09 July 2013

A Perfect Storefront, Ruined



Klenosky Paint on Metropolitan Avenue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, was the first shop I showcased in the running column "A Perfect Storefront," a feature I occasionally use to spotlight what I called at the time "Gothamite street art, coming in the form of conscious, sub-conscious or unconscious mercantile design."

"What makes a perfect storefront?" I continued in that first column, which ran January 2010. "Well, a lot of things. Originality, for one. That doesn't mean the store owner has to be self-consciously bizarre or artful, just that they show a little character and individuality. One should be able to tell that the store is owned by a person or a family, not a corporation or chain... Great storefronts are almost always accidents of time, putting themselves together in haphazard style with the flipping calendar." There's further philosophizing here, should you wish to read it.
Apparently, Klenosky didn't see the beauty of their own storefront. I walked by the other day and found the "new and improved" facade you see above. To which I can only say, "Thanks, Benjamin Moore corporate overlords!" I guess the hanging sign wasn't enough for them. Moore had to have it all. The Moore engine won't be satisfied until their taken over the signage on every independently owned family paint and hardware shop in NYC.

Below, you can see the humble charm that once was. 

7 comments:

Mitch said...

I wonder what "Paint Fair" was. Maybe its demise is what caused the shop owner to change the sign.

BabyDave said...

There’s a sign on a paint store at 4386 White Plains Road in the Bronx that has a logo similar to the one on the old sign here. I’m thinking it’s a chain, and maybe Klenosky severed ties with it, forcing a sign change.

Mitch said...

I bet you're right, BabyDave. Paint Fair does appear to be some sort of chain of paint stores. Though oddly, they don't seem to have any web site for the overall chain. Also, Paint Fair seems to have replaced the charming big-top logo with much lamer one, as can be seen here:

http://vimeo.com/9343733

Now, there is still another Paint Fair in the Bronx, which retains a near-perfect storefront, in fact as a part of a near perfect block of storefronts. Makes me want to want to go up there just to eat some chinese take-out.

https://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=wakefield+paint+fair+4386+White+Plains+Road+Bronx+New+York+10466+&sll=41.524123,-73.550096&sspn=1.420854,2.469177&ie=UTF8&hq=wakefield+paint+fair&hnear=4386+White+Plains+Rd,+Bronx,+NY+10466&z=16

BabyDave said...

Thanks, Mitch. And though it's a bit of a loooong train ride, you're right: It looks like a great block to check out.

dmarks said...

Terrible.

Christa said...

This is awesome!

Jess Toons said...

When I was little my dad and I used to walk down the streets together and we would look at all the stores and store front signs in Minnesota. It's one of my favorite memories with my dad.