The coolest album cover of 1950s New York City

I’d never heard of the Norman Luboff Choir before finding this gem of an album cover. It captures the energy and magic of Times Square in 1958, just before the area started to slide.

There’s the Capitol Theatre, now the Paramount Plaza office tower, at 1645 Broadway; it showed its last movie in 1968. The Astor Theater is at front left.

The “Howard” sign must be for Howard Johnson’s. And the Brass Rail, at right, on Seventh Avenue and 49th Street, had a popular cocktail lounge.

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6 Responses to “The coolest album cover of 1950s New York City”

  1. Force Tube Avenue Says:

    Hi Wild,

    Thanks for the cover. I’m pretty sure the “Howard” sign refers to Howard men’s clothes. They also had a massive sign over a factory building in Brooklyn at Flatbush Extension and Chapel Street. Here is a photo of one of their old clothes hangers.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/grrl8trax/2225578306/

    Clothing stores were big in postwar Times Square. In addition to Howard’s, Bonds had a dramatic store, too.

    Cheers.

  2. wildnewyork Says:

    Ah, thanks! I have to say it didn’t look like the HoJo’s sign!

  3. mykola (mick) dementiuk Says:

    I remember Slaughter on 10th Avenue, was gritty and tough, much like NYC was…now gone forever. A movie just like Naked City was at the time.

  4. Elwood D. Pennypacker Says:

    See the throngs of people in the lower left? It was like that then, and it’s like that now. The question now is: were the crowds sloppy in their walking etiquette then as they are now? If so, then all my huffing and puffing about what’s changed for the worst is for naught. It’s just the nature of the beast. If it was better then, then my cries for certain aspects of the old days remain firm.

    • petey Says:

      “The question now is: were the crowds sloppy in their walking etiquette then as they are now?”

      remarkably, this very question has been on my mind the past few weeks. you’d think that new yorkers, of all people, would know how to stand around and move about without being oblivious pains. yet the skill seems to be lost.

  5. dark1p Says:

    the problem is, most of the people who have moved to new york in the past 10 years aren’t by nature new yorkers, and won’t stay here. there are a lot more tourists, too, compared to 10-20 years ago and also to 1958 (not that many people flying transatlantic then, and european currencies did not work in euro tourists’ favor then).

    put it all together and you have people who can’t walk in a crowded big city without causing repeated annoyance to others.

    and wildnewyork, be thankful you never heard of the norman luboff choir. or more to the point, be thankful you never heard them. easy listening hell, as I recall…

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