06 April 2010

543 Painter

What's up with the door at 543 Eighth Avenue in Manhattan?

This is the building that holds the infamous Distinguished Wakamba Cocktail Lounge. To the right of the bar is the tall, narrow, old, old, old entrance to the building. Boy, this doorway doesn't look like it's been changed or improved since it was erected. Perfect doorway to duck into if the cops are chasing you.

Anyway, in the window about the door, in gold leaf, is the word "Painter." What gives? There's no directory or buzzer, so I have no idea if there's a painting business in the upper floors. Doubt it. Was the building owned by someone named Painter once? There's a possible clue in the building records. In 1920s, the upper floors were "showrooms." Showrooms for painters, perhaps? But in the 1930, the second floor was a restaurant, and the others a factory.


Dan M said...

Just curious, where do you go to find these occupancy records? I'd love to be able to just go to a website and find out the past occupants of any given building.

Brooks of Sheffield said...

Dan: I just consult the Department of Building website. You type in an address and all sorts of info comes up, including Certificates of Occupancy. They're not very detailed, but they tell you something.


Dan M said...

Thanks for the DOB link Brooks!!