Posts Tagged ‘faded ads New York City’

The most delicious ad on a Little Italy building

October 10, 2016

What’s left of Little Italy these days has been described as a tourist trap of restaurants, pastry shops, and knickknack stands.

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But something about this two-story ad makes me pine to go back 100 years, when Mulberry Street was the center of an enormous neighborhood stretching from Houston Street to Columbus Park, busy with specialty food shops, peddlers, vendors, crime family social clubs, and 10,000 people at its peak.

Caffe Roma was there in those storied days; the place has been serving espresso and treats since 1891.

A faded ad hangs on in the Meatpacking District

September 22, 2014

From the 1890s to the 1960s, grocers Middendorf & Rohrs operated a wholesale store out of this red-brick building at One Little West 12th Street.

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The grocers are long-gone, of course, like the rest of the wholesale markets (including Gansevoort Market down the block) that once called this grimy stretch of Manhattan home.

But what a treat to see that the name of the place is still visible on the facade!

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Hmm, could this Rohrs be the same Rohrs who opened the beloved (and recently shuttered) coffee emporium on the Upper East Side in 1896?

A fading sign of Williamsburg’s industrial past

July 7, 2014

On Kent Avenue is this well-preserved reminder that Williamsburg was once known for its industry and factories.

And the bonus faded ad: a GE logo!

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Cleaners Sales & Equipment Corp was in Williamsburg at least into the 1990s. There’s an address for it in Orangeburg, New York now.

Frank Jump has a little more company background.

A faded apartment ad on a Murray Hill building

May 19, 2014

The white-brick residence at 155 East 38th Street doesn’t appear to be any different than the hundreds of others like it in Manhattan.

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Except for one thing: the north side of the building sports a super old-school ad for apartment vacancies—air-conditioned, from 1 to 4.5 rooms!

The old OR exchange stood for ORchard, indicating a Lower East Side realty office ORegon.

A vintage ad on Middagh Street is fading fast

September 30, 2013

Isn’t it a beauty? An Ephemeral reader sent in this photo of the lovely “to let flats” ad at 70 Middagh Street in Brooklyn Heights.

Middaghsigntolet

As wonderfully preserved as it’s been for so many years (how many exactly, I have no idea), recent construction work has worsened its weathered, faded appearance. What a shame.

An old-school faded ad on Delancey Street

August 12, 2013

You can’t miss this slice of the old-school city at Delancey and Allen Streets: a colorful ad for a fabric emporium launched in 1910 by a Polish immigrant pushcart peddler selling rags.

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Beckenstein’s Orchard Street home is apparently closed; the business relocated over to 32 West 20th Street. Luckily the sign remains.

A Harlem faded ad keeps 1970s radio alive

May 23, 2013

The 1970s Top-40 music scene lives on thanks to this almost perfectly preserved ad, on the side of a building at 145th Street and St. Nicholas Avenue.

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I’m guessing it went up in the disco era, when radios all across the metro area were set to 77 AM, then a hugely popular station.

WABC is all talk today—it’s been that way since 1982.

A fading reminder of Harlem’s farming history

April 15, 2013

Flour? Hay? Grain? It’s almost hard to believe that this faded advertisement, on the side of a building on West 128th Street in Harlem, is for real.

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But there it is, seemingly a reminder of the neighborhood’s long-ago incarnation as farmland.

It’s on the same block as the new St. Nicholas Park apartments, and if development trends in the area continue, the vacant lot that allows us to see the ad may not be empty much longer.

The most iconic faded ad in Greenwich Village

September 17, 2012

I have no idea when this advertisement for Bigelow’s Pharmacy first went up on the side of the Sixth Avenue store’s building at Ninth Street.

But I’m glad that it’s still in pretty good shape. Bigelow’s has been in business since Martin Van Buren was president, and its famous customer list includes Thomas Edison, Mark Twain, and Eleanor Roosevelt.

“The business of C. O. Bigelow, Inc., retail drug prescriptions, is one of the oldest of its kind in the world. Its activity extends all over the world and includes the filling of orders from such distant places as India and Africa,” a New York Times real estate article explained in 1937.

The soda fountain is gone, but the cool old store sign is still out front. Inside are original wooden cabinets and old-timey chandeliers with gas jets.

Faded restaurant ads on Manhattan buildings

August 2, 2012

“Lunch Soda Lounge” reads this ghostly old signage on 35th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues.

I imagine the place had a long, skinny luncheonette counter and metal swiveling seats.

Beef? Beer? I’m not sure what the vertical word is under this coffee shop ad on East 23rd Street, nor do I have any idea when it dates to.

“Coffee Shop” itself is a lost term. It’s too anonymous, not descriptive and unique enough for today’s specialty coffee culture.