But Fulton Street and surrounding thoroughfares are nothing like what they were in their late 19th and early 20th century heyday, when the neighborhood was packed with shops and department stores catering to middle- and upper-class tastes.
Luckily we have ghost signs on the sides of old buildings to remind us of businesses that no longer exist.
Case in point: the Chandler Piano Company, founded on Montague Street in 1869 and headquartered at 222 Livingston Street since 1907.
This remarkably preserved ad emerged last year when the building it hid behind met the wrecking ball. At the roof, you can just make out the words “Chandler-Ebel Music Co.,” the name of one of founder Frank Chandler’s music businesses.
The ad on Livingston has that wonderful old-fashioned hand sign, pointing customers right to the convenient elevator.
This J. Michaels faded ad, dwarfed by a residential tower near Smith Street, doesn’t look like much.
But the company has a long Kings County history: it sold furniture on Smith Street (apparently once a big furniture showroom hub) from 1886 until 1996.
I’m not so sure everyone who shopped at the store agreed that they were “great” as the ad claims. In 1972, the Department of Consumer Affairs sued the company for selling “defective and shoddy” furniture to low-income customers.