Peeling back layers of downtown store signs

When a shop goes out of business, there’s a short yet sweet window of time during which the defunct store’s sign is down . . . and the ghost sign from a long-ago shop becomes visible. For a few days to a few weeks, you get this tiny glimpse into the city’s recent past.

Like Reisman’s Ladieswear at 226 East 14th Street. Not too many signs advertise “cut rate” clothing anymore:


Lafayette French Pastry, on Bleecker Street in the West Village, looks like it was a charming place to get a chocolate eclair in the 1960s. They moved over to Greenwich Avenue and West 10th several years ago:


I wonder what Richman, at 300 Canal Street, sold:


If the sign advertised a product or service, we’ll never know; it’s hidden behind a red blotch.

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3 Responses to “Peeling back layers of downtown store signs”

  1. ken mc Says:

    you beat me to it!

  2. Alice Beebe Says:

    Yes LaFayette French Pastry had the best eclairs in the 60’s. I grew up a couple of streets away and ate a lot of them. I would stop on my way home from school and ate them before my mother caught me. I still will buy an eclair once in a while of think of that bakery. Thanks for the memories.

  3. McPierogiPazza Says:

    Not sure if this is it, but could that sign be for Richman Bros. men’s clothing store?

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