Four ghost store signs in the Village and Brooklyn

In a city that changes as rapidly as Gotham, ghost signs abound. You know these phantom signs, left behind by a building’s previous tenant and never replaced by the new one—if there even is a new tenant.


That seems to be the case with this wonderfully preserved Meier & Oelhaf Marine Repair sign on Christopher and Weehawken Streets. The company occupied 177 Christopher from 1920 to 1984.

It’s been an empty and eerie presence for 30 years, a clue to Christopher Street’s maritime past. Maybe it won’t be unoccupied for long; a different sign says the ground floor is for rent.


Around the corner on a lonely stretch of West Street, this coffee sign remains high above two empty, rundown storefronts—one of which was presumably a lively coffee shop not long ago.


A store solely devoted to school supplies? The old-school signage can be seen behind the new awning for the Pure Perfection Beauty Salon on Utica Avenue in Crown Heights.

You don’t come across these too often anymore, a store name spelled out in tile amid a geometric design at the entrance. But it’s a charming old-timey New York thing.


The people who ran Hecht’s, once at 363 Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, must have agreed. The antique store there now, Sterling Place, luckily didn’t do away with it.

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6 Responses to “Four ghost store signs in the Village and Brooklyn”

  1. Andrew Porter Says:

    You missed the “DRUGS” sign on the floor of the entrance to what’s now an architect’s office at the corner of Hicks and Middagh Streets in Brooklyn Heights, which from the 1970s was where Biblo Books, a used book store, was.

  2. ephemeralnewyork Says:

    I’ll have to put that one up in the next Ghost Signs post!

  3. For Some Bygone Businesses Serving Bygone Demographics “Ghost Signs” Still Remain | Bygone NYC Says:

    […] Four ghost store signs in the Village and Brooklyn […]

  4. Ghost signs lurking along the Lower East Side | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] explorers get giddy when they come across ghost signs: faded ads and store signage for businesses that have long since departed their original […]

  5. trilby1895 Says:

    “Christopher Street’s maritime past…..” reminds me of my wonder at learning, many years ago, that in Colonial times, at the foot of the street, on the shores of the river, stood a prison. AND, the term being sent “up the river” referred to prisoners from below City Hall back then being transported by boat to the prison “up the River”. There is no end to the fascinating stories associated with wonder New York City. Thank you, Ephemeral, for this interesting article.

  6. Juliet Bittencourt Says:

    Lots of historical info about the building:

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