For 80 years, 727 Hardware has been serving the neighborhood around its location on 6th Avenue and 24th Street. They even survived the arrival of Home Depot just a block away. But recently, their landlord told them to go. The Heart Vein medical office upstairs, with the blinding, flashing LED billboard, is expanding.
So the hardware store is going.
Luckily, they found a new spot at 328 8th Avenue, between 26th and 27th. They've already got the shop mostly packed up.
I like an old hardware store. This one's not my local, but I've picked up a few items here in the past.
As an old shop, it has some nice features, like the vintage lettering on the windows--and inside, too.
When I visited, a very accommodating young man gave me a tour of the
place. He showed me an ornate staircase leading down to the basement,
and a weird bathroom window that, he said, led to a secret passageway
between the buildings.
The hardware store's building is neighbor to a building that had once been Koster and Bial's "The Corner," a saloon connected to the famous music halls of the day. Eagle-eyed urbanists are often drawn to that cornice up above.
In the 1939 shot below, from the NYPL's archives, you can see a sliver of the original hardware store on the far right. Next to a Playland arcade, it was then called "Sol's" hardware store. You could get two keys made for 15 cents.
In the following 1936 photo, also from the NYPL archives, the shop is some kind of "bargain bazaar," and not a hardware store. So maybe it didn't quite make it to 80 years.
I share this photo for the great shot of Playland--and the description of the arcade on the back of the image, which reads: "It is provided with a rifle range, many slot-machine games, and cheap recorded music, as a diversion for people with not too fine an appreciation for good entertainment."
Well, I suppose the same could still be said today of that spot, occupied as it is with a XXX shop selling DVDs and rubber goods. And thank goodness for that. Sadly, we lost Billy's Topless from the Koster & Bial spot in 2001.
And now this old hardware store is going, almost 80 years, gutted for vein treatments. I'll miss seeing it there. I liked walking by and thinking, "Now there's a survivor."
Please find them at their new space on 8th Avenue, between 26th and 27th, after December 1.