Posts Tagged ‘New York store signs’

A Turtle Bay lamp store sign reemerges again

June 13, 2013

For 35 years, Louis Mattia operated an antique lamp and chandelier shop at 980 Second Avenue in the east 50s.


He closed his store in 1995, and this wonderful old sign (PL for Plaza!) would come in and out of view, as each subsequent store that replaced it went out of business.

Now that a frame shop here has recently gone under, the ghostly old-school sign stands once again. I wonder how long it lasts before it’s covered up.

Once-hidden store signs from an older New York

February 20, 2013

Peel back a store sign in the modern city, and it’s possible that a sign behind it, from a rougher, earlier New York, will reveal itself.


That’s what happened on Delancey and Essex Streets recently.

The glossy billboard advertising this sneaker and jeans store vanished (removed by the owners, or blown off by recent storms?) and a much older version reappeared—with a very sweet clock to boot!


An even cooler glimpse of a different Manhattan can be seen behind the green awning for this deli on Grand and Lewis Streets.

Take a peek underneath, and the old-school sign for a corner magazine and card store (with an ice cream fountain!) makes an appearance.

The city’s kitschy, most colorful store signs

August 6, 2012

Blue, yellow, red, green: these vintage signs, from the 1960s and 1970s and still going strong (if a little worn), explode with color.

Has anyone gone to Canal Rubber, off Greene Street, to see if the promise on their sign is true? Just wondering.

Pete’s Pizza and its wonderful sign are on Avenue M in Brooklyn. I love the way each e in Pete’s is a little off-center.

Wakefield Paint and Wallpaper has a lovely carousel going on their sign. It’s at the end of the 2 and 5 line in the Bronx.

Bermudez Bakery is in East Harlem. The color scheme is a little too bright for my taste, but “dulces” sounds good.

“The Killarney Rose opened its doors over 43 years ago, making it one of the longest standing downtown local bar,” the website tells us. Looks like an old-school place to get a drink on Pearl Street.

Ice cream store ghosts of Columbus Avenue

May 28, 2012

At 72nd Street and Columbus Avenue, a lovely stained glass ice cream sign hides above a cafe, affixed to the second floor of a corner building.

It looks very 1920s or 1930s, but it’s a ghost sign that seems to have long outlived the store it was attached to. Whose store was it?

A few blocks north, at 74th Street and Columbus Avenue, is this less mysterious ice cream signage: for the J.M. Horton Ice Cream Company.

It’s a sweet remnant of the Upper West Side’s manufacturing past. So what happened to Horton?

More than a century ago, the small local dairy “was supplying over half of New York’s ice cream,” explains The New York Times in a 2000 article.

By 1930, competition from bigger producers put them out of business.

[Horton’s sign tip: Chris Wilmore]

The vintage store signs of the far East Side

January 18, 2012

Some of those Manhattan neighborhoods lining the East River—Turtle Bay, Kips Bay, East Midtown—are kind of in a store sign time warp.

Seems like First, Second, and Third Avenues have more old-school signage than trendier blocks closer to Midtown or in other areas.

This is far from a complaint though. Seeing a decent number of vintage signs still hanging on is so charming, like this one with “Corby” in 1960s-style cursive. It’s on First Avenue between 54th and 55th Streets.

The Sutton Place Frame Shop is another example, on First Avenue and 55th Street. It’s such a posh name for a no-frills kind of establishment.

Farther south on Second Avenue and 34th Street is Kips Bay Optical, with this lovely sign laid it on script as well.

The sign behind the sign

October 3, 2008

New York is a city of layers, with the remnants of older store signs visible beneath the current one, like on Minetta Street, where The Fat Black Pussycat gave way to a modern Mexican restaurant called Panchito’s:

Stuyvesant Deli, on 14th Street in the East Village, has an old 70s-style sign, plus two newer ones:

On 125th Street, behind an ordinary nail salon, are the faded remains of a record/cassette shop. Looks like it says Spivey: