Behind the Starbucks sign on Lexington Avenue

When the Starbucks at 655 Lexington Avenue shut its doors for a renovation recently, the windows were papered up and the store sign came down . . . revealing this wonderful relic of another Manhattan.


Remember record stores? The Record Centre seems to have been a mini-chain with four Manhattan locations, including two in the West Village.

Thanks to Ephemeral Reader James R. for spotting the sign and taking the photo.

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11 Responses to “Behind the Starbucks sign on Lexington Avenue”

  1. Nancy A Says:

    Columbia Spectator link dated November 22, 1963! That’s way beyond ephemera

  2. Jeanne Piro Says:

    I lived on Third Ave and remember going to this record store! It had those booths in the back where you could listen to the record before you bought it.

  3. Laura4NYC Says:

    How wonderful! I really have to open my eyes when walking around the city and maybe I’ll discover some gems from a different era, too.

  4. Linkage: Energy Costs in The Bronx; Will RiverTower Go Condo? - Hudson Real EstateHudson Real Estate Says:

    […] City plan to reduce energy costs in The Bronx [NYT] · A secret sign behind an Upper East Side Starbucks [ENY] · Some of the Transit Museum’s best gems [FNY] · Checking in on 242 West 53rd Street […]

  5. Linkage: Energy Costs in The Bronx; Will RiverTower Go Condo? | LIBERTY ALLIANCE Says:

    […] City plan to reduce energy costs in The Bronx [NYT] · A secret sign behind an Upper East Side Starbucks [ENY] · Some of the Transit Museum’s best gems [FNY] · Checking in on 242 West 53rd […]

  6. jrutter1 Says:

    Reblogged this on The Third View and commented:
    I can only imagine what a fantastic selection of musical recordings would be available in a Manhattan record store in the sixties. In my hometown in Ohio we had The Harmony House, and if there was an LP you were interested in you would tell the clerk and they would play a cut from it for you to listen to in a private booth. It would have been small compared to a New York store but to me HH opened up a whole world of music; classical, rock, jazz, big band, blues.. they had some of everything, and what wasn’t in stock they could order.. probably from New York!

  7. ephemeralnewyork Says:

    In the 80s and 90s, record stores were still wonderful places where you could discover new music and indulge in your love of whatever band of the moment you were into. Tower Records and Virgin at Union Square were open until midnight, great places to browse on random evenings. All gone now.

  8. georgebeach Says:

    Lucky to find any record stores today, selling new records. There has been some growth at Barnes & Noble, as their selection gradually increases.

  9. Sarah massameno Says:

    My fathers shop was located @ 653 Lexignton Ave(third subway grating)opposite Central Synagogue the name o f it was The United Nations Shop as it had merchandise from ll over the world.It opened in 1945 when there as talk about the League of Nations it .in PhilWhen Rockerfeller gave the land where the U.N. was built, The U.n. build a gift shop in the basement, they had to ask my father permission to call it, The United Nations Gift Shop, because he had already registered the name,They sent an official over to speak to my father, they asked his permission to use the name, he said “of course” they they asked him if he would like to be the buyer ,my father was a polygon and spoke 10 languages English the worst, He raised himself to his full 5ft 5inches and said “No thank you , Mr. Wolf does not work for anyone but himself , my poor mother, 4 children , un uncertain income but a happy husband The night club The Blue angel was around the corner, much more to tell,it will be all revealed in my book (hopefully finish end of the year) a series of vignettes about life in Manhattan My father move to Puerto Rico in1955 as he spoke Spanish and liked it. The rent had gone way up, the rent was $350,per month. My parents were non English speakers,yet my sister and I went Hunter College High School and my two brothers went to Stuyvesant High School at the same time Google them if you have never heard of them, they were single gender schools then , both are now co-educational and Have moved from their original location. Sarah Wolf de Massameno

  10. Schaedel Says:

    Hello Ephemeral New York, I found a picture showing “The Record Centre” in May 1958. It’s from the collection of the museum of the city of New York. Thanks for inspiration, this sign is really a little treasure.

  11. The mystery name behind the Starbucks sign | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] another New York retail relic from the 1960s finally revealed when another Starbucks on Lexington Avenue closed up shop earlier this […]

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