05 June 2008

Goodbye Fabulously Ugly Building

AM New York took time to note that one of Manhattan's most unsightly facades has disappeared for good. Said monstrosity was the one-time home of Dr. Locke Shoes and it sat on 34th Street (home of many an uggo building) between 6th and 5th. Here's the tale:

It was ugly. It was bizarre. It was mind-boggling. It was a New York original. And now it's gone.

We're talking about what had to be the ugliest facade in all of New York City. Known variously as the "Foot Saver" or the "Dr. Locke" building, it was quite a streetscape aberration.

At some point -- we dare suggest it was the 1960s or 1970s, but bad taste truly has no vintage -- the townhouse-style building was insanely covered up in rust-colored metal sheets. Windows were of course, necessary, so openings were very crudely cut, apparently by a saw-wielding, blindfolded amateur.

There it stood, a testament to bad taste and to another time in retail along 34th Street. Dr. Locke/Foot Saver belongs to an era when low-rent retail, shoe stores and fast-food joints ruled the roost around Herald Square. There's still plenty of that, but more and more, it's high-end retail that you'll find along this stretch. Dr. Locke/Foot Saver survived the arrival on the street of Banana Republic and Club Monaco.

The facade's been ripped off. The structure is awaiting a new face. I know it's stupid, but I'm gonna kinda miss it. It was individual and peculiar. What comes next won't be.

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