03 February 2009

Ghost Automat


It's been there forever, but I only noticed this week that that ugly, low-rise building on Willoughby near Jay, in downtown Brooklyn, upholds one of the more visible pieces of evidence that New York once had a thing called the Automat.

You can see outline of the letters on either side of the sign. The building is not an unattractive budget-basement clothing store. I scanned the interior. There are no other remaining details of the address' former function.

The Automat was announced in late 1935 and I imagine it opened the next year, meaning the sign is probably 73 years old. In order to erect the Automat, Horn & Hardart tore down the existing building, which housed a restaurant called the Bristol. Bristol had been there for more than 30 years. Bet people were sad to see it go.

1 comment:

sue said...

I have fond memories of eating here while shopping "downtown" with my mom... one of my favorite memories is coming out of this Horn&Hardarts to see people crowded around a man with a piece of cardboard on which was somehow projected a solar eclipse that was happening at that moment... I watched the moon cut across the sun on this piece of white cardboard, full from baked beans... happy times! It must have been late 60's/early 70's