Louis Zuflacht. What a name. Hard to forget. Especially when it's in large metal letters (formerly lit by neon), in an ostentatious font, on the side of a building.
That's the name that has graced the building at the corner of Suffolk and Stanton Streets for many decades now. A clothier, Zuflacht hasn't done business out of this storefront in a generation or two. But subsequent occupants of the address—either out of deference to the lovely signage, or out of laziness—have left Louis' name up there, ensuring that the former proprietor has not entirely passed from public memory.
I've passed by the sign dozens of times and never bothered to look up his story, though I've always been intrigued. It seems the right time to correct that error since the shop is unoccupied at present (after being everything from an art gallery to a video gamer hangout), so, it could be argued, 154 Stanton Street belongs to Louis Zuflacht more now than in has in many years.
Louis was born in either 1881 or 1883 in New York. He died in 1986, having lived more than a century. His place of business was a men's haberdashery. His sons Jack and Joe joined the business and ran it for a while. He apparently had a partner, named Harry A. Schechter, who died in 1962, according to an obit in the Times. When the neighborhood went south, so did they—literally, to Florida. At some point, the City owned the building.
The building was erected in the 1860s. In 1939, this was a men's clothing store called Tress & Tress, so Zuflacht must have come along soon after, judging by the style of the sign. (An electrical sign application was filed with the City in 1942.) Still, it's possible there were two shops at this address at one point. It was bought by artist Denise Carbonell in 1984 for $340,000. She converted it into a store that sold her handmade quilts as well as vintage clothes and furniture. She lived on the second floor. It was then bought by Kristen Copham in 2008 for $3.28 million. Copham turned it into a gallery.