Apple is removing the spectacular glass cube entrance to its Fifth Avenue store in New York. Photo credit: Phil

IfoAppleStore, a fan site dedicated to tracking Apple’s retail strides, is out with the news that Apple has begun an expensive rejuvenation project at its flagship Fifth Avenue store, one of New York’s top photo attractions with its iconic glass cube entrance and glass staircase that lead down to a huge underground retailing area.

Permits issued by the city’s Department of Buildings confirm the company will spend $6,661,050 to completely remove the glass and its sophisticated connection hardware, make upgrades to the surrounding plaza structure, and then “reinstall” the cube. There is no indication of why the cube is being replaced, either because of safety concerns or simply to upgrade it to current technology. It’s also not clear if the glass panels or the TriPyramid Structures Inc. hardware will be be replaced with new, upgraded versions.

Workers have already fenced off the area in front of the GM Building with a plywood wall. This major rejuvenation will take place throughout the summer and into fall, wrapping up by early November…

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The work on the building involves, among other things, removing protective bollards, installing new pavers around the cube’s perimeter and removing and reinstalling surrounding water drains, permits indicate. This major makeover will cost Apple six million dollars, nearly matching the seven million dollars they reportedly paid back in 2005 to assemble the now iconic glass cube entrance. Apple even trademarked the distinct glass cube design. In fact, ifoAppleStore writes, “store lease documents indicate if Apple were to move, they would take the cube with them”.

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