Creative Scaffolding Overtakes Former Gordon's Novelty Shop

I noticed this creative scaffolding in front of the former and dearly departed Gordon's Novelty Shop between 21st and 22nd Streets on Broadway this afternoon. Considering that the gory remains of Gordon's and a largely dilapidated series of buildings sat blighting Broadway for the past couple of years, this scaffolding is a major improvement. In this environment, leasing a store can take forever, so perhaps instead of vacant stores all over they should put up this type of scaffolding so we can at least pretend that we are not in deep recession.
Gordon Novelty Shop, Vanished (Jeremiah's Vanishing New York, 9/2007)


  1. thanks for the link. gordon's was such a great facade.

  2. Wasn't it really cool when Broadway had a Novelty Shop Row? I guess the internet did it in, but gosh I used to love walking up and down, laughing at the cool masks and toys. Sad.

  3. Yeah, but what's going on behind the fence? Those stores are part of the Landmarks district...

  4. Jeremiah-
    Love your blog! Thanks for being such a great resource and preserver of history!

  5. Wow. This reminds me of the bad old days of the 1980s.

    Does anyone else remember when the City installed inserts into the window frames of abandoned and burnt-out buildings to make them look habituated? I remember some with cats in the window, and of course flowerpots.

    I know the scale is not comparable (three buildings on Broadway does not equal an entire neighborhood) but the underlying reasons are the same: no credit + no demand.

    I've always had the fantasy of turning the novelty shop into a new-old bar with a McSorley's feel for history.

  6. How is this even marginally related to the 80's? This is just advertising for retail space.

    The problems in the South Bronx 20-30 years ago were totally different, and based on rapid ethnic succession, the 1972 changes in the rent laws, and the (then) rise of suburbia.

  7. sadly missed


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