Tomorrow, July 15, the iconic New York City toy store FAO Schwarz is set to close, a casualty of the New York real estate market and escalating rents. The store’s flagship location on Fifth Avenue has provided many a child and adult a magical experience wandering through the aisles of games and stuffed animals. The store, more than just a retail destination, is forever part of our cultural makeup, immortalized via such memorable cinematic moments as the scene from the 1988 film Big when Tom Hanks and Robert Loggia dance on the giant piano keyboard and play “Chopsticks.”
Beyond the store’s cultural significance is a design and lighting import as well. In 2005, the store was renovated in a collaborative effort by New York-based design firm the Rockwell Group and lighting design firm Focus Lighting. The new interior was one of the first lighting strategies to use all LEDs, at the time a nascent lighting technology. The new design featured a ceiling of approximately 80,000 LEDs highlighting the store’s main atrium space, which measured 140-feet-long by 60-feet-wide.
Read the full story at Architectural Lighting.