Vintage signs from 1960s and 1970s New York

They’re an endangered species, these 1960s and 1970s store signs, with their old-school cursive lettering and often sporting a kaleidoscope of colors.


The sign for Murray’s Sturgeon Shop is a gorgeous example.

Short, sweet, and stylized, the sign looks very 1960s, though Murray’s has been in the smoked fish business on Broadway and 89th Street since 1946.


The Weinstein & Holtzman Hardware sign bursts with magnificent color on Park Row near City Hall. They’ve been selling paint and tools sine 1920.

Hardware stores all over New York have some wonderful vintage signs.

I can’t find any information on when Truemart Discount Fabrics, on Seventh Avenue and 25th Street, opened.


But that old-school sign! It’s a relic of lower Seventh Avenue’s low-rent past, influenced by the Fashion Institute of Technology across the street.


The sign for Anthony Liquors, Inc. on Spring Street in Nolita isn’t splashy, but the typeface is unique. I wonder if other store signs in what once was Little Italy had the same type.


I’ve always liked the sturdy, simple sign for John’s Shoe Repair on Irving Place, and the confident line underscoring the name John, done in script.

I hope they can keep going in a city that doesn’t have much use for neighborhood shoe repair places.

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11 Responses to “Vintage signs from 1960s and 1970s New York”

  1. George Laszlo Says:

    I live next door to John’s Shoe Repair. Fortunately they seem to have steady customers. But it’s not clear when their lease runs out and it’s likely that the landlord will get greedy when it comes to the new lease rate.

  2. ephemeralnewyork Says:

    Yes. Hopefully Pete’s will remain another century. But who knows these days?

  3. Juan LesPins Says:

    This site has a lot of great signs (and standpipes) from around NYC. Beautifully photographed, too.

  4. Vintage signs from 1960s and 1970s New York | racheljanefoy Says:

    […] Source: Vintage signs from 1960s and 1970s New York […]

  5. UpperWestSider Says:

    Riverside Liquor, who has a wonderful neon sign that’s been part of the community for decades, has just had to remove their sign by the Dept of Buildings. I don’t know details as to *why*, but maybe your blog can help bring attention to their fight to restore it? They have a petition in the shop. Thank you.

  6. ephemeralnewyork Says:

    Thanks UWSider. New York Neon has a wonderful writeup of the store and sign (from 1955), with terrific photos. Does anyone know why the city forced it down?

  7. Alan Says:

    NYC seems to have plenty of call for shoe repair places still. Lots of nice shoes, lots of handbags and other leather goods too.

  8. Cody Says:

    There’s a great sign like this in Harelm. It’s a barbershop on 116th on the south side of the street near Malcolm X Blvd. 102 W 116th I believe. “Your Modern Barber Salon.”

  9. Vintage signs 60s & 70s from NYC | astound me: D.A. Królak Says:

    […] via Vintage signs from 1960s & 1970s New York | Ephemeral New York […]

  10. Alex Says:

    I’m glad to see Weinstein & Holtzman Hardware is still there. I was a regular customer when I worked in the financial district 10-15 years ago and the store is definitely a throwback to an older era.

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