Posts Tagged ‘faded ads’

Downtown’s faded and forgotten liquor ads

June 5, 2010

“Beer” is the word that draws the eye to this very weathered ad painted (in color!) on the side of a building at Canal and Lafayette Streets.

“Importers and Bottlers of” is above it. The “liberty” script is lovely. The rest of the ad, however, is indecipherable.

This Sonn Bros. Whiskies ad still stands on Desbrosses Street in Tribeca. Hyman and Henry Sonn were Bavarian immigrants who became liquor dealers in the late 19th century.

Ghostly ads of the Garment District

April 26, 2010

One of the best concentrations of faded ads is in the Garment District, where clothing and accessories companies once—perhaps still—manufacture dresses, coats, belts, and other industry staples.

I love the 1960s-ish 45-single logo on this ad, for Baar and Beards accessories is on 37th Street. It’s close to their headquarters at 350 Fifth Avenue.

Vintage Robert Bestian handbags are for sale all over the internet, but other than that, there’s not much information this brand out there. The ad is on 33rd Street.

Does this really say “Style Undies” above a list of children’s clothes words like pajamas and play togs?

East Harlem’s faded Bloomingdale’s ad

March 29, 2010

Lexington Avenue at East 116th Street is a crowded shopping corner of mom and pop and local chain shops—and the site of a weathered old advertisement for Bloomingdale’s flagship store 56 blocks south.

The vintage typeface looks nothing like the one Bloomingdale’s uses on their ads today. Does anyone know when it might date to?

Beauty in Boerum Hill: a 1960s faded ad

February 27, 2010

This vintage beauty ad, for Monique hair and skin products, is still readable outside a Dean Street building.

Faded ad blog has some cool info about the company and its Brooklyn roots.

Faded ad: The infamous Village Plaza Hotel

February 19, 2010

This almost-gone ad, seen from Sixth Avenue, is like a time capsule from the gritty, druggie Village of the 1960s and 1970s.

Judging by the few accounts of it I could find, the Village Plaza Hotel, at 79 Washington Place, was a squalid mess. Yes, as the ad says, it was air conditioned. But a 1972 New York Times article describes it as a dumping ground for criminally inclined welfare recipients. 

And a Times article from 1967 cites it as the final home of Linda Fitzpatrick, the Greenwich, Connecticut teenager who was one half of the “Groovy Murders”—killed along with her hippie boyfriend, Groovy Hutchinson, on Avenue B that year.

According to the article, Linda Fitzpatrick’s wealthy family had no idea she was living in a filthy SRO hotel:

“The Fitzpatrick’s minds were eased when Linda assured them she had already made respectable living arrangements. ‘She told us that she was going to live at the Village Plaza Hotel, a very nice hotel on Washington Place, near the university, you know,’ her mother said.

“The Village Plaza, 79 Washington Place, has no doorman. A flaking sign by the tiny reception desk announces ‘Television for Rental’ amidst a forest of other signs; ‘No Refunds,’ ‘All, Rents Must be Paid in Advance,’ ‘No Checks Cashed,’ ‘No Outgoing Calls for Transients.'”

Faded food ads on Gansevoort Street

January 18, 2010

The ground floor of 53-61 Gansevoort Street has been scrubbed over and boutique-ized like so much of the rest of the Meatpacking District. 

So it’s a treat to see that the three-story faded ad on the side of the building is still mostly legible. “Clam Chowder Clam Bouillon” reads the letters across the top floor. The next ad is too difficult to make out, but the second-story one is “New England Biscuit Works.”

The company was an early tenant of the building, constructed on this triangular spot in 1887. At that time the Meatpacking District was known as Gansevoort Market, the city’s designated spot for open-air meat and vegetable markets.

Something about 53 Gansevoort Street caught photographer Berenice Abbott’s eye in 1936, prompting her to take this picture of the building. 

Though the ads appear to be different, the street scene, with men unloading trucks, looks the way the daytime Meatpacking District did up until the late 1990s—when the neighborhoof was still made up of, well, meatpackers.

Manhattan faded ad mysteries

December 14, 2009

In Murray Hill: Magid handbags and the Coblentz Bag Co. are easy to read. But the others may have faded into garment-district history:


Up in East Harlem is this puzzling ad. Liver: a butcher shop? Cod liver oil? Livery stables? Another mystery.

A vintage ad towers over West 51st Street

October 28, 2009

Gre-Solvent was a hand cleaner that promised to wash away serious industrial-strength gunk and grime. This 3-story faded ad on Ninth Avenue and 51st Street looks like it could date back to the 1930s. It’s remarkably well-preserved.

Cleansthemcleanad

This corner of Hell’s Kitchen seems a bit off the beaten path for such a large ad. It must have been aimed at workers and residents who toiled away at the factories and light manufacturing companies that once flourished in the neighborhood.

A glimpse into Soho’s manufacturing past

September 20, 2009

This remarkably well-preserved three-story faded ad was put up by a box company on Spring and Wooster Streets—a nice reminder that Soho was once a manufacturing neighborhood with many small factories. Note the great old phone exchange CA 6-7390.

Boxesfadedad2

What happened to the box factory? Probably turned into condos. A little research shows that there was a box company at 73 Wooster Street. Shut down in the mid ’90s, it was renovated into multimillion-dollar loft condos within a few years.

The coolest dress ad on 37th Street

June 20, 2009

Ghost ads of the old garment district can be seen on lots of random midtown buildings, like the side of this one off Seventh Avenue. But few of them have such old-fashioned illustrations!

The top part reads “Gigi Young Originals” and the banner down the right side is “Suzy Perette.”

Lombardydresses

Lombardy Dresses is described in a 1949 New York Times article as “one of the largest producers in the low-end field.” Suzy Perette was big in the 1960s, known for their “small-waisted, petticoated look,” according to another Times piece.