Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Lights Out 2017: Signs We Lost This Year

Once again, this year's headline is a bit of a misnomer - some of these seem to have already been gone for a year or more.  Be that as it may - here they are, another year's round-up.  Read'em and weep.

East 94th Street (Yorkville) Garage, 231 E94th Street, Manhattan / Installed c.1937

This sign featured splendid, totally unique art deco detailing. Gone now, replaced rather inexplicably by a new neon sign with none of the charm of its predecessor.    

Joe Abbraciamento Restaurant, 62-96 Woodhaven Blvd., Queens / Installed c. 1949, alterations c. 1998

This longtime Queens eatery actually closed back in 2014.  Its building, a former movie theater, was subsequently bulldozed to make way for a new apartment building, but the site remained vacant for years afterward.

Metropolitan Life Insurance Co, 200 Park Avenue, Manhattan / Installed 1992-93

Heir to the spot once held by the famed Pan Am sign, the giant Met Life logo came down this past summer to make way for the company's updated logo, now rendered in LEDs.

Leonard’s Bootery, 89-35 164th Street, Jamaica, Queens / Installed c. 1950

Leonard's decamped from this address around 2015. The storefront has since been completely stripped and re-faced.  

Carnegie Deli, 854 7th Avenue, Manhattan / Installed c. 1960

In business since 1937, the Carnegie Deli was one of the city's most iconic commercial institutions until its owners bowed out at the end of 2016 so that its lovely old building could be knocked down for new development.  The Carnegie's sign was later seen being carted off through the streets of Lower Manhattan.  

West 57th St Garage, 622 W57th Street, Manhattan / Installed 1949

A side street favorite, this sign bore the maker's tag of the long-vanished E.G. Clarke Sign Co., the same company that gave us the great Dublin House sign on West 79th Street.  The entire building was demolished in 2015-16 to make way for new high rise development. 

Famous Cozy Corner Soup'n'Burger, 730 Broadway, Manhattan 

Cozy Corner is still with us but its lovely exposed tube neon fascia sign has been LED'd.  

Manor Community Church, 348-350 W26th St., Manhattan / Installed c. 1945

LED'd in 2017 after several years unlit.

Campanile Restaurant (formerly the Weathervane Inn), 30 E29th St., Manhattan / Installed 1952

Darkened when the Campanile was forced to close a few years ago as this entire block of handsome old facades was being emptied in preparation for demolition, which began in late 2017. 

19 Rector Street (roof sign), 19 Rector Street, Manhattan / Installed circa-pre-1960

Hidden in plain sight, this massive roof sign beamed out across New York Harbor for decades.  In the 1980s it scored a minor cameo in the film Working Girl.  It quietly disappeared in late 2017.  


North Village Wine & Liquor, 254 W14th Street, Manhattan / Installed c. 1950

Slated to vanish along with a cluster of old buildings at the southeast corner of 14th Street and 8th Avenue that are scheduled to be cleared for large scale new construction. 

Horn & Hardart Retail Shop, Dekalb Ave. at Bond St., Brooklyn / Installed circa-pre-1960

Best known for their chain of Automats, Horn & Hardart also operated a number of retail shops in New York City for many years. This remnant was unearthed with the removal of later signage in preparation for the demolition of the old Downtown Brooklyn building on which it hangs. 

Loft Candies, 88 Nassau Street, Manhattan / Installed c. 1960

An especially sad story, as this sign was in the midst of being restored after years laying hidden under newer signage.  Alas, the deal for this storefront to be reactivated as a Lower Manhattan outpost of the Two Boots Pizza chain has been stalled for more than a year, so this sign merits listing on the 2018 endangered list. Here's hoping for better news to come.  

 Lights Out 2016
 Lights Out 2015
 Lights Out 2014

 Lights Out 2013
 Lights Out 2012
 Lights Out 2011