Sunday, February 25, 2018
I've been hoping for more ghost sign clues at the demolition site at Fifth & Flatbush. There are at least two ads on the Shake Shack side of the site, one for a "quick lunch" restaurant, and one for a picture framing shop. It's been impossible (to me at least) to identify the location of the restaurant, but finally, enough brickwork has been chipped away to perhaps show the address of the framing shop: 227 8th Street. I tried to look up the business by street address and "Artistic Framing" but had no luck. "Artistic" was commonly used in framing ads, and a look at the address didn't help. By the late 1890's, a small brick apartment building occupied 227, but until then the lot appears to have been vacant.
How tantalizing this half-knowledge is. One of the businesses is "noted for" something or other, but whatever was its special, lost quality? I'm reminded of Hilary Mantel's words on history - "what’s left in the sieve when the centuries have run through it" - or Robert Lowell's "poor passing facts."
Only an expert could possibly solve the mysteries here.
227 8th Street today