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Thursday, June 16, 2011, 07:30 am PT (10:30 am ET)

$6.7M effort to replace Apple's iconic Fifth Ave glass cube underway

Apple is hard at work on replacing and improving its iconic glass cube entrance to its store on Fifth Avenue in New York City, a project that will cost the company nearly $6.7 million.

Numerous readers reached out to AppleInsider this week to note that the store on Fifth Avenue has been under construction for the last few days, and that the entrance has been closed off. Details on the project were revealed Thursday by Gary Allen of ifoAppleStore.com.

The project involves completely removing the glass cube entrance at the store, and then reinstalling it. Permits filed with New York's Department of Buildings show that the entire project will cost Apple $6,661,050, and that construction is expected to be completed by November.

"There is no indication of why the cube is being replaced, either because of safety concerns or simply to upgrade it to current technology," Allen wrote. "It's also not clear if the glass panels or the TriPyramid Structures Inc. hardware will be replaced with new, upgraded versions."

In addition to replacing the cube, Apple will also remove protective bollards, install new pavers around the perimeter, and remove and reinstall surrounding water drains.

Apple Store 5th Ave: The Cube


Plywood walls were said to be erected around the glass cube Wednesday evening, and in the coming days scaffolding will be added to allow workers to access the 32-foot cube. The structure was originally completed in May of 2006, and that project cost Apple $7 million.

Apple's store at 767 Fifth Ave. is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and its giant glass cube entrance has become something of a landmark in New York City. It is the highest grossing store in the district by square foot, and has even been found to be one of the most photographed locations in the city.