This just in

On Yale & Yale alumni.
Ico print Print | Ico email Email | Facebook | | RSS

Under J. Pressure

J. Press has sold menswear to Yalies on York Street for more than a century. It took the blizzard of the century to shut the place down—but only temporarily.

Under the weight of last weekend's record 34-inch snowfall, "a portion of the front gambrel roof wall has separated from the roof framing and the interior walls, causing a condition that may result in structural failure," a New Haven building official wrote to J. Press's New York-based owners today. The city building department abruptly closed the building and declared it off-limits until it is fixed and reinspected.

The snow emergency accelerated an existing plan to move the store and fix up the building, store manager Jim Fitzgerald says in an interview.

"It’s a mid-1800s building"—dating to at least 1849—"and it needs a little …. work,” Fitzgerald says wryly. The store will reopen in a few weeks in temporary space at 976 Chapel Street, across from the New Haven Green "between Ann Taylor and the Shake Shack."

Fitzgerald, who has worked at J. Press for 26 years, anticipates the Chapel Street location will last "about 10 months to a year," during which time the York Street building will be renovated "basically bottom to top, keeping the building the way it is. They’ll maintain that historic look and feel.” He acknowledges, however, that the plans are uncertain until the engineers and architects get a closer look at the structural problems. "It could be more cost-efficient" and space-efficient to tear the building down and "replicate" the historic home.

Even as J. Press moves from York Street, it is launching a new "York Street" line of updated classics for younger customers. A "freestanding York Street store" just opened, Fitzgerald says—on Greenwich Village's Bleecker Street.

Filed under J. Press
The comment period has expired.