This ancient painted ad, which appeared at Duffy Square, Broadway and West 47th Street, in 1998 after the demolition of a corner building, was among Forgotten NY’s many mothers and fathers. When I became aware of it in a news report, I sensed there was a niche for NYC ephemera such as old painted ads, leftover signs, lampposts, and unchronicled NYC neighborhoods or unchronicled aspects of NYC neighborhoods. It was revealed for just a few months that year, and then covered again by a new building going up on that corner. The true age of many Times Square area buildings is not really obvious, since they’re chockablock with neon ads.

This was one of many carriage repair shops and “manufactories” that were located in the Times Square area prior to the namesake newspaper’s arrival in 1904. Prior to that it was called Longacre Square after London’s carriage district. This was also the original location of the uptown Washington produce market, which later moved to Tribeca and is now the site of the Independence Plaza Houses. The Winter Garden, originally a stables, is also a remnant of the horse and cart era.

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