COOPERMADE: NYC Holiday Window Displays

Spaeth Windows

Though they almost certainly don’t know them by name, kids of NYC, as well as their parents, have been equally blessed by Sandy A’68 and David Spaeth ME’66. The pair are responsible for some of the most enchanting scenarios to grace Gotham’s grandest emporia, and for their firm Spaeth Design, the holidays are a year-round commitment.  

The Spaeths, who met at Cooper’s former Green Camp retreat in New Jersey, run their window design business from a 20,000 square foot warehouse in Woodside, Queens, where Hostess once pumped out its packaged treats for generations of school children. David’s background in flight control design at Grumman, and Sandy’s long career as a creative director allowed them to take David’s parents’ display business to a whole new level.  

Besides being tasked to build a giant pasta maker for Eataly and interactive designs for the Library of Congress’s Baseball American exhibit, the couple has been challenged by Macy’s to have Santa and his sleigh zoom through one year's display via rollercoaster. It was a risky proposition, potentially sending the whole North Pole team through the plate glass windows. Fortunately, David’s engineering background helped prevent that would-be spectacular, if unfortunate, scenario!  

Through Sandy’s branding work, Speath Design has brought in major clients including Bloomingdale’s and Tiffany’s. Today, they employ more than thirty designers, carpenters, welders, sculptors, painters, and mechanical engineers—several of whom are fellow Cooper graduates. Their creations exemplify the incredible potential of the synthesis of science and art, and for New York City’s pedestrians their partnership makes the holidays bright!  


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  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.