Reports the pcvstBee, "After more than 100 years in business at the same address, Vercesi Hardware is closing at 152 East 23rd Street between Lexington and Third avenues. The building has been sold and is slated for demolition."
According to Flatiron BID, the shop began as a sheet music store in 1912, opened "by an enterprising teenager from Italy by the name of Paul Vercesi. Later, the young man added film development and a new-fangled invention called radio. At some point, hardware became part of the mix. Eventually, the sheet music and radio tubes and film all but vanished, but the hardware hung on."
"Don't Trust Your Films to a Butcher" (1936, NYPL)
In recent years, Vercesi became 23rd Street Hardware, with nothing more than a change of the name on the sign. I've always liked the look of it, signs piled high, the windows full of stuff--not much different, really, than it was decades ago.
One neighbor summed up the too-familiar situation to the pcvstBee: "Today, if it's old, it's got to go. And for what...condos and coffee shops?"