NEW YORK–Sidney Medoff, former owner and president of Metropolitan Lighting Fixture Co. Inc., died July 27. He was 92.
Medoff was active in the lighting industry for more than 50 years. He graduated from what is now Rutgers University with an advanced degree in law. He practiced law for a short time, interrupted by World War II where he served as a first lieutenant in Army Intelligence.
In 1943, he married Debra Simpson and joined her family in the lighting business in 1947 as owner and president of Metropolitan Lighting in New York City.
The company grew from a local showroom at 16 E. 39th St. in Manhattan, catering to the building and retail trade, to a national business in the mid-1960’s, when it acquired ARCO Lighting and gaining entry into the interior designers’ market.
Medoff later moved the business uptown to 1010 Third Ave., next to Bloomingdale’s and into the heart of the designer territory. He expanded the small ARCO catalog and made it into one of the first national lighting catalogs for designers. He took regular buying trips to Austria, France, Germany, Holland, Italy and Spain to select fine lighting, antique reproductions and many antiques to show designers. He next expanded into selling retail lighting stores around the country and developed a national sales force of independent representatives.
He also aggressively developed a custom lighting following. Metropolitan’s custom lighting projects ranged from chandeliers going locally to the Waldorf Astoria and New York Hilton, to other U.S. landmarks like the Greenbrier Hotel, and to many international locations.
Metropolitan Lighting acquired Camer Glass Lighting in 1991. Medoff retired in 1997 when Metropolitan Lighting was sold to the Minka Group.