McENERY’S, Midwood

by Kevin Walsh

Forgotten Fan Bill Mangahas passed along this photo taken a few years ago by Jay Bendersky of a painted building ad on Avenue J just east of Coney Island Avenue. The building the ad is on is still there, but new buildings hosting a TD Bank and Payless shoe store, according to Google Street View (Payless is now defunct, so another shop has likely taken its place) have now obscured it.

It’s odd that McEnery’s Furniture on Myrtle Avenue was miles away from this location in Midwood. But where on Myrtle? My initial thought was Forest Hills; 86-90 Myrtle is currently an address that doesn’t exist, and it would be just west of Woodhaven Boulevard if it did.

The clue that the store was in Myrtle Avenue in Brooklyn is the “surface cars and elevated trains.” Myrtle Avenue had its own trolley routes, the #17 and #54; each had vanished, though, by 1949. Of course, Brooklyn’s Myrtle Avenue El continued to rattle on until October 1969.

As far as McEnery’s, 86 to 90 Myrtle had been on the SE corner of Lawrence Street. Unfortunately the 1940 Municipal Archives does not have a photo of the location. Currently, this address is in the midst of the MetroTech development, with Myrtle and Lawrence both auto-free walkways.

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



Zalman Lev March 25, 2020 - 9:30 am

First, a correction to the addressing from the wall ad based on researching in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle archives: McEnery’s address was actually 86 – 90 Myrtle Avenue, not 88.

The BDE virtual morgue provides some more information. As McEnery’s dropped the “86 to …” part of the address in their advertisements circa October 1920 that may provide a latest possible date for the creation of the wall ad.

Circa April 1928, the McEnery’s location became the domicile of Phelan’s, another furniture salesroom. Approximately a year later, the store was no longer Phelan’s, but had become part of the Brooklyn chain J. Michael’s.

It took a little sleuthing, but it looks like the Municipal Archives does have a circa 1940 tax photo. Not a good one, but it’s there.

88 – 90 Myrtle Avenue circa 1940

Zalman Lev March 25, 2020 - 9:56 am

Following up my prior comment, based on further information found, McEnery’s did not expand to include 90 Myrtle Avenue — it had existed at 86 and 88 Myrtle Avenue as James McEnery & Co. and similar names back to at least 1894 — until renovation and expansion of the store structure circa September 1906. Hence, that may provide an earliest possible date for the wall add.


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