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West Side Storefront: 1947

West Side Storefront: 1947

New York circa 1947. "Hudson showroom, Broadway at W. 62nd Street." Another look at the intersection last seen here, with the ice cream man and Onalim Antiseptic truck joining the scene. 4x5 negative by John M. Fox. View full size.


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The building

with few windows to the upper right was one of the Kent Automatic Garages. It then became Sofia Brothers Storage (hence the cutoff Sofia Brothers Fireproof Storage). It is now serves as a luxury condominium known as the Sofia.

Time forensics

Another possibility is that these were taken on subsequent days. In which case the guy on the bench is almost certainly dead.

Before or After

The shadows in this window shows that the sun has moved slightly, so if anyone knows what direction this is facing perhaps the shadow movement can tell us which photo was taken first.


Using the shadow on the alley window to the left of the carburetor sign, this photo was taken after the linked companion photo. Provided the one way street directions have not changed and W. 62nd street travelled west bound then the shadow is cast by afternoon sun. Setting afternoon sun will cause the shadow to rise. The shadow appears higher on the wall in this photo than in the companion photo.

Smoke if you got 'em

Not to mention the guys burning one in the alley (apparently).

Definitely after the other

This one is definitely a few minutes later. The camera seems to have been moved.

[The camera being moved between photos tells you nothing about the order in which they were taken. - Dave]

But the tipoff is the two guys in the alley. They were closer to the street in the first one, with one guy leaning against the wall. Now they are walking into the alley. If the other were later, they would have backed up to get there.

[If the other photo is later, it means they walked toward street the normal way, then turned to face into the alley. - Dave]

Earlier That Hour ...

From the unchanged parked cars, the Railway Express truck waiting to back into the alley, and the wagon's relatively unchanged position, I'd say this photo was taken only a minute or two earlier than its Shorpy predecessor.

[How do you know it wasn't taken later? - Dave]

Not having both photos in front of me at the time, I didn't. My only clue was the Railway Express truck, an admittedly weak foundation that led me into grievous error.

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