by Kevin Walsh

A sidewalk sign featuring metallic lettering for Hercules Seating can still be found above #25 Park Place downtown, just east of Church Street. As Ephemeral NY points out, the building itself has been here since 1856, when it was constructed for dry-goods firm called Lathrop, Ludington & Company. During its nearly 170-year existence it has hosted a German book publishing company, a bank, a pool hall, a boxing gym, and a women’s clothing store and, briefly, the offices of the NY Daily News.

Hercules Seating was in business from the 1930s to the 1960s. There is still a line of furniture called Hercules chairs, available at major outlets like Walmart and Wayfair, but the company doesn’t seem to have a website of its own. Thus, I don’t know if the two firms are the same. The company, or companies, takes its name from the ancient Roman strongman, Hercules, who was originated in the Greek myths as Heracles. Many belief systems cite ancient strongmen; Judaism and Christianity have their Samson, the Norse had their Thor and the Anglo-Saxons had Beowulf.

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Peter September 21, 2022 - 11:31 pm

A company called Flash Furniture produces the Hercules brand of chairs. Flash is itself one of several divisions of the Georgia-based Belnick Corporation. Belnick says it has been a market leader for 20 years. It’s doubtful that Hercules Seating on Park Place has any connection to the modern brand.

chris September 22, 2022 - 4:12 pm

I like the hole in the candy store awning for the fire escape ladder to
be lowered through if need be.How thoughtful of someone.


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