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Revisiting the Coin Shop at 123 West 57th Street, New York City

A current article in Bloomberg’s Business extols expansion in New York City, with a story about the recently completed “ONE57” building on West 57th Street. As you probably know, 123 West 57th Street is the address of our Stack’s Bowers coin store and has been since 1953, when the Stack family, looking toward a future of growth, relocated the shop to the art, cultural and elite shopping center of New York.

The new ONE57 is the tallest office and hotel building in New York, with the first 25 floors a Hyatt hotel. The balance comprises residential apartments; the Penthouse has been sold for $98 million! It is now considered one of the most luxurious and costliest locations in New York. The major portion is so high that it overlooks the entire Central Park located two city blocks to its north.

In the early 1940s, as New York business and cultural establishments moved north of Herald Square, Stack’s moved from 23rd Street to a more prestigious location on West 46th Street. In 1946, at the end of World War II, they moved from 32 West 46th Street to 12 West 46th Street and this store became a home for many famous collectors, as well as for youngsters beginning their collections. Many of these youngsters grew up to become famous collectors. On the second floor of the building just a few steps from Fifth Avenue, they established their own auction gallery.

But neighborhoods sometimes change in New York and many of the locations on 46th Street became discount appliance stores, cheap clothing establishments and by 1953, it was no longer an appealing place for a coin store or gallery and also became less of a "walk in” type of location.

My father, Morton, Uncle Joe (Joseph B.), and I searched for new quarters. As luck would have it we found a vacancy at 123 West 57th Street, (our present location) between the Avenue of the Americas (originally 6th Avenue) and 7th Avenue. This store was a one-block walk from Fifth Avenue, the home of Tiffany’s, Bergdorf Goodman, Bulgari, Black Starr and Gorham, to mention a few high-end retailers on that street.

Also near the new store could be found Carnegie Hall, the famous Russian Tea Room, the Great Northern Hotel (now the Parker Meridian), the last fully operating Horn and Hardart Restaurant (a landmark), the Buckingham Hotel and the Buckingham Steinway Hall. West 57th Street was always considered a fashionable walking street with some famous eateries. While only 11 blocks north of our previous store, it was a great improvement and remains a desirable location today. Accessibility has never been a problem and for those who want to come by train, two different subway lines are located at each corner of the Stack’s Bowers shop.

Stack’s was lucky to find such a divine location and we built another warm, home-like atmosphere, with sit-down showcases and coins of all value on display or in stock, a section for books and albums for sale, and walls lined with items related to numismatics or to people portrayed on worldwide coins. Collectors came often to Stack’s to view the coins, meet fellow collectors, and discuss numismatics. We had a very extensive library where specialists could gather special information, and our staff was composed of many specialists. Our staff produced a world record number of different auction catalogs and price lists. Many staff members moved on, often to other numismatic endeavors including as curators, and some continued to help Stack’s prepare catalogs. 

West 57th Street attracts diverse people, many of whom look in our windows, and some who stop in our shop. You will often see bankers, trust officers, lawyers, actors, directors, writers and authors, politicians and other noted personalities. The street is one of the art centers of the city and only two blocks north is Central Park South, boasting many famous hotels (including the Plaza) and, of course, Central Park itself. Slightly west is Columbus Square, which anchors the southwest corner of Central Park.

Over the decades there have been changes — buildings torn down and new ones erected alongside the older buildings. The charm of the area remains. As Stack’s grew over the last 60 years we expanded to include an entire floor at 110 West 57th Street that includes a special room to display and show lots for a forthcoming auction and offices for catalogers and staff, as well as an auction gallery where we conduct some of our New York City public auction sales.

We welcome collectors and visitors daily from Monday to Saturday. We are open to the public weekdays from 10 AM to 5 PM, and Saturdays from 10 AM to 3 PM. If you wish to buy or sell coins, look at displays or ask questions of our staff we invite you to come by. We look forward to welcoming you, getting to know you and helping you with all your numismatic endeavors. The Stack family recognized the positive attributes of this dynamic location in 1953, and we are proud that we have remained right here, offering the same unparalleled personal service in our great city of New York.

 

 

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West Coast Office • (800) 458-4646

Midwest Office • (800) 817-2646

East Coast Office • (800) 566-2580

info@stacksbowers.com
 

Hong Kong, China Office • +852 2117 1191

infohk@stacksbowers.com

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