You may recall, back in 2008 or 2009, a building on 8th Avenue between 46th and 47th came down and revealed a fantastic ghost sign.
Rooms with steam heat, housekeeping, hot and cold water. Superimposed over a cigar box. A beauty.
Then another building came down, and a new building went up, the Hotel RIU Plaza. The tower was set back far enough that it did not cover the ghost sign.
Still, how long could it last? Would the powers that be really let the sacred tourists look out from their gleaming windows of the RIU Plaza at a gorgeously scuzzy antique like this?
On a recent visit to Times Square, I found the ghost sign has been wiped out. Buffed. Whitewashed. Destroyed beneath a thick coat of gray paint.
In this city, nothing old is allowed to stay.