In the 1950s, these yellow and black signs showing the cross streets appeared in Manhattan. When the DOT replaced them with vinyl and metal signs beginning in 1964, the yellow and black color scheme was retained.

Photo courtesy Larry Rogak.

Categorized in: One Shots Signs Tagged with:

7 Responses to 1950s MANHATTAN SIGNS

  1. Ben Klein says:

    As a lover of all things old in New York, I love these signs! I collect snapshots of old architecture, cemeteries, storefronts, pretty much anything that catches my interest. Thanks for posting this! And I love the website!

  2. Tom says:

    Any idea what happens to the old signs after the DOT decides to change to something new? Did they toss them out or did they end up in storage somewhere?

  3. andy says:

    Remember them well. The signs were far easier to read than the older blue humpback style featured in the previous posting, because they were bigger and brighter. These signs were not found all over Manhattan – but were used on Broadway, Fifth Ave., First Ave/., Third Ave., Ninth Ave., Tenth Ave., and Bowery. Interesting feature was the smaller lower rectangle with the name of the intersecting street, something never copied today.

  4. Steven G. says:

    I have one labeled as “1 AVE AND E. 86 ST.”

  5. W.B. says:

    The first one shown on top (Duffy Sq / Broadway / W. 46 St) would appear to be a later-made sign, circa 1960, based on the Highway Gothic fonts, including what looks like Series A for Broadway, Series E on the “46,” Series C on W. and St., and Series D on Duffy Sq. It would appear, based on photos of the Times Square area, that that type sign wasn’t replaced by the newer vinyl / metal signs until 1968.

    This type of signage was all over Avenue of the Americas, as well. I remember reading that it was specifically created for that thoroughfare and also applied to some other avenues (including the F.D.R. Drive).

  6. W.B. says:

    P.S. At least two of this type signage survived into the early years of the federally-mandated white-on-green street signs’ usage in the city . . . two such old signs of this layout, along the F.D.R. Drive – on East 104th and East 109th Streets – were up as late as 1989, if you’ve seen Matt Weber’s street photography archives.

  7. t. robinson says:

    I love street signs. todays signs are too generic,boring! I have an old montreal sign from the 50s. I have the middle nyc sign . mine says 7th av,w149 st.

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