NEW STREET, Financial District

Believe it or not this sign, which hung at New Street and Exchange Place way downtown, is being auctioned on Ebay for $43,000. I seriously doubt such a number will be the final auction price. In 1988, I purchased a similar sign in a lot at 6th Avenue and West 28th Street for $50, and it’s still in my possession.

This one still has its rusty bracket, used on castiron posts in the years between the 1910s and 1960s, as well as an attached arrow-shaped one way sign (I’ve seen them with “NY Police Department” on the sign; nonetheless, I do think this is authentic).

Incidentally, the brackets went with the signs like U goes with Q. Until 2000 or so, one of these sign-bracket combinations was still in place on a telephone pole at an obscure Bronx corner in Eastchester, Allen Place at DeLavall Avenue; unfortunately the Department of Transportation made quick work of it. I hope a collector was on hand when they removed it.

I also wish some enterprising type designer would design an alphabet based on the letters and numbers on these signs. It would make a terrific serifed font.

The signs, used in Manhattan and Bronx, were very dark navy blue and white — New York Yankees colors. One wonders if the uniforms were influenced by the signs.


Categorized in: One Shots Signs

4 Responses to NEW STREET, Financial District

  1. Walt Gosden says:

    Back in the early 1970s a neat salvage place in Ct. called United House Wrecking had hundreds of these hump back blue and white piled outside in rows about 20 feet long. Your choice for $5 each. I bought two, still have one. I think the place still exists and it was around a few years ago when I visited but has cleaned up its act considerably so lost a lot of charm. No more signs though!
    Rochester , NY used the same type /shape signs at the same time period and I bought a pair of signs for that city with all the brackets as you show several years ago in the Antiques Underground in Syracuse, N.Y. . ANtiques Underground is gone now as well, was in the basement of an office building.

  2. Bruce Einsohn says:

    Also on eBay is a sign from Broad St. @ Stone St. listed at $123,000,
    and one from Greenwich Ave. @ Mulry Sq. for $15,000.

  3. ron s says:

    I have a few of these as well, from a long ago 5 dollar sale. After watching them on ebay for a while, I would estimate that they really sell for 300-500 each, usually w/o the cast iron frame. I’m not sure what the purpose of listing a ridiculous 43,000 dollar price is. Maybe someone will offer 21,500 and think they are getting 50% off?

  4. steve kennedy says:

    There are so many typefaces similar to the one used on the sign. Here is a link to Copperplate Gothic, designed in 1901 by acclaimed American designer Fred Goudy. These details are apparent—the apex of the A and vertex of the W are more pointed and overall the face is more condensed.

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