Follow-up: Mendel Goldberg Moving to Temporary Location

Mendel Goldberg Fabrics, 72 Hester Street.

We have an update today on the fire that broke last week at Mendel Goldberg Fabrics, one of the Lower East Side’s oldest businesses.  The storefront, at 72 Hester Street, has remained closed since the fire erupted, apparently in the basement space Tuesday, April 10th.

A short time ago, co-owner Alice Goldberg Wildes told us the plan is to move into a temporary location elsewhere in the neighborhood in about two weeks. She declined to discuss the extent of the damage to the building and the store’s very valuable merchandise until after talks are completed with Mendel Goldberg’s insurance company. Wildes said they are continuing to serve customers even though the retail portion of the business is closed.

After the Fire at 72 Hester

Photo by Amir Shoucri.

Editor’s note: Here are some more photos from the fire at 72 Hester Street, and a bit more information from TLD contributor Jonathan Zalman:

Sulman Mirza, 30, an architect and resident of the building, said, “I was taking a nap and didn’t realize (the fire was happening) ’till I saw the smoke come up to the fourth floor.  The building’s a mix of young twenty-somethings and Chinese people and is over 100 years old…”

(Note: The National Register Historic District Report indicates the building dates to 1869).

Sulman believes the fire began in the basement and speculated that old electrical wiring could have been to blame.  “Going forward, when looking for apartments, I’m going to take the wiring into consideration,” he said.

Investigators have not determined a cause this afternoon.  It does not appear anyone was seriously injured in the blaze, which looks to have started in the basement. About 60 firefighters responded to the scene. The building is the home of Mendel Goldberg Fabrics, a business that’s been on the Lower East Side since 1890. 

More Photos: Fire at the Mendel Goldberg Building

We’re just back from 72 Hester Street, the home of Mendel Goldberg Fabrics, one of the Lower East Side’s oldest retail businesses. The worst seems to be over after a fire that broke out about noon. In this photo you see two women who were rescued from the building a short time ago. Firefighters broke through the main floor and contained the fire, which apparently started in the basement.  See more photos after the jump.

Update: Mendel Goldberg Building Burning on Hester Street

Fire broke out at the longtime home of Mendel Goldberg Fabrics on Hester Street around noon.

We’re at the scene of the fire at 72 Hester St., the home of Mendel Goldberg Fabrics. Multiple fire departments have responded, and firefighters are breaking in the plate-glass window of the storefront as smoke pours from the building.

The fabric store, opened in 1890, is a Lower East Side icon, still run by the Goldberg family after four generations. It’s a favorite haunt of high-profile city residents, including the late Elaine Kaufman of Elaine’s restaurant.