i miller shoe store times square

The building at the northeast corner of Broadway and 46th Street is one of those hidden gems that even most New Yorkers were unaware of until recently. It had been covered by grime, billboards, and TGI Fridays signs. But all of that has changed. The façade has been cleaned, the billboards and signs are gone and the building shines once more. We noticed the new restoration in December and Scouting NY reported the great news yesterday following his open letter to the owners in 2012. 

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In 1926, Israel Miller hired Louis Friedland to renovate the buildings at the corner of 46th Street and Broadway for his shoe store. Miller was a Polish immigrant, who specialized in bespoke shoes for dancers and actors. His store, I. Miller, remained in operation through the 1970s. The I. Miller Shoe Store stands out because of its 46th Street facade.

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In 1927, Miller erected four statues representing women in the arts, his clientele. Drama is represented by Ethel Barrymore as Ophelia; Musical Comedy is represented by Marilyn Miller as Sunny; Opera is represented by Rosa Ponselle as Leonora; and Motion Pictures are represented by Mary Pickford as Little Lord Fauntleroy.

Check out Scouting NY for before and after photos. See more quirky NYC facts and discoveries in our “Daily What?!” series.