Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Losing Lascoff's

A none-too-optimistic update on the ancient sign at Lascoff's Drugs: the American Sign Museum in Cincinnati offered to make arrangements to have the sign brought to its sign heaven in Ohio, so on Saturday (July 21) I went up to the store to leave a note asking the owners to contact the museum if they were interested in working something out.  

Lascoff's incredibly historic sign, with lettering removed, July 21, 2012. (T. Rinaldi)

No one contacted the museum.  Then, on Monday (July 23) I learned (via Wayne Heller at Lite Brite Neon) that the sign had been listed for sale on Craigslist.  

Lascoff's "museum quality" sign could have been yours via Craigslist. (Craigslist)

The ad was posted on July 16 with the caveat that the sign had to be removed by the next day, but the listing remained online through the 23rd (it's gone now) and the sign was still there as of Tuesday the 24th (though most of its lettering has been carefully removed, apparently for salvage).  I replied to the ad but once again got no answer, so, sadly, we are left to watch and wait. 

Lascoff's gutted: Saturday, July 21, 2012. (T. Rinaldi)


What can I say that hasn't been said already, except - three lovely lady restaurateurs, three lovely signs.  Let's hope Sylvia's will be here for a long time to come.

From top: Sylvia's at 328 Lenox Ave.; Elaine's, formerly at 1703 Second Ave.; and Fedora, in its old guise, at 239 West Fourth Street. (T. Rinaldi)


• On a happier note, Debra Jane is back on the road, making daily posts brimming with vintage sign porn par excellence through mid-August.
• By way of JVNY - Manganaro's closed back in March and now the sign is gone too: replaced, at least, with a well-intended approximation of its predecessor.  (The new business looks promising as well.)
• Special thanks to the Postcards from Hell's Kitchen blog for the shout-out this week!
• From the Up-For-Grabs department: Duke's Bar on East 19th Street is entertaining bids for a c. 1950s liquor store sign that has decorated its back room for the past decade or so.  Photo here. 


  1. Perhaps the Lascoff sign has been sold, and the buyer just hasn't removed it yet. Fingers crossed it's someone who has every intention of preserving and displaying it somewhere.

  2. I sure hope that's the case, but - looks like we may never know where it ends up (which may be for the best).

  3. The sign has been reposted as for sale on craigslist as of yesterday 9/2- could you get into contact with the American Sign Museum and see if they would be able to save it??

  4. My mother and I lived above Lascoffs in 1981 when I was 11 years old. I'm saddened to learn that it is no longer around. In the "gutted" image you can just make out the giant metal rolling door on the first level in the very back room. I forgot my keys one day and a kind employee unlocked and rolled open this massive open so I could access the stairwell leading up to our apartment. Great memories :)