Cohen’s Optical Wooden Ghost Signage Uncovered on Orchard Street

Posted on: December 22nd, 2015 at 5:15 am by
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The endangered ghost signage peppering the Lower East Side with personality rarely disappoints. Our neighborhood history is simply too rich. Each subsequent archaeological discovery (nay, prize) shines a brighter light on bygone businesses nearly forgotten by the sands soot of time.

Sometimes even the most insignificant event can trigger treasure. For instance, let’s have a look at the flagship location of Cohen’s Fashion Optical at 117 Orchard Street, currently undergoing a quick remodeling. Its vinyl corner canopy was removed from the exterior, revealing the old-fashioned wood lettering in nearly pristine condition; it’s almost completely intact, and includes a pair of glasses on both corner facades!

Don’t get used to it, though. We’re told that new marquee signage is on the way to once again obstruct the history.

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Other examples of ghost signage that readily come to mind include the Jay Mor Hats urban fossil that was uncovered when the Sprint super store swapped its awning at 101 Delancey three years ago (now a Claw Money boutique); or when the old Willoughby Sharp Gallery briefly returned on Spring Street; or most recently, the nostalgic reveal of the former Ratner’s on Delancey (now a CityMD outpost).

117 Orchard is the flagship location for the ninety-year-old Cohen’s Fashion Optical, sitting catty-corner to its neighborhood competition in Moscot. Though the latter really isn’t in the same league, since Cohen’s is more of a mall brand these days (it was acquired in 2008 by Houchens Industries).

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