30 March 2012

The Faded Ad Wall on West 36th: Alco Blouse Co.

This is my third investigation into the histories behind the puzzlework of faded, painted ads on the west side of the mid-sized brick tower that is 64-70 W. 36th Street.

Alco Blouse Co. moved into this building in 1938 and moved out around 1950. (All the businesses featured in these ads seemed to have been residents between the mid-'30s and mid-'60s.) Alco was, tantalizingly, "manufacturers of cotton and silk popular blouses." Popular!

Maybe they were popular because, unlike other garment makers in this building, they made things out of natural fabrics. No rayon for Alco!

I've found out who ran Alco. It was Sy H. Corak and Albert Corak. I know this because they took out an obituary in 1948 in the New York Times mourning their "beloved friend associate" Paul Henry Klein. This also gives us the key to the name. Albert Corak = Alco.

Albert liked to take out space in the Times. Albert's son Howard got engaged in 1952, and the happy occasion was featured in the broadsheet. The day before that announcement came out, Corak got in the paper for a different reason, when the police were reported to have caught a notorious cat burglar at Corak's Great Neck home.

As for Sy, in 1953 it was reported that he was developing 103 homes on Long Meadow, L.I., to be part of a housing development called Broadlawn Estates. I guess Sy made a lot of money while Alco was on W. 36th.

1 comment:

Peter said...

I'm not sure where exactly Sy carried out his real estate activities, as there's no Long Meadow on Long Island. There's a Long Beach, and an East Meadow, but as far as I can tell neither has a development known as Broadlawn Estates.