Uni Watch man Paul Lukas was headed down East 14th Street recently. Between 2nd and 3rd Avenue (on what’s really the only shaded block on the busy east-west corridor) he spotted this ancient neon sign at #230 for an ice cream shop, Dairycrest, and the various frozen treats offered within. The sign was revealed when a New Age bookstore, Aum Shanti, moved out and its sign came down. Prior to that, the store was occupied by a cable repair service.
Looking into the Municipal Archives for a 1940 view, it’s apparent that Dairycrest hadn’t yet moved in as the sign isn’t there yet. I’d estimate the sign’s installation to be between 1945 and 1955 from the design and overall looks of things.
Back in 2009, I did a survey of 14th Street from river to river (one of NYC’s few major routes that does that trick) and, on the same block, found an interesting Russian souvenir store, now gone, as well as the Beauty Bar which occupies the former Italian Labor Center, which has some unusual bas reliefs on the second floor. The Beauty Bar and the reliefs are still in place.
The American Dairycrest does not seem to be in business anymore, but Dairy Crest (two words) is a major British dairy conglomerate in 2019.
photo: Paul Lukas
Update: Don’t go looking for the sign, as it’s been removed as of 10/6/19.