11 August 2011

Duane Reade Is the Subway Entrance King of the Drug Store Chains

A couple months ago I wrote about the novelty of a Duane Reade pharmacy in Times Square having it's own subway entrance—a luxury usually reserved for fancy hotels, office buildings and department stores.

I thought this was a kind of accident of architecture. But maybe Duane Reade knows exactly what its doing. Here's another branch at 60 Spring Street, and it has its own subway entrance! Granted, this is a different affair. The Times Square building is new. This is an old bank building that the DR chain took over. (We all know that the ever-invention Duane Reade will put a pharmacy in any existing structure, from a movie palace to a dog house.) So the bank had it's own subway entrance. But now Duane Reade does. Still, it lends a coolness to the damn drug store.

The bank, by the way, was the East River Savings Bank. It must have served the old Italian community in this area. One is used to see old lettering and inscriptions scraped of the sides of old stone banks. And you have that here too. But the words are in Italian. Cassette di Sicurezza means Safety Deposit Boxes.

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