NEW YORK – The toy soldiers posed for their last pictures on Wednesday, and two rather dejected-looking Patrick the Pups filled the lone rotunda that used to be a mountain of plush. Children and grown-ups took selfies with the safari of stuffed animals that lined the store's entrance, while others made a beeline for the big piano, or hunted down the perfect toy that they would love forever.
It was the last day of business at FAO Schwarz on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.
In one spot or another, the store has been in New York City since 1862, when the Schwarz brothers first opened. It has moved around Manhattan a bit, landing in its current location in 1986.
A spokeswoman for Toys 'R' Us, which has owned the store since 2009, said that the decision to close was born out of the rising rent on Fifth Avenue, but that the company was looking for another location in Midtown.
Patrons showed their sentimental attachment to FAO Schwarz upstairs at the giant light-up piano that Tom Hanks and Robert Loggia dance on in the 1988 movie "Big."
Lines swerved into the hallways and other sections of the floor as people waited for their final chance to play on the piano. Each person got two minutes of near-cinematic glory.
new york times