23 June 2009

If Sofia Brothers isn't the oldest family-owned storage business in New York City, it's got to be one of the oldest.

The tall, impressive, art deco building at Broadway near 187th—which is adorned with a luscious piece of vertical neon along its side—says the concern was founded in 1910, making it nearly 100 years old. It was founded by Theodore Sofia and carried on by his five sons. It is still owned by the family.

Sofia Brothers has three locations in Manhattan now, but, from what I can gather, used to own more. One, at 1221 Intervale Avenue, the Bronx, was used to store 600,000 bottles of beer during Prohibition, leading the Feds to arrest Theodore. Excitement! Another, on West. 61st Street near Columbus Circle, which is considered by architecture critics to be an Art Deco gem, was converted into condos in the 1980s. The building was declared an official city landmark in 1983. It now called The Sofia.


Anonymous said...

by becoming an official city landmark in 1983, will that protect the building from demolition??

Brooks of Sheffield said...

Yes, theoretically. But in Bloomberg's NY, anything is possible.