The giant Eagle Clothes sign, a hallmark of the west Brooklyn skyline, is being dismantled so that a couple of more floors can be built on its parent building at 3rd Avenue and 6th Street, now a U-Haul distributorship. According to U-Haul, parts of the sign will be reinstalled on the building when the extra two floors are completed.
Eagle was one of the many haberdasheries that succumbed to more casual living during the Swingin’ Sixties. As more men began to eschew suits, jackets and ties during all but strict business hours, clothing manufacturers had to adapt or die.
One by one, Weber & Heilbroner, Rogers Peet, Robert Hall all succumbed. Many of their ads can still be found too, in faded ads on buildings in and surrounding Manhattan’s Garment District. The biggest remnant of the era when all men wore hats is right here by the Gowanus Canal.
Casual dress for work reached its apogee in the late 1990s with the rise of tech dot.com companies, but since those have collapsed and there’s more of an emphasis on traditional business, maybe there will again be a need for companies like Eagle Clothes as people wear suits to work again. Then again, maybe not…
And now the sign says a last farewell.