Posts Tagged ‘14th street shopping’

When trolleys cut through Union Square

July 11, 2009

Judging from the lack of automobile traffic on 14th Street, Broadway, and University Place—as well as the streetcar trolleys and horse and carriages—I’d guess this photo is from just about the turn of the 20th century.


It’s a great picture. There’s a statue at the southwest corner of Union Square, but it certainly isn’t Ghandi, who occupies that spot now.

Instead of Whole Foods we’ve got Automatic Vaudeville, a penny arcade offering a basement shooting gallery, peep shows, and phonographs in individual listening booths—kind of what the Virgin Megastore had for customers who wanted to sample music before they closed up shop last month.

And in place of Forever 21 is Brill Brothers, a men’s clothing store.

Last-minute Christmas deals and steals!

December 22, 2008

Terrific bargains on quality merchandise could be had on 14th Street—74 years ago, that is. Here’s a sampler of some of the department stores whose ads screamed across the pages of the December 19, 1934 Daily News, back when the 14th Street-Union Square area was a department store mecca.

Hearns was once one of New York’s largest department stores, located on the south side of 14th Street between Sixth and Fifth Avenues since 1879. It shut down in the 1950s:

hearnsxmas Toytown! I wonder how many kids got this electric train under the tree in 1934?







I couldn’t find anything about Finlay Straus jewelers; just another chain store that eventually and quietly closed up shop. They had several locations—including one across the street from Hearns:









Not to be outdone by Hearns, Nortons, another department store on the same stretch of 14th Street, pushed their “genuine fur trimmed” coats. These are Depression prices: