I was browsing through an old magazine when I found this 1919 ad for the I. Miller shoe store in Times Square. The Miller building, which still exists, is familiar to all New York history buffs, owing to its one-of-a-kind statues along the south face, depicting Ethel Barrymore, Marilyn Miller, Mary Pickford and Rosa Ponselle, representing the arts of theatre, song, film and opera; and for its timeless motto, "The Show Folks Shoe Shop Dedicated to Beauty in Footwear."
It's been laboring as a garish TGI Friday's for some time, and the south facade has long been grimy and in need of a refurbishment. But this ad shows how clean and beautiful it once was: the statues white and free of bird dropping' and the windows—not cut in half by a TGIF floor plan—allowed to soar. We can also see that the wire cages on the second floor windows once held hedges.
Here's the building today. It most certainly has not had a bath in 92 years.