also offers up classic clothing, like a tailored pinstripe suit (from $3,000). Go on, you deserve it.

Cuff Links & Notions
Designer Véronique Nichanian’s sleek cuff links and iconic ties spruce up any wedding outfit. Expect nothing less than master craftsmanship and classic designs like the eighteen-karat-gold Parallele ($1,075) or the square silver Facettes links ($465).

There’s a legendary waiting list of women longing to spend at least $4,500 on a Kelly bag (exotic skins with diamonds fetch upwards of $80,000). Check out the Trimanate, a new suede Trim bag in raisin and olive ($4,100), and the Kelly Mini Pochette, a mini version of the 1956 classic, in black calfskin and brown suede($3,000).