Monday, January 8, 2018

JAM Paper & Envelope is closing on 3rd Avenue


[Photo via EVG reader Gwen]

A "store is closing" sign is now up in the window at JAM Paper & Envelope on Third Avenue between 14th Street and 15th Street.

The home-office stationery and supply shop will close at the end of the month, an employee confirmed. The online business will continue in operation. I reached out to the JAM main office to find out more about the closure.

For now, everything in the store is 50-percent off, per the sign.

Here's a little history via the JAM website:

The story of JAM Paper & Envelope begins in New York City in 1954, when Henry Berger opened Hudson Envelope as a paper and envelope wholesaler and printing service. In 1983, Henry's son-in-law, Michael Jacobs, would open Hudson Envelope's first retail store in New Jersey called JAM Paper & Envelope.

Hudson's first Manhattan location arrived in 1978 ... and in 1983 the first JAM store debuted.

JAM represents the first letters of the owners' first names — Janet, Andrew and Michael Jacobs, the family members who run the company.

The website notes that JAM has had over 10 different Manhattan locations. This JAM, their lone retail outlet in the city now, has been at 135 Third Ave. since 2004.

The standalone JAM addendum next door was demolished in 2008, as Jeremiah Moss noted.


[Photo from 2008 by Jeremiah Moss]

That lot is now the long-stalled 16-floor condoplex.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

CVS wants to move in there

Anonymous said...

I love the store and will be sad to see them go - they were my go-to the one or two times a year I needed a specific box or gift bag. I suppose this was inevitable. Paper correspondence has been on the decline for years and their inventory has languished on the shelves. Also, a number of other retailers are selling better quality merchandise, albeit at higher prices across a limited selection.

Gojira said...

Bummer. Always my go-to place whenever I wanted something special.

Anonymous said...

Why would CVS want to MOVE BACK to the store they vacated in the past?

Anonymous said...

I walked in for the first time last summer and marveled at how large the space is...and being strictly occupied by paper products. I knew in my gut then that in the current market, it was not going to be sustainable for much longer. But, it was truly impressive for just being a massive room of paper...in 2017.

Goggla said...

The last items I bought there were a gold envelope and a fancy pen for Hank Penza. That will be the memory I take with me.

Harry said...

I am perplexed that it survived so long. Every time I’ve walked in over the past 15 years (to buy a single envelope or pen) it was virtually empty of customers. The rent must be astronomical. Even a Key Food grocery store folded prior.

Anonymous said...

This place has stuff you can't even imagine, and for the holidays as well as for any special celebrations during the year it's definitely my go-to place.

I'm really sorry that they'll be closing; this is one more instance proving that a regular store just can't be allowed to exist in Manhattan anymore. Glad they'll still be selling online, but it's not the same as being able to browse their aisles.

Giovanni said...

JAM Paper was the jam back in the day. Everyone went here for their amazing selection of stationery, gift wrapping and envelopes. I still have a bunch of envelopes that were made from old topographical maps, with names of remote places I’ve never even heard of. The little JAM next door used to be the seedy porn theater with the raincoat crowd looking for young boys to hook up with. We used to joke that was where Pee Wee Herman was busted for lewdness. The corner building that’s now the NYU dorm used to be the notorious Sahara Hotel, the site of major prostitution rings and a few grisly murders. Carmelita Receoption House was diagonally agross the street, as was the Variety Theater, where Taxi Driver was filmed. JAM is the last remnant from the good old bad old days of 14th Street, it will be missed.

Anonymous said...

Sad another one bites the dust. Does anyone know what is going on with The Joint? Just went by this evening to get a cheese steak and the place is closed.

Harry said...

I think that little JAM was a pet store for a while....and a Key Food became Met Food..

Anonymous said...

@Giovanni: Wow you brought back a flood of memories of the old nabe! I hadn't thought about those places in ages, but suddenly I could see them all in my mind's eye again.

So many hotels for prostitutes back then. One upstairs from what was the Army/Navy store (now the Penny Farthing) at the SE corner of 13th and 3rd Ave. - was it the Regina Hotel? And one stood right where the New School dorm on 12th St. just west of 3rd Ave. is now; I can see that one clearly in my mind as well, though the name escapes me. I knew never to walk on that side of 12th St. after dark!

I wish I'd owned a camera back then. (And I realize that young people today, used to having their phone contain a camera, can't imagine that not everyone had the $$ to OWN a camera, much less afford to buy film and pay for developing!)

Anonymous said...

Jam store was a CVS before flipping to Jam.

Harry said...

I have a vague memory of a Tad’s Steaks on East 14 Street near there..
I was young enough with a low bar palate to actually like them, and the garlic bread.

Giovanni said...

@10:42 You’re right, Hudsons Army Navy Store was located where the Penny Farthing is, and one of the many prostitute hotels was where Ricky’s is now. But the hooker never bothered us kids. We used to go to Kiehl’s after school, which back then was a dark old style pharmacy with wooden counters, and buy big chunks of rock candy from the glass jars on the counter. Just to the north of JAM Paper was a place called Oh! Sweet Cheeses, which is one of the all time great store names. Disco Donut was across the street, underneath Carmelita’s Reception House, and they had great jelly donuts. Luchow’s upscale restaurant was down 14th Street near the Academy of Music, which later became the Palladium. We used to shoot pool at Julians Billairds upstairs, and watch Bruce Lee movies at The Academy on the weekend.. Now it’s an NYU dorm. There was also a bus driver on the 14th Street crosstown who sang opera, and all the riders clapped when he finished a song.

@Harry There was a Tad’s Steaks on 14th Street near Union Square. They cooked the flame broiled steaks in the window and it came with a baked potato which was roasted in rock salt and garlic bread. All for $1.98. The walls had that cheesy red and black felt wallpaper. You couldn't walk by without staring at those giant flames shooting up from the grill.

The Velvet DJ said...

I got my cat as a kitten in the little one story building pet store around 25 years . Was $25-30 and she jumped into my palm as her sister growled so Home we went !

Harry said...

I have fond memories of concerts at the Academy of Music in the 1970’s. Particularly Van Morrison, my favorite singers/songwriter. Luckily I went to the early and late shows, since mercurial Van walked off early in the first show. Then there was The Band on New Year ‘s Eve 1974, when Bob Dylan came out during an encore.

blue glass said...

the regina hotel was above hudsons - the owner of the hotel was a partner of hudsons.
he also owned the rooming house at 209 east 14th street with the medicaid mill in he basement - that is now some kind of B&B. and for a while there was an sro rooming house on the corner of 13th street and third avenue but the (was it MFY?) legal services lost most of the residents.
the building on 13th 3-4th was next to the theater and was hopping. after the murder the police paid some attention and it calmed down a bit, then closed.
the corridor of third avenue 14th to st marks was hooker haven. a few of the bars along third avenue were hooker hangouts and some of the neighborhood bars that tolerated the street trade when they behaved.

while there were a lot of drugs, a russian mafia street sale of stolen goods, awful landlords, fires, prostitution and anything you can think of in the neighborhood, it was an easier place to find an affordable apartment and the mix of arts, stores, students, the poor and the middle class seemed to get along and be a real neighborhood.

and while money has always been important people managed survival with barter, trade, sharing, generosity, and a whole lot of inexpensive mom and pop stores.

Anonymous said...

Why isn't the city doing anything about the unfinished NYU building that is next door to JAM? That stretch of 3 rd is avoided because it's difficult to walk in the narrow space of sidewalk between scaffolding and street.