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June 7, 2009

The Palace building as it appears today. Walk
by in two months to marvel at the restored
Art-Deco facade.
Some of the Art Deco architectural details
that make the Palace building one of Main
Street’s prized architectural treasures.
The New Rochelle Downtown Business Improvement District (BID) announced that the former Palace Shoe Store, 514-518 Main Street, has become part of the BID’s award winning Facade Improvement Program. This building, an outstanding monument to Art Deco design, is being historically restored by its owner, the Simone Development Corporation.

Ralph DiBart, Executive Director of the BID stated: “Downtown has a distinguished architectural past which is fortunately preserved in the many historic buildings that line Main Street. Through its Facade Improvement Program, the BID, offering technical assistance and matching grants, has worked to restore the facades of many of these historic structures. Last year the Preservation League of New York State awarded this BID program its prestigious Excellence in Historic Preservation Award for its work in restoring the facades of such buildings as the Curtain Shop, Diamond Glass, Talner Jewelry Store, 542 Main Street and the Terracotta Building-81 Centre Avenue, as well as more than a dozen storefronts on Division Street

Mr. Simone, President of Simone Development Corporation, stated: “As a New Rochelle based corporation, we are happy to contribute to the BID’s efforts to restore Main Street to its historic majesty. The Palace Shoe Store building is an important part of our Downtown history. We have completely renovated the interior of the Palace and now look forward to restoring its monumental facade, together with those of two neighboring historic buildings from the late 1800’s. “

Mayor Noam Bramson noted: “The BID’s Façade Improvement Program has already restored the historic charm and character of many distinctive buildings in downtown New Rochelle. Joe Simone’s commitment to the Palace and to neighboring structures will extend this valuable program to a broader portion of Main Street and, in the process, greatly enhance our local economy.”
Barbara Davis, New Rochelle City Historian remarked: “William Kahn, replacing the original wood frame structure he opened prior to 1913, rebuilt his Palace Shoe Store on New Rochelle’s Main Street in 1932 at the then phenomenal cost of $45,000. He chose to build it in the popular architectural style of the day – Art Deco, creating a glamorous-looking façade of polished black granite, and clean geometric lines highlighted by decorative details. Because of its striking Art Deco style, the former Palace Shoe Store is one of Main Street’s most important structures. Frank Sanchis in his definitive book American Architecture: Westchester County, New York wrote that the Palace ‘… is an outstanding example of the (Art Deco) style...’ I am thrilled that the Palace is slated for renovation by Mr. Simone and look forward to seeing it display its original glory.”

Mr. DiBart added: “William Kahn rebuilt his Palace Shoe Store at the height of the Depression as a winning act of confidence in the future. Like Mr. Kahn, the Simone family has voted their confidence in Main Street by boldly electing to rebuild this important building, and improve the facades of two adjoining buildings, during the height of this Recession. His commitment to Main Street is to be congratulated and will stimulate new community pride and attract new investment and business to Main Street. ”

The matching funds which will help in the restoration of these three buildings will come from grants the BID won from the New York State Housing Trust Fund Corporation’s New York Main Street Program and from the New Rochelle’s Awnings and Façade Program.
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