MEN’S CLOTHES, Ridgewood

by Kevin Walsh

Idling in Ridgewood the other day, I spotted this truly ancient painted ad on Seneca Avenue between Stanhope and Himrod. Other bits of the ad are visible but have mostly weathered away, leaving only the words “Men’s Clothes” visible. I make this ad to date from about 1880-1910, judging from the font. 

We are just one block from the undefended Brooklyn-Queens border at this point, one block into Queens, though the two boroughs are nearly indistinguishable, as western Ridgewood uses the same Brooklyn-style (i.e., no hyphens) style used on the Brooklyn side, which is in Bushwick.

Yes, I make the Bushwick-Ridgewood border exactly the same as the Brooklyn-Queens border. I know you disagree. Fire away in Comments!

Check out the ForgottenBook, take a look at the gift shop, and as always, “comment…as you see fit.”




Peter March 12, 2018 - 10:09 pm

According to the real estate site the building in question, 410 Seneca, was constructed in 1930. It can’t be correct. The building looks much older than that, and by 1930 building foundations were usually poured concrete (ready-mix trucks came into use about 1920).
Another item to note is that an Army private named William Byrne with a 410 Seneca address was reported Missing in Action during World War I (as far as I can tell he was never found). Of course that could have been an older building on the site, but it probably wasn’t given the apparent age of the current one.

Kevin Walsh March 13, 2018 - 9:04 am

I never trust real estate sites for correct building dates

John Dereszewski March 13, 2018 - 6:08 pm

I found that 1930 is default date that the Building Det. assigns where the exact construction cannot be located. I know th8s makes no sense – but that’s bureaucracy for you.

Edward Findlay March 14, 2018 - 11:04 pm

Map evidence of the neighborhood shows it to at least be post-1912(NYPL map collection maps), other buildings range from early 20s to later…it seems to be a mid to late 1920s construction and could very well be 1930 as the construction date just from evidence around it so it’s not too far off.

John Dereszewski March 18, 2018 - 1:10 pm

By 1930 they just were not building them that way. I think the 1910’s makes the most sense.

FNY Fan Skipper March 12, 2018 - 11:16 pm

Hi Kevin,

I think you left out the word “addresses” in the 2nd paragraph, where you repeated “style”.

“ western Ridgewood uses the same Brooklyn-style (i.e., no hyphens) addresses used on the Brooklyn side…”

You can delete this message also. 🙂

FNY Fan Skipper March 13, 2018 - 9:41 am

The building in question appears to have been in place by 1909 as it appears in this atlas plate:

joe March 13, 2018 - 9:08 pm

go back to where you came from

Dennis McSorley January 7, 2022 - 6:16 pm

I grew up in Ridgewood and attended St. Matthias and Bishop Loughlin and St. Francis College Bklyn.
I became a teacher and started at PS116 on Knickerbocker Ave. One Saturday, on my time, I picked up about six kids from my 6th grade.
I had a 1969 Mustang and put three kids in – drove some and switched out the other 3. We went to Farmer’s Oval the playground I spent my
years growing up playing and meeting kids from other places -Glendale- Cypress Hills . Anyway, my students acted like they were in a dreamland because
there were so many stores for food and stuff, nice trees on every block and it was a first time adventure for tham across the Bushwick line…They told everybody
about it and the Principal reminded me I should have permission papers. I told him it wasn’t a school day and all the kids had the ok. Still sticks in my mind
for the culture shock they experienced.


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