Harvey Stack forwarded a copy of the remarks he made at this week's opening ceremony for the refurbished Stack's-Bowers showroom on West 57th Street in Manhattan. Here's an excerpt.
SIXTY YEARS IN THE VERY SAME LOCATION, STACKS REFURBISHES IT'S "COIN SHOP IN NYC"
I have been given the honor of making the opening remarks about our long time located famous coin shop in midtown New York City, found just a short walk from Fifth Avenue.
Today is August 23, 2012, just about 60 years since Stack's relocated from its Store and Offices on West 46th Street in New York City; to its present location at 123 West 57th Street where we are till this day.
This location was selected after being on West 46th Street just off 5th Avenue, as the street we were on, after World War II, turned from catering to the Arts and Antiques, with the Jewelry Center of NYC on the adjacent block, to being occupied by the advent of the "white Goods" household trades, and it lost its appeal to just a beautiful shopping street.
New York was moving uptown, closer to Central Park, and the Stack's felt that that environment would be wonderful for coin collectors to browse on. Stack's is located adjacent to Steinway Hall, across the street from Carnegie Hall and opposite the famous Russian Tea Room, to mention but a few landmarks that surround our new location in 1953. And these landmarks are still the same today.
Stack's built its new location, almost a mirror image of their earlier location. A spacious showroom, with glass and walnut sit down counters, coins on display for collectors to browse and select from, in easy view before them, numismatic and educational wall displays to inform and entertain the visitor, special lighting to see the items being offered, a staff of educated and trained numismatists to examine coins being brought in for sale, and provide information to the buyers of the importance of what they were shown.
To make those visiting most comfortable, air conditioning, especially in the summer months was always maintained. For those waiting to be served, they could find themselves a seat at the counters or rest on a comfortable couch in the forepart of the showroom. The walls also had racks of numismatic books and collector albums which could be looked at, selected from and acquired for personal use.
Overall, it was a warm and comfortable place to visit and study coins. If special knowledge was required, a vast library was available for in house research...
Collectors met each other at Stacks, whether during working hours, on Saturdays or holidays and sat about discussing coins of interest to them, with fellow collectors and the super staff that Stack's always employed. Our staff could field questions in all fields, from ancient times to the modern, and these specialists who had academic ambitions worked for Stacks for many years before going out on their own. We had great cataloguers, and graduated from our staff scholars like Cornelius Vermuele, who became curator at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Dr. and Mrs. Clain Steffanelli who became curators at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. , Henry Grunthal, who became Curator at the American Numismatic Society in New York, to mention but a few.
Just for the record, I have been active in this firm since 1947 and enjoy every moment I can be here to greet old friends and collectors, as well as the newer generations coming on.
Harvey Stack was interviewed this week on Bloomberg Television's Money Moves program. He brought along a $200,000 gold bar for show and tell.
To watch the complete video, see:
Harvey Stack on Rare Coin Collecting, Auctions
Wayne Homren, Editor
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