The Apple Store has arrived on the Upper East Side, opening to the public over the weekend in a renovated 1922 neoclassical bank building at 940 Madison Avenue. This is Apple's sixth location in New York City with another location rumored for Williamsburg sometime in the next year.
Visiting on Saturday morning, in its first hour of operation, the store was fairly busy. Employees handed out little hardbound books of the black and white iPhone photography of the neighborhood, some of which had been used in banners covering the store windows during construction and now adorn the interior walls. The ground floor space houses the various devices on display with Apple's typical wood tables. Neoclassical detailing is found throughout the space, with ornate pilasters and dark metal chandeliers.
Device accessories are located on the basement level, reached by way of a grand stair. Certain accessories are featured in large, elaborate displays. There is a colorful grid of iPhone cases mounted on wood panels which are revealed to be drawers storing the cases in the corresponding color. Beats headphones are also displayed on a grid of wooden spheres that highlight the variety of colors offered. It's nice to see Apple breaking out of their established aesthetic and trying new approaches to display design. The bank's original vault is also located on the basement level and has been repurposed as a intimate space for trying on the Apple Watch Edition gold watches.
Though some of the neighbors have been resistive of Apple, going so far as to attempt lawsuits to block the store's opening, its a nice addition to the neighborhood that is appropriately scaled to the area.
Architects: Bohlin Cywinski Jackson; Program: Retail; Location: Upper East Side, New York, NY; Completion: June 13, 2015.