This Second Avenue sign is a visual time capsule

Unfortunately the sign doesn’t date to 1885. But that’s okay.

The gorgeous double-decker Block Drug Stores (is there more than one?) sign, at Second Avenue and Sixth Street, has been hanging for decades on this East Village/Little Ukraine corner—a magnificent visual time capsule from an earlier New York.

New York’s vintage drugstore signs are disappearing on us. I know the first one in this post is gone; the other two I hope still exist.


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8 Responses to “This Second Avenue sign is a visual time capsule”

  1. Mykola Mick Dementiuk Says:

    Went to school on Hall Place now Shevchenko Place right down the block in the 1950s-early 60s and passed that store almost every day on my trek to class. One time us kids stopped in for Bonomo’s Turkish Taffee, a jaw breaker which wasn’t in the drug store, and we ran out laughing and screaming as the owner chased and waved us out. That was my only contact with the drug store, though a lasting sign at that. Amazing it’s still up.

  2. Lady G. Says:

    That’s a great sign, worthy to be restored. Do these vintage signs get destroyed or do people take them? I wonder how many beauties were lost and scrapped over the centuries.

  3. Bob Says:

    The NYC Landmarks ‘East Village/Lower East Side Historic District. Designation Report’ states “The ‘Block Drug Store’ neon sign was installed in 1945 (ES 355-1945).” That is an application number from the records of the New York City Department of Buildings. (The c. 1940 tax photo does not show this sign.)

  4. Bob Says:

    Also, per GVSHP (

    “[…] the store was sold in 1942 to Fred Slatzkin. It was then that the store became a Block Drug franchise […]”

    • ephemeralnewyork Says:

      Thanks Bob—a 1940s sign still hanging in the East Village is a wonderful thing, and I’m glad the GVSHP and NYC Landmarks folks agree enough to include this info in their reports.

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