Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Chase Sign

Back when Union Square's Coffee Shop shuttered for Chase Bank, thanks to a massive rent hike, we heard that the bank might be keeping the antique neon sign and re-doing the letters so it spelled out CHASE instead of COFFEE SHOP.

Last month, the antique sign was removed. We wondered if it would come back--refurbished or repurposed. It has not.

Yesterday, New York filmmaker Amy Nicholson tweeted a photo of the replacement:

Thankfully, it's not a Frankensteined mashup of COFFEE SHOP and CHASE. That would be unbearable. It's also not neon and it's not faux antique.

It is instead a sanitized, zombified, half-hearted riff on the old Coffee Shop sign.

It's vertical and two-sided, like the old sign, and the word JOE (the name of the coffee chain inside the bank) is at the bottom, enclosed in a rectangular ring of yellow lights, also (sort of) like the old sign.

I'm sure the PR people at Chase will call this an "homage." They might even call it a "loving homage," as if banks are capable of such emotions. But we know better, don't we?

And what is the fate of the original sign? It went back a long way -- and it should have been left right where it was, untouched and intact.

detail of photo by Karen Gehres, via Flaming Pablum


Mark Schulte said...

They should also have left untouched the antique floor mosaic, saying CHASE from a former coffee shop incarnation. As it is, at best they've covered it up &, at worst, destroyed it. Given that it's the same name there's no excuse!

Brian said...

The Second Avenue Deli was another beloved diner type restaurant with a beautiful neon sign on the corner. Under no circumstances did the ownership want to leave, but the landlord raised the rent so high, it was not feasible to stay. Of course, it was Chase that had the money to rent it out for another branch. The signage was mutilated and the bland corporate stuff was rammed in, another example of a square peg jammed into a round hole.