Old-school signs for old New York drugstores

Amid the Duane Reade-ization of the city, it’s nice to stumble across the kind of independent corner drugstore that was probably named after the pharmacist who originally opened it.

Enjoy their vintage signs while you can, before the pharmacies they’re affixed to morph into Walgreens or Rite-Aids.

Lascoff’s, on 82nd and Lexington, has spanned three centuries. Visit it if only to check out the old-world decor and apothecary equipment.

Isn’t Harold’s for Prescriptions a wonderful name? The store, in Gravesend, also sports a cool 1960s neon sign. This Flickr photo captured it all lit up at night.

I don’t know how long Mittman’s has been in the drug business, but judging by that very stylized sign, it seems that they survived the bad old days on Havemeyer Street and South Third in Williamsburg.

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11 Responses to “Old-school signs for old New York drugstores”

  1. Parnassus Says:

    Some neighborhoods are just as cool for their urban neon-and-Vitrolite ambiance as others are for their Victorian elaboration, white-salt-box charm, or what have you. Cleveland still has a lot of areas like this, but of course they are destroying them as fast as they can figure out how.

  2. wildnewyork Says:

    Neon signs have their own distinct beauty. Here’s a whole collection at Project Neon:


  3. Unflappable, but a Little Shaken - NYTimes.com Says:

    […] neighborhood. [Brooklyn Daily Eagle]Independent drugstores still exist (no way!) — and they have the vintage signs to prove it. [Ephemeral New York]Olek, the crocheting artist who uses colorful string as graffiti, shares her […]

  4. Ricky Says:

    I have some bad news …Walgreens has bought Duane Reade.

  5. Liza Cowan Says:

    I grew up going to Lascoff. What a wonderful place it was. Fifty years later I can still remember the look and smell of it.

  6. Katia Says:

    I believe a scene from The Naked City was shot inside Lascoffs!! In the window there are old photographs of what the store used to look like, and it is identical to the scene in the movie!

  7. M. Duffy Says:

    Lascoff’s has gone. After a couple of years in which they had obviously begun to decline (less non-prescription merchandise) on display, they closed in July. The store is currently (late August 2012) being gutted. Most long-term neighborhood residents are mourning.

  8. wildnewyork Says:

    I know, I can’t believe it. I read about it on Jeremiah’s blog. RIP. I loved passing it. But I must admit I never bought anything there.


  9. Matt Says:

    I rehabilitated the Lascoff Pharmacy signs in the late 1980’s. The wraparound signs on the face of the building still had several of the original wood letters (which I used to match the lettering in paint once I had cleaned & prepped the metal surface). The large ‘DRUGS’ sign was in terrible shape with lots of broken neon and scaling, discolored paint. There were still vestiges of the original gold leaf on the letters and trim, but replacing that was deemed too expensive by the owners.
    It was a heck of a place, and I was very sorry to see it go.

  10. What remains of an old East Harlem pharmacy sign | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] a fan the nifty Rx symbol—old pharmacy designs and icons are fun, like this mortar and pestle on the Upper East Side—and the cursive font […]

  11. This Second Avenue sign is a visual time capsule | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] York’s vintage drugstore signs are disappearing on us. I know the first one in this post is gone; the other two I hope still […]

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