Christmas in July!

Made_Queens_pic_1BY HOLLY BIELER


The building that houses Spaeth Design is very gray. To be fair, that’s to be expected on this industrial corridor of Woodside, a street largely concerned with churning out soft drinks and plastic furniture and other things whose manufacture one would associate with “gray-ness.” However, tucked within a row of nondescript concrete buildings, David Spaeth and his crew are hard at work on a decidedly different endeavor: designing, painting, molding, and 3D-printing things so beautiful that come December, people the world over will flock to New York City for just a peek at his handiwork.

For over 30 years, Spaeth Design has been the preeminent maker of Christmas department store displays, having constructed pieces for blockbuster clients like Lord and Taylor and Saks Fifth Avenue since the 1950s.

David Spaeth, who’s been at the helm of his family’s company for nearly that long, says he always knew he wanted to pursue the family business, even while working as a mechanical engineer inMade_Queens_pic_5 the aerospace industry fresh out of college. He said that even while working on plane mechanics, he was considering how his skill set might translate to displays. “As a kid, I’d see little moving figures [in displays],” he said. “I’ve always been an engineering guy, and even then those little moving things intrigued me.”

He took over the company in the 1970s, and shortly thereafter utilized his knowledge to produce a display that would forever revolutionize the industry.  “Lord and Taylor heard we had been making some in-roads in moving, mechanical displays,” he said. “They hadn’t seen any moving displays we’d actually done yet, but they called us up and said ‘can you do our windows?’ So our first job doing moving displays was for the biggest job in the country.”

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Posted by on Jun 11 2015. Filed under Featured Articles, Made In Queens. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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