by Kevin Walsh

A very faded building ad on Jamaica Avenue near 161st Street advertises the department store once billed as Jamaica’s largest. Simon, Louis and Moses Plaut opened their first department store in Newark, NJ in 1870, and had a branch in Jamaica in the early 20th Century. The Jamaica branch closed in 1935.


1911 ad


1926 ad




Joe Fliel August 6, 2014 - 11:52 am

Plaut Bros. closed in 1935. According to a photo caption in Old Queens, N.Y., in Early Photographs by Vincent F. Seyfried and William Asadorian, the store had a final liquidation sale in that year. There is a photo (photo 49, p.34) which can be seen at the link:,+Jamaica,+NY&source=bl&ots=cHBS8VJ32u&sig=an_YcQjHzLqL1QrESH5Jo5RII28&hl=en&sa=X&ei=L1viU4SgBcy3yATVw4GIBg&ved=0CDwQ6AEwBg#v=onepage&q=Plaut%20Bros.%2C%20Jamaica%2C%20NY&f=false

april April 29, 2017 - 1:05 am

Would this become the site of Mays later on? I would venture that taxi driver-cum-published author Melissa Plaut is a descendant of these once-successful Plauts.

Ginger October 6, 2017 - 2:10 pm

Mays was where Marshalls is now on Jamaica Avenue between 168th and 169th Streets!;sort:building_number%2Cblock%2Clot%2Ceasement;lc:RECORDSPHOTOUNITQUE~1~1&mi=595&trs=1720

If you go to the rear on 90th Avenue a few doors away from the police station, you’ll see a small sometimes-gated loading dock with a “No overnight parking” sign- the Mays logo is on that sign!

Ceya May 19, 2018 - 6:40 pm

The ad is on the Plaut Building.


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