Posts Tagged ‘old building ads’

The haunting beauty of a brick Bronx factory

May 8, 2017

A century or so ago, red-brick factory buildings in every borough of New York City hummed with the sounds of workers and machinery — producing everything from ketchup to wallpaper to pianos to candy.

These days, the red-brick factory is an endangered species.

If they haven’t been bulldozed or turned into luxury apartments (a Lifesaver factory in Chelsea has been rebranded the “Lifesaver Lofts“), they sit empty and forlorn — the company name barely discernible on the facade.

The Marcus Brush Company building is one of these factories.

The hauntingly beautiful structure is on Willow Avenue and East 135th Street in Point Morris, a South Bronx neighborhood three stops from Manhattan on the 6 train that was once a manufacturing hub.

Marcus Brush moved here in 1925, according to Walter Grutchfeld’s well-researched photo website.

The company went bankrupt five years later, but another brush company called Acme took over and remained there, possibly through the 1970s.

Perhaps the old factory is in use today. But on a recent visit, it seems as deserted as the rest of Willow Avenue, a building with no pulse and a smattering of graffiti on one side.

Considering that Point Morris is making something of a comeback these days — a brewery and distillery occupy nearby spaces — the Marcus Brush factory will probably come back to life soon.

It would be wonderful if the faded lettering on all sides isn’t wiped clean, and that it remains a reminder that in a different city, people made “high-grade brushes” and a living behind these faded brick walls.

A couple of vintage ads on Eighth Avenue

June 6, 2009

Looming over an empty lot on 46th Street is a two-fer: an ad for a a cheap hotel (hot & cold water!) superimposed over a cigar advertisement.


Vanishing New York and Fading Ad Blog spotted this one months back, but it’s in such a wonderful bit of old New York, it deserves more exposure.

Meanwhile, a pre-war apartment building near Carnegie Hall obscured by a post-war yellow residence of some kind features the kind of cigarette ad never seen anymore. This suave man smoking Barclays looks very 1980s. 


The pleasure is back! Actually, do they even sell this brand anymore?

Oh the places you’ll go!

May 30, 2009

If you sign up for a package tour to one of the following exotic destinations by sea or by air. Las Vegas, Puerto Rico, South America—all put together by a travel company whose name is so faint on the right edge of this building ad, I can’t quite make it out.


This ad is holding up rather well on Eighth Avenue and 39th Street, tempting passersby for decades.