ForgottenFan Marc A. Hermann chipped in on Twitter with a couple of venerable ads revealed by a teardown of an electronics store at East New York and Rockaway Avenues in East New York. On the first one, painted over wood slats, you can see a number of mostly unintelligible lines, but the one on the bottom points to a 5th Avenue and 9th Street location in Park Slope.
The second one is similarly hard to read but on the bottom, you can just barely make out the word “Castoria.” This is Fletcher’s Castoria, a mild stomach remedy originally marketed to kids. Castoria ads, with florid inscriptions, were rendered with paint that faded only slowly in the sun and so, several can still be made out around town, though more disappear every year. Fletcher’s Castoria is still available in some markets.
This is the corner in question on Street View in 2018. The entire corner building is gone, so the ads, which are from 1880-1910, are at least temporarily visible.
Next door to the old ads, on East New York Avenue, is the venerable 65th Precinct building. It was constructed in 1909 as the 65th but later became the 73rd. The old stationhouse has sat abandoned since 1985, when a new 73rd was built nearby.
The 73rd figured into the so-called Career Girl Murders of 1963 in which local resident George Whitmore was arrested and interrogated here and subsequently convicted of the Upper East Side murder of two young women. He was later exonerated. The case became the basis for the KOJAK pilot “The Marcus Nelson Murders.” — Matthew X. Kiernan
Check out the ForgottenBook, take a look at the gift shop, and as always, “comment…as you see fit.”
Whatever business was at the corner of 5th and 9th must have been important enough to pay for a sign several miles away. Today there are mostly newer buildings at the corner, so there are no hints as to what the important business might have been. Maybe those 1940 tax photos would help.
Indeed, the relevant photo (http://nycma.lunaimaging.com/luna/servlet/detail/NYCMA~7~7~895884~714496?sort=borough%2Cblock%2Clot%2Czip_code) shows a bank. Likely that’s it; a photo from the opposite corner (http://nycma.lunaimaging.com/luna/servlet/detail/NYCMA~7~7~895881~714530?sort=borough%2Cblock%2Clot%2Czip_code) shows an ad for “Greater New York Savings Bank.”
Although not visible in the picture, looking SE at East New York Avenue and Rockaway Avenue,, there’s a faded sign or part of one right on top of where the light brown aluminum siding is located. You can only see it if you’re on East New York Avenue and the west side of Rockaway Ave looking east. If and when that building is demolished, I predict a well preserved painted sign will appear.