photo: L. Sylvers

Next to the building where Little Liberty used to raise her torch, during the spring some demolition work exposed a gigantic, brilliantly-colored 1900-1910-era ad for Hunter’s Baltimore Rye. Since then, local concerns have been quite busy covering it with run-of the-mill ads, probably for the bane of the 21st Century, cellular phones. God how I hate cellphones.

Longchamps was a venerable chain of New York City restaurants along with Howard Johnson’s, Childs’, Nedicks and so may others. It was purchased by the Riese organization in 1969 and converted into Brew Burgers, TGI Fridays or another name in the Riese stable.

This reminder of Longchamps, though, is still extant on Madison Avenue in the East 40s and there are stirrings afoot to turn it into a landmark, so the reminder may remain for awhile.

The once-proud Bickfords chain  (below) is gone. There’s still a remainder on 8th and 34th above a porno parlor.





Old Bloomingdales’ signs from the 19-oh’s and 10s still work because Bloomie’s, then and now, is at Lexington and 59th. This old sign can be found on 125th between Lenox (Malcolm X Blvd) and 5th.

photos: Gary Fonville

photo: Gary Fonville

Faint Jefferson Theatre ad on 7th Avenue South near Christopher Street. The only Jefferson Theatre I knew of was on East 14th near 3rd Avenue, and it was demolished a couple of years ago after years of abandonment.

photo: Gary Fonville

With everyone dressing ‘casual‘ for the office, there’s not quite as much use for shoe polish, but in the recession, we hear that companies are cracking down on comfortable clothes. Maybe the shoe polish makers will get more work after all. This old shoe polish as can be found on Madison near East 126th.

photo: Gary Fonville

There must have been a liquor store where the flower shop is now at Lex and East 104th, if you judge by the painted Gordon’s Gin ad on the brickwork.

“Western Union man, bad news in his hand…”

They’re not ads, but the terra cotta sculptures on this building at 5th Avenue and 23rd Street effectively worked as ads, on the old Western Union Telegraph Building.

Walking along 23rd one day I was amazed to find the faded words “Western Union” when I looked up from the sidewalk for a moment.

The Telegraph Building was built by architect Henry Hardenburgh from 1882-1884, at about the same time he was building the Dakota Apartments way uptown on Central Park West.

Hardenburgh then moved on to Grand Army Plaza at 5th Avenue and 59th Street, where he built the Plaza Hotel from 1905-1907.

Hopper-esque scene on Ludlow and Rivington in the lower east side.

A short distance from the Telegraph Building, descend into the IRT station at 23rd and Park Avenue South for a more recent remnant.

Storefronts, or rather, store entrances, used to be rather more commonplace in the subway. For example, the old Wanamakers had an entrance from the Astor Place subway station two stops downtown from this one, and it’s still used to this day as the entrance to a K Mart in the same location.

"Entire Store For Sale"

The stenciled Swingin’ Sixties Woolworth logo can be seen clearly in this picture.

The old Woolworth subway entrance has been gated up for some time, but it does have a relatively new sign saying “everything for sale” in the front window, so I’d estimate Woolworths was here until the early 1990s or so.


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