Bonus: Macy’s, 166 West 35th Street

A Macy's ghost sign as seen from above on the side of a brick building

Rowland Hussey Macy opened his fancy dry goods store, which sold textiles and ready-to-wear clothes, in Lower Manhattan in 1858. In a fortuitous move, Macy rented space in his basement to Lazarus Straus in 1874. Straus supplied Macy with china, glass, and silverware. Straus became partners with Macy in 1888 and purchased the entire store in 1896.

Macy’s soon outgrew its original location and the Straus family moved the store to Herald Square in 1902. The new store was built in three stages. The first section, completed in 1924, extended half a block back from Broadway towards Seventh Avenue. Overlooking that section is a Macy’s ghost sign that is not visible from the sidewalk below. But sharp-eyed visitors to the Empire State Building’s 86th Floor Observatory can spot the faded sign.

Next, check out more ghost signs of NYC and a ghost storefront ! You can continue discovering ghost signs of Uptown Manhattan in the author’s new book Ghost Signs 2: Clues to Uptown New York’s Past