Using money that he had received as an inheritance and savings from his job as a tutor, Irishman Alexander Turney Stewart opened a small shop selling Irish fabrics and lace along with domestic calico at 823 Broadway in New York. The date was September 1st, 1823. From this humble start, Stewart was to build a commercial empire and amass a fortune equivalent to $90 billion in today’s dollars.
With early success in his first shop, Stewart built a larger building across the street in 1846. The building eventually became known as the Marble Palace due to its unique Tuckahoe Marble facade. To keep up with business, the building was expanded in 1851, 1852 and 1871. This was the birth of the modern department store.