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.