When a framing shop shuttered on 2nd Ave. and 52nd St., workers tore down the awning and uncovered a ghost sign, complete with an old telephone exchange--PL3--which I'm assuming stood for "PLaza." Thanks to reader Sean for sending in this photo of Louis Mattia's lamp shop.
For decades this shop was beloved by designers, decorators, and people who just loved lamps. Liberace shopped here for antique lighting fixtures.
In 1990 Mr. Mattia told the New York Times, ''I love lamps. I'm crazy about them.''
Not only did he repair them, he also made custom lamps out of things like "a bunch of plastic grapes, fire extinguishers and even human skulls." He also made them out of musical instruments, as New York magazine featured in 1977:
New York, 1977
In addition, Mr. Mattia was renowned for his seemingly infinite collection of sconces. The man was passionate for sconces.
New York, 1989
Mr. Mattia passed away in 2004. His Times obit says he was "Known from 1960 to 1995 for his antique light fixtures at his Second Ave. store." Thirty-five years.
He left one piece of advice, also via the Times: "Never pull a plug out of a socket by the cord. 'Always pull it out by the plug itself.'"