Posts Tagged ‘MU Murray Hill Phone Exchange’

Discovering another vintage two-letter phone exchange on a West Side sign

January 16, 2023

Ephemeral New York readers know what a kick it is to come upon a faded ad, store sign, or building plaque that features an old New York City two-letter phone exchange—the kind that were officially replaced with numbers in the 1960s.

I’ve seen a few other Abramson Brothers plaques around Manhattan over the years. But this one, on West 52nd Street in Hell’s Kitchen, was new to me.

I concede these plaques look too spiffy to be made in the 1960s. Perhaps they come from the 1970s or 1980s, when generations of New Yorkers who grew up with the two-letter exchanges continued to be charmed by them.

Or maybe this real estate investment firm just likes the idea of a phone number acting as a geographical marker for where a household or business is located.

MU stood for Murray Hill—and 501 Fifth Avenue is on the edge of Murray Hill’s official borders.