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Visit Our Store

If you are in or around New York City you must visit our beautiful showroom

located at 98 Forsyth Street. 
We look forward to seeing you!

In the meantime click here for a video:

Pearls Mansion

In 1959 we needed more space for our ever-growing inventory so we decided to rent the second floor in a building around the corner located at 98 Forsythe Street. (In those days Forsyth was spelled with an “e” on the end but that “e” was eliminated when the new street signes were put up in the early 70’s. I guess that the guy who made the street signs decided that Forsyth was better off without the “e” on the end.) Little did we know at that time that 46 years later we would be moving into that building.  I As time went on more space was once again an issue so we broke through the walls on the first floor and expanded our showroom space as well as our warehouse and Shipping/Receiving Department.98 Forsyth St Circa 1940

I have always admired this beautiful building so a number of years ago I started my research. 98 Forsyth Street was built around 1900 as a catering hall. It was one of only three premiere catering halls downtown and it was named Pearl’s Mansion. The photo to the right is one of the earliest that we have. It was taken in 1940 by the New York City Land Assessors. 

There are five floors with 12-14 foot ceilings and a basement with a ten foot ceiling. It features original hand crafted three dimensional tin ceilings, warm maple flooring, an open gated 80 year old elevator, marble base moldings and stairs, large wooden entrance archways with transoms and beautiful hand etched designs, natural brick and stucco walls and so much more.

When I started my research I first went to a local “historian”. Dan had lived on our block on Forsyth Street since he was born sometime around 1903. His longevity and wealth of life experiences made him the unofficial historian for our area. He told me that in the early days of Pearl’s Mansion it was the address of choice for a Who’s Who of the rich and famous. Many famous actors and politicians of the day got married at Pearl’s Mansion. He even told of a famous gangster who was married on the fifth floor but rented the entire building out so that no one but his guests would be in the building. Armed with the Pearl’s Mansion folk lore I was excited and driven to restore it to its original greatness.

 

I took my enthusiasm and ran to so many places that I cannot remember most of them. Most helpful, aside from Dan (and others) were the Museum of the City of New York, The New York Public Library, and The New York City Department of Buildings. Gradually I started getting a picture of what Pearls’ Mansion must have looked like. The next step was to peek under 100 years of “upgrades” to he building. I wondered what was to be found under the layers and layers of paint and wood grain paneling. I found many architectural treasures, although no buried treasure (and fortunately no buried bodies).

Pearl's Mansion Ceiling

After a number of years of lovingly restoring Pearl’s Mansion mostly by hand it is, I feel, as close to that opening day back in 1900 as was possible for a family project. One evening while dining in one of our favorite local restaurants we happened to sit at a table next to a nice older gentleman named Tommy. In the course of conversation I gave him our business card. He said “98 Forsyth Street, that’s Pearl’s Mansion! I was a professional ring bearer there as a kid. My family knew the chef and whenever a family needed a cute kid for a ring bearer they called me. I skipped down the aisle, looked cute and got a free meal.” Dan and Tommy are gone now but Pearl’s Mansion is back.

Main Room of Harris Levy 0590