When Apple opens its new Upper East Side Apple Store on Saturday, visitors will have the opportunity to view historical architecture in addition to shopping for iPhones and Apple Watches. That’s because the new retail store located on 940 Madison Avenue was once the home of the U.S. Mortgage & Trust bank — there’s even a bank vault below the store — and Apple has restored much of the original design for its new showroom…
Apple’s Upper East Side location maintains a portion of a Beaux Arts building, the AP notes, and Apple has worked to return the building to its 1920s look with chandeliers and marble floors. The exterior even maintains the original look of the building before Apple moved in as a simple black flag labeled with a white Apple logo over the marble entrance.
That bank vault below the surface of the store? Apple has converted it into a special downstairs VIP room for private meetings with business customers and likely one-on-one Apple Watch Edition try-on appointments. The former reinforced bank vault is said to even maintain its steel bars and massive steel door.
Apple’s head of retail, Angela Ahrendts, described maintaining the original look of the venue and customizing it from recognizable Apple Store designs as similar to iPhone users personalize their devices:
“It’s no different than every customer downloads different apps and customizes their phones differently,” said Angela Ahrendts, the senior vice president who oversees the company’s retail and online stores.
The store will even have special hours that honor the surrounding neighborhood: 9am-8pm on Monday through Saturday, and 11am-7pm on Sunday.
Rumors that Apple was planning an Upper East Side Apple Store first surfaced just over a year ago. We discussed the store’s opening plans earlier this year in our New York City Apple Store report before Apple officially revealed opening details last month.
The Upper East Side store opens to the public on Saturday, June 13th, at 9am.
Photo via AP