Rowland Hussey Macy, Sr. (1822-1877) opened the first Macy's in 1851 as a retail dry goods store serving the whaling community in Haverhill, MA. Macy opened his first store in New York City in 1858 on the corner of Sixth Avenue and 14th Street. Although Macy died in 1877, his partners continued the business under the R.H. Macy and Co. name. The company was acquired by Isador and Nathan Strauss in 1893.
In 1902, the store relocated to this building designed by Theodore W.E. DeLemos (1850-1909) and A.W. Cordes and located on Broadway at 34th Street. Further additions to the building designed by Robert D. Kohn were made in 1924, 1928 and 1931, filling the entire block between B'way/7th Avenue and 34/35th Street.
Macy's went public in 1922 and began expanding with branch stores and acquisitions across the country. Following some risky financial dealings by management in the 1980s, Macy's filed for bankruptcy in 1992 and merged with Federated Department Stores in 1994.