Posts Tagged ‘Orchard Street’

The banker called the “East Side J.P. Morgan”

June 14, 2012

The Lower East Side was already a growing Eastern European neighborhood by the time Alexander “Sender” Jarmulowsky arrived in 1873.

Those immigrants needed a bank they could trust, one with connections to their homelands.

So Jarmulowsky, formerly a Talmudic scholar from Russia and now the wealthy owner of a shipping business, started one.

His eponymous bank, at Canal and Orchard Streets, was a huge success.

Jarmulowsky earned a rep as an honest businessman nicknamed the “East Side J.P. Morgan” who paid 100 percent on the dollar during the occasional bank run.

States the Museum at Eldridge Street: “As one Yiddish newspaper described him, ‘Jarmu-lowsky was living proof that in America one can be a rich businessman but also be a true, pious Jew.’”

The 12-story bank building at Canal and Orchard Streets he built in 1912 still stands today. Unfortunately Jarmulowsky never got to see it; he died that year. His sons took over, but they were more Bernie Madoff than J.P. Morgan.

When customers went to withdraw their money to send to relatives abroad during World War I, they found out their savings were gone.

The Jarmulowsky building was sold for $36 million earlier this year—way too late to benefit any of the account holders who lost their savings.

Old signs that feature old phone exchanges

July 20, 2009

Sutton Clock Shop, on Lexington and 61st Street, has been around for more than 60 years. Why install a more modern sign that features the numerical phone number when this old-school sign is so charming?

PL stood for Plaza, perhaps the Plaza Hotel on 59th and Fifth.

Suttonclockshop1

This hand-painted Michael Rizzo & Son sign points to a basement office on a brownstone on West 12th Street in the West Village. Wonder how they ended up with an OR exchange—for Orchard Street?

Michaelrizzoandsons

The cherry grove of Delancey Street

January 26, 2009

The uptown side of the Delancey Street F train platform features lots of cherries—three cherry tree murals as well as several smaller cherry mosaics.

cherrysdelancey

So what’s with the cherry motif? Before the Lower East Side became a jam-packed tenement district in the late 1800s, it was farmland owned by James DeLancey, acting colonial governor of New York in the 1750s who staunchly supported the British during the Revolutionary War.

The DeLancey farm supposedly had a cherry grove on what is now Orchard Street. After the war the farm was confiscated and divided up among smaller landowners. Somewhere along the way, the cherry grove met the ax as well.