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Mapping New York City's Iconic Signs That Are No More

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A subtle indication of a changing city is the iconic signs and signage it leaves behind. New York is no stranger to that loss, most recently seen in the South Bronx's History Channel billboard, which is being dismantled right now, according to DNAinfo. Signs and signage are suggestive of a city's industry, a recollection of its past, and a rallying point for the nostalgic. Some of the city's most well-known signs and signage are gone now—the catch: are they well-known because they're gone?—so let's take a look back at the ones we miss, shall we?
—Amy Plitt and Zoe Rosenberg


· Mapping 18 Iconic Signs That Define the NYC Skyline [Curbed]
· I Saw the Sign archives [Curbed]

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Kentile Floors

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It's been over a year since the Kentile Floors sign graced the air space above the Gowanus Expressway. The sign is now under the stewardship of the Gowanus Alliance, who are looking after it (and giving it photo ops) until its reconstructed at a yet-to-be-named location—we hope. [Photo by Nathan Kensinger]

Home Of Eagle Clothes

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Eagle Clothes, initially purveyors of fine men's clothing, opened their Gowanus plant in 1951. The brand felt the kiss of death with the rise of the men's leisure suit in the 1970s, ForgottenNY explains. The company filed for bankruptcy in 1989, and the sign was eventually removed by U-Haul who owns the building it sat atop of for more than 60 years. [Image via Citynoise]

5 Pointz

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Okay, so this is less a “sign” and more a building; but the meticulous, beautiful pieces of graffiti that adorned the Long Island City warehouse until its 2014 demolition were so iconic (even as they changed regularly) that they deserve a spot on this list. Particularly notable was the tag containing the building's insignia, which you can watch crumble over and over again here.

Pepsi Cola at Citi Field

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At least one of Queens’s iconic Pepsi signs is going away: though the one in Long Island City is safe (for now), the neon marquee at Citi Field will come down after the soda company declined to renew its sponsorship deal with the Mets stadium. (But Coke is in talks to become the “officla soda” of Citi Field, according to the Times—so maybe a huge Coke sign is next.)

Yaffa Cafe

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Speaking of much-missed St. Marks Place businesses, this all-night diner was known for its enormous portions that helped remedy the after-effects of a long night out, and the huge sign that was painted on an adjoining building. The restaurant closed in 2014, and when it becomes a Portuguese restaurant (the current plans for the site), the sign will be gone, too.

Trash & Vaudeville

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The beloved punk-rock shop has occupied a 19th-century townhouse (once owned by a Hamilton!) on St. Marks Place for 40 years, but with the sale of the building comes the inevitable ousting of Trash & Vaudeville. The shop will be moving, but St. Marks just won’t be the same without the iconic neon sign that marked the store’s entrance. [Image via New York Neon]

Cup Noodles

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Just one of the many things in New York that seeped mysterious steam, the Times Square Cup Noodles sign stood prominently on its perch at 1 Times Square, behind the New Year's Eve Ball, from 1996 through 2006. [Image via Wikimedia]

30 Rockefeller Plaza

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One of the city's most iconic 'scrapers got a major signage change following Comcast's acquisition of GE. The organization's signage, in place since 1988, fell to its new corporate overlord in 2015.

CNN Sign

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A decade after the CNN sign went up on 1775 Broadway (which has since be renamed to 3 Columbus Circle), it’s now gone. The building’s landlord, SL Green, replaced it with an LED sign that displays the time and weather, along with the firm’s logo. CNN, meanwhile, will move its HQ to Hudson Yards in a few years. [Image via Shutterstock]

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Kentile Floors

It's been over a year since the Kentile Floors sign graced the air space above the Gowanus Expressway. The sign is now under the stewardship of the Gowanus Alliance, who are looking after it (and giving it photo ops) until its reconstructed at a yet-to-be-named location—we hope. [Photo by Nathan Kensinger]

Home Of Eagle Clothes

Eagle Clothes, initially purveyors of fine men's clothing, opened their Gowanus plant in 1951. The brand felt the kiss of death with the rise of the men's leisure suit in the 1970s, ForgottenNY explains. The company filed for bankruptcy in 1989, and the sign was eventually removed by U-Haul who owns the building it sat atop of for more than 60 years. [Image via Citynoise]

5 Pointz

Okay, so this is less a “sign” and more a building; but the meticulous, beautiful pieces of graffiti that adorned the Long Island City warehouse until its 2014 demolition were so iconic (even as they changed regularly) that they deserve a spot on this list. Particularly notable was the tag containing the building's insignia, which you can watch crumble over and over again here.

Pepsi Cola at Citi Field

At least one of Queens’s iconic Pepsi signs is going away: though the one in Long Island City is safe (for now), the neon marquee at Citi Field will come down after the soda company declined to renew its sponsorship deal with the Mets stadium. (But Coke is in talks to become the “officla soda” of Citi Field, according to the Times—so maybe a huge Coke sign is next.)

Yaffa Cafe

Speaking of much-missed St. Marks Place businesses, this all-night diner was known for its enormous portions that helped remedy the after-effects of a long night out, and the huge sign that was painted on an adjoining building. The restaurant closed in 2014, and when it becomes a Portuguese restaurant (the current plans for the site), the sign will be gone, too.

Trash & Vaudeville

The beloved punk-rock shop has occupied a 19th-century townhouse (once owned by a Hamilton!) on St. Marks Place for 40 years, but with the sale of the building comes the inevitable ousting of Trash & Vaudeville. The shop will be moving, but St. Marks just won’t be the same without the iconic neon sign that marked the store’s entrance. [Image via New York Neon]

Cup Noodles

Just one of the many things in New York that seeped mysterious steam, the Times Square Cup Noodles sign stood prominently on its perch at 1 Times Square, behind the New Year's Eve Ball, from 1996 through 2006. [Image via Wikimedia]

30 Rockefeller Plaza

One of the city's most iconic 'scrapers got a major signage change following Comcast's acquisition of GE. The organization's signage, in place since 1988, fell to its new corporate overlord in 2015.

CNN Sign

A decade after the CNN sign went up on 1775 Broadway (which has since be renamed to 3 Columbus Circle), it’s now gone. The building’s landlord, SL Green, replaced it with an LED sign that displays the time and weather, along with the firm’s logo. CNN, meanwhile, will move its HQ to Hudson Yards in a few years. [Image via Shutterstock]