After 29 years, FAO Schwarz is packing up its wonderland-like Manhattan store, including the giant floor piano. RIP that giant floor piano.

The New York Times found the store full of patrons making one last, sentimental visit. “I think it’s as much for us as it is for them,” said one mom waiting in line. “They won’t remember this, but at least we’ll have the picture proof.” amNY stopped by as well and witnessed a 20-person line of folks waiting to play the piano, Big-style. But anybody who dawdled until the last moment for souvenirs was probably disappointed:

“I came here because when my ten-year-old-son found out I was coming to New York, he told me he would love something from the ‘Big’ store,” said Tessa Penman, a South African tourist. “But I couldn’t even get him anything! The shelves are empty. I guess everybody had the same idea as me.”

The retailer is currently seeking a replacement location, but the Times says this is the first time since 1862 that Manhattan has been FAO Schwarz-less. There are, of course, still plenty of places to purchase insanely expensive toys in the five boroughs, but none with quite so much panache or cross-generational nostalgia.


Contact the author at kelly@jezebel.com.

Photo via AP Images.