I love stumbling on New York’s ghost signs – essentially, signs or advertisements for businesses long since deceased. I wrote about the great stationery store sign hanging on Broadway just north of Canal Street a year ago (I promise, that arrow doesn’t lead to greeting cards anymore):
Anyway, I was driving by the intersection yesterday, and I could be wrong, but I think someone finally took it down. It depressed me, as the thing’s been up forever, and if anything, gave the building a lot of character.
Its demise also reminded me that I should really put up pictures of another of my favorite ghost signs before it too disappears into the great beyond. So here we go: Burger-Klein!
Burger-Klein was a furniture store at 28 Avenue A from sometime in the early 1950′s/60′s through the late 80′s…and that’s all anyone seems to know about it. The name “Burger-Klein” refers to the store owners, Morris Klein and Mr. Burger (first name unknown), and has nothing to do with Burger King.
Blah Blog Blah did a great entry detailing the history of the property, and Lost City had a write up as well. I’ll add one bit of info to the ever-growing pool of Burger-Klein miscellany: a search on Google Books brought up this ad from a March ’79 issue of New York magazine:
While Burger-Klein may have been in business dating back to 1904, it definitely wasn’t always at this location.
But really, do you need to know anything else to appreciate it? It’s one of the most unique signs in the city, and the fact that the owners have kept it over the past 50 years despite the fact that nearly every passerby assumes there’s a burger joint on the ground level is really impressive. Frankly, I’m surprised a burger joint hasn’t opened up on the ground level, playing up the sign’s local fame (as Burger Klein could be translated as “burger little,” maybe they could have sliders?).
Here’s hoping it doesn’t go the way of the Stationery Store sign.
And while we’re at it, the same goes for the Oldsmobile of Flatbush ghost sign: