Beneath the Signage: Layers of Inwood History

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Recently a business on West 207th Street and Broadway gave their storefront a face lift. When the aging facade was peeled away a decades old sign from a health food store was revealed.

An old sign was revealed when this one was replaced, 4940 Broadway.  Photo from September 27, 2015.
An old sign was revealed when this one was replaced, 4940 Broadway. Photo from September 27, 2015.
Old sign for Inwood Nutrition Center revealed, 4940 Broadway, January 5, 2016.
Old sign for Inwood Nutrition Center revealed, 4940 Broadway, January 5, 2016.

This forgotten layer of Inwood’s history was quickly covered up by brand new sign.

New sign in place, 4940 Broadway, January 8, 2016.
New sign in place, 4940 Broadway, January 8, 2016.

Several more once hidden treasures:

A much older sign was revealed on Isham Street and Broadway when a frozen yogurt shop opened not log ago.

Broadway and Isham Street, Isham Park Pharmacy sign exposed during 2013 renovation. Now a frozen yogurt shop
Broadway and Isham Street, Isham Park Pharmacy sign exposed during 2013 renovation. Now a frozen yogurt shop

The old pharmacy sign quickly disappeared beneath a colorful new awning.

4971 Broadway in 2014. The old pharmacy sign is hidden beneath this frozen yogurt sign.
4971 Broadway in 2014. The old pharmacy sign is hidden beneath this frozen yogurt sign.

Preserving the Past:

And while most exposed signage from bygone eras quickly vanishes beneath a new layer of history, Inwood’s Apple Bank decided to keep the old Harlem Savings Bank sign when it was uncovered during a recent renovation.

Apple Bank, September 20, 2014Apple Bank on  September 20, 2014.  Much older signage is hidden beneath the Apple name.
Apple Bank on September 20, 2014. Much older signage is hidden beneath the Apple name.
Apple Bank in January of 2016. The old Harlem Savings Bank sign was hiding beneath the old Apple Bank signage. The two names are now both preserved.
Apple Bank in January of 2016. The old Harlem Savings Bank sign was hiding beneath the old Apple Bank signage. The two names are now both preserved.

These are just a few layers of history uncovered in our neighborhood. Let me know if you spot any more once hidden gems.

6 COMMENTS

  1. I’m pleased to see Apple Bank exposed the original sign again. And, I’m always grateful that my local Washington Heights Apple Bank’s exterior clock actually tells time. Is that the case in Inwood too?

  2. I remember the Isham Park Pharmacy sign so well!! I used to go into a luncheonette where the newsstand is now and have my breakfast there in 1966-1970 when i lived with Bernie at 585 West 214th St. Bern still mourns the loss of that apt. He loved Inwood. Introduced me to it all those years ago.
    His ex wife, Myra, moved in there with him in the early 60’s and couldn’t wait to move after they separated. She wanted to go “downtown” where the action was. He complimented me by saying, “The first day you came to Inwood…you totally “got it”. I thought it a garden of eden after the cold cement and tenements of the Lower Ease Side. I remember saying, “Whoever heard of cement coming down to cement, no front yerd, nothing.” I felt claustrophobic after the space and greenery of the Pacifiic Northwest. I mean I’d seen West Side Story, what the hell did I expect? But it was a shock.

  3. this is driving me crazy. I know I commented on the Isham Park Pharmacy signage, but I don’t see it. What happened Cole?

  4. The Isham Pharmacy had a lunch counter . They had the best hamburgers I know because on my lunch hour from GSS I ate there. Also, upstairs was my Dentist Dr. Bernstein whose Mother had a grocery store on Sherman Ave. A hard working Women whose two Sons became dentists.

  5. I remember well the Harlem Savings Bank at 207th and Broadway. It was my bank back in the 40’s and up to the early 60’s when I left for the military. I remember getting a free piggy bank from there. I also recall that they gave away toasters to people who opened accounts.

  6. Before the Inwood Nutrition center was there, I believe there was a Fanny Farmer Candy Store on that spot. I have fond memories of Fanny Farmers from my childhood days in the late ’70’s- early 80’s.

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