by Kevin Walsh

Here’s a 1965 view of the northwest corner of 6th Avenue and West 46th Street in Midtown, which at the time hosted a Hadley drugstore, one of what once was a massive number of stores in the Rexall chain. There are stenciled goldleafed signs in the window for tailors and laboratories, and the phone number JU2-0637 shows up. My usual site for looking up these old exchanges has gone defunct, so if anyone knows what JU stood for, let me know in Comments. (JUdson, apparently; see Comments.)

This block of West 46th between 6th and 7th is punctuated by the High School for Performing Arts, the school depicted in the 1980s TV show Fame. The school has moved elsewhere, but the castle-like building is still there. Of course, none of these buildings in the photo still exist.

Photo courtesy Susan Fensten

The building is dominated by an ad for pop filmmaker Fred Mogubgub, whose name is little remembered these days but made some headway shooting commercials in the 1960s featuring his distinctive brand of animation, which to my perspective prefigured the kind of animation used in 1970s shows like Schoolhouse Rock.

In 1966, Mogubgub, who passed away in 1989, directed the 7-minute film The Pop Show, which featured a young Gloria Steinem showing a playful contrast to her usual superserious demeanor. A close look at the rapid fire images reveals some NYC buildings and scenes that have since disappeared.

In 1970 the buildings were swept away in favor of the 580-foot steel and glass J.P. Stevens Company Tower.

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



Fred April 6, 2020 - 9:50 am

I think the JU was for Judson(?).

James April 6, 2020 - 9:59 am

JU = Judson

Anthony Picco April 6, 2020 - 10:09 am


Anonymous April 6, 2020 - 10:46 am


S. Saltzman April 6, 2020 - 10:46 am

I believe JU stood for Judson. Interesting in the photo is the counterbalanced fire escape stairs.

David Meltzer April 6, 2020 - 11:10 am


Alan Schultz April 6, 2020 - 11:28 am

JU was Judson

Punto April 6, 2020 - 11:54 am


Ron S April 6, 2020 - 7:17 pm

I like the old buildings better.

Andrew Porter April 7, 2020 - 2:45 pm

I remember the sign. At the time I worked for Fawcett Publishing at 1515 Broadway, The name—and the sign—has stuck in my mind ever since.

Paul Femia April 8, 2020 - 2:20 pm

The JUdson family name might be prominent enough to be
linked to Judson Memorial Church in Greenwich Village as well.

Alan April 8, 2020 - 8:48 pm

Coincidentally, I saw a Facebook post today with some 1965 photos of the same intersection. Here is the link to that post:

Roxy April 13, 2020 - 8:50 am

The view shows much more of the side street of West 46th than of Sixth Avenue, which had been re-christened Avenue of the Americas by that time.

roconnor May 23, 2020 - 5:43 pm

This is the highest quality image I’ve seen of the Mogubgub billboard (designed by Irene Trivas). Thanks for sharing!

Jonathan July 15, 2020 - 9:00 pm

Looking at a ruler from a typographer Imperial Ad Service, with a JUdson number…in fact…I believe 3 of them. JUdson 6-1437-8-9. Would post a photo…if it was an option.


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