Throwback Thursday: rebuilding Ground Zero
When disaster struck on 9-11, a Manhattan store flexed its muscles.
The Oct. 8, 2001 issue of National Home Center News, the forerunner of HBSDealer, covered the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center from the perspective of a 38-year-old hardware store owner in Manhattan.
Andrew Scheman, president of Scheman and Grant, witnessed the devastation on Sept. 11, 2001, and then oversaw the transformation of his hardware store into a much-needed supply house for relief workers at Ground Zero in lower Manhattan.
Scheman arrived at work early on Sept. 11, and was alerted to the disaster by a phone call from his wife.
“I lived in New York my entire life,” Scheman told our reporter in 2001. “I’ve seen the biggest things that happened here – the blackouts, blizzards. That image of watching the tower cascading down will be in. my mind the rest of my life.”
The article reported: “Scheman immediately closed his shop and told his 15 employees to go home; those who had nowhere to go due to the almost total shutdown of New York’s mass transit system were allowed to stay inside the store.”
After closing on the day following the attacks under recommendation of the mayor, Scheman and Grant picked up the pace on the following days. The store is located near the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, which became a major collection area for Ground Zero rescue supplies.
Our reporter wrote: “The store went through 100 respirators, the equivalent of two years’ worth of sales for the 6,500 sq. ft. store. Combining donations and sales, the store also went through 10,000 dust masks, 1,000 pair of gloves, 100 tarps and several hundred flashlights and Maglites . . .. ‘It was a convoy that was basically shopping here and going to Javits to drop it off,’ Scheman said.”
Today, Scheman and Grant continues to serve New York City from three paint-focused locations in Manhattan.
HBSDealer’s Throwback Thursday is sponsored by Schaffer Associates, a national management consulting firm specializing in executive search and organizational strategies for the hardware, home improvement, building materials, and consumer products industries. As the premier management consulting firm serving the industry, we help build organizations and leadership teams that foster corporate growth and success well into the future. Contact us at SchafferAssociates.com.
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