It’s a grimy yet elegant find. Turn the corner, and you can see a curious phrase carved into the limestone facade: “”The Show Folks Shoe Shop Dedicated to Beauty in Footwear.”
What’s the story? The building opened in 1926 as an upscale I. Miller shoe store, a chain that thrived until the 1970s. Early on, I. Miller specialized in footwear for show business types.
No wonder there are four life-size statues of famous actresses set in pockets of the facade. Mary Pickford (at right, as Little Lord Fauntleroy) and Ethel Barrymore are still well-known.
But the other two, Marilyn Miller and Rosa Ponselle, have fallen into obscurity.
Kind of the way the building has fallen into disrepair. Landmarked in 1999, it needs a good cleaning, especially around the statues.
Ethel Barrymore, above left, as Ophelia in Hamlet; musical comedy actress Marilyn Miller as the lead in a play called Sunny.
Tags: 1552 Broadway, billboards in Times Square, Ethel Barrymore, I. Miller shoes, Marilyn Miller, Mary Pickford, old buildings in Times Square, Rosa Ponselle, Show Folks Shoe Shop, Times Square in the 1920s