It may have been divine intervention that brought 104-year-old DeNatale Jewelers to its new location at the historic Trinity Building at 111 Broadway in the Financial District in New York City. A grand reopening party was held on Nov. 28.
Last December, the third generation DeNatales (brothers Jim, Peter, Robert and John)—who co-own and run the business—were given six months to find another location after their lease at 170 Broadway was terminated due to the sale of the building. Although already an institution in the Financial District—DeNatale Jewelers had operated in that location for 60 years—the family considered a move to midtown.
Exterior of the new store
“My feeling was that there was much more business to be done in midtown but we couldn’t find anything we liked,” says Jim. “We knew the rents would be less downtown, but we didn’t expect to find something as beautiful [as the Trinity Building]. It was a gift from above.”
The DeNatale brothers: John, Peter Jr. (retired), Robert, and Jim
Certainly the deal was heaven-sent: Trinity spent significant funds on renovations and offered DeNatale six months free rent. Fate may also have played a part. DeNatale Jewelers has gone through several incarnations throughout the years thanks to ownership under different branches of the family tree and several locations in Manhattan. The brothers knew that their grandparents—Italian immigrants who moved here in 1897 and a year later opened the first DeNatale store on Grand Street in Little Italy—watched the Trinity building being built in 1906. In 1908, the family would open on nearby Wall Street.
Interior of the new store
Meant to complement the neighboring Trinity Church, the Trinity Building was designed in grand Gothic style with gargoyles, dragons, and mysterious faces such as a veiled lady some have speculated is Synagoga, a figure often found in medieval Christian structures. DeNatale’s 3,000-square-foot space and natural light is an ideal backdrop for its custom, one-of-a-kind, and designer jewelry from Armadani, Demarco, Lazare Kaplan, and Gumuchian, among others. The showroom boasts 18-foot vaulted ceilings and large stained glass windows that overlook a lush courtyard—somehow fitting for the firm that has been commissioned to create rings and crosses for the clergy of the Archdiocese of New York.
Members of DeNatale family
To lure foot traffic, DeNatale opened a kiosk outside the building announcing the location inside and conducted a mail blast to a number of the surrounding residential zip codes. The jeweler also plans to get the word out through its blogs, Twitter, and Pinterest. The Trinity Building itself is home to tony tenants, including doctors, lawyers, New York University and a radio station.
“We’re thrilled to be here,” says Jim. “We have big stained glass windows, high ceilings, crown molding—it was totally gutted and refitted for us. Why would I want to go to midtown? Somebody up there was looking after us.”