I haven't done one of these "A Perfect Storefront" features in a long while. But as I passed Park Slope's Leopoldi True Value Hardware on Fifth Avenue in Park Slope, I thought it certainly justified an entry.
What is it about old New York hardware purveyors that makes them want to take up every inch of facade space of the building they occupy? I see it again and again, most notably with the sprawling Bruno Hardware in downtown Brooklyn. It's a very 19th-century urge. I count six signs of various styles here. I guess the fact that Leopoldi didn't go beyond the second floor should be counted as a sign of restraint. Still, despite the riot of colors and fonts, the overall feeling is very harmonious, very lived-in. The cloth awning helps soften the effect.
The place has been serving Park Slope since 1966. Currently, there are three generations of Leopoldis working in the store.