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.