A downtown neon candy store sign is falling apart

What in the world is going on with this Loft’s Candies sign? Faded and falling apart, it’s been hanging on for dear life at 88 Nassau Street for several years, after another store sign came down and brought it back into view.

I’m not sure how long it’s been visible again, but it seems that it reappeared long after what remained of the once-renowned Loft Candies company closed its existing stores for good in the mid-1990s.

Not only have the neon red letters long gone dark, but the small, unusual building—at the edge of the Financial District—looks like it’s coming apart at the seams.

An Ephemeral reader who worked downtown for years snapped this recent photo (at top) of the sign; it’s the first time the reader spotted it and was astounded enough to take a picture.

The sign is in worse shape since I captured it in a photo in 2017 (at left). And while I don’t know when the store closed, it didn’t occupy this space until after 1940, since it doesn’t show up in the Department of Records 1940 tax photos database.

As dilapidated as it looks, imagine the Loft company in a sweeter time, say the first half of the 20th century—when its candies were popular all across New York City and ads for their holiday sweets appeared in all the city papers as Christmas approached.

Just think about how wonderful it was to get the “De Luxe Round Gift Box” as a gift, pictured above in the New York Daily News ad from holiday season 1941.

Or imagine the thrill of being a kid and finding a pound of “glass candies” in your stocking on December 25, as the 1914 ad in the Evening World suggested!

[Thanks to NA for snapping the recent photo!]

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13 Responses to “A downtown neon candy store sign is falling apart”

  1. pontifikator Says:

    I remember Loft’s candies well. What I’d like to find out more about is that precious little building!

  2. Bob Says:

    “Back around 1960, a sign of this type probably cost about as much as a new Chevy Corvair.  In other words, a significant investment, even for a chain business.  Alas, this particular Loft’s appears to have lasted not more than 20 years (88 Nassau is not among the 38 Loft locations listed in my copy of the 1954 Manhattan Yellow Pages, and the store was gone by the time the city’s tax photographer showed up here around 1980).”

    From http://nyneon.blogspot.com/2016/10/lofts-on-nassau.html

  3. greg chown Says:

    Yes, neon was and still is expensive. I had a neon sign built for a film last year. $5000 (single sided) and not that big.
    We watched a film from the 50’s last night, Times Square was a sea
    of neon.
    I also own a 1965 Corvair.

  4. ironrailsironweights Says:

    There’s a work permit on the boards covering the front of the building, so it looks like it’s being renovated. Hopefully the sign will be preserved.

    • ephemeralnewyork Says:

      I think we need an old NYC neon sign museum to put it on exhibit. Developers never see the beauty or history in signs.

  5. Paul Payton Says:

    It was not all that long ago (or was it) that a gift of Loft’s candy showed genuine class. The company didn’t die from poor product but rather from corporate hand-offs and trade-offs that weakened it from within. What a shame – but not totally unlike other corporate situations over time: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loft,_Inc. In its last corporate chess move, it merged with another lost candy icon, Barracini, a product name that is apparently returning: http://torbik2.tripod.com/newpage.htm

    • ephemeralnewyork Says:

      Yes, tracking the demise of the company—which started out as a mom and pop started by English immigrants in the 1850s—wasn’t easy, with all the company changes and buyouts.

  6. Amedeo Mantone Says:

    Had a bother who worked for Lofts befor the war…40’s & 41’s.
    Us kids in the family had candy up to our ears……wish those days were back!

  7. Susan Says:

    Gone are all the chocolate shops from decades ago.. There was Bartons, Barracinni, Rusell Stover. Eighties brought Godiva shops which are no longer open.

  8. fishsanwitt Says:

    I just wanted to say ‘thank you’ for all these wonderful (and sometimes sad, posts). I look forward to seeing your emails!

  9. Mike Says:

    Don’t worry the sign with be back to its original beautiful state soon.
    Stay tuned

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