Cortlandt Street Street Sign
Radio Row Memories
BY BARBARA LEVOW
Cortlandt Street of Radio Row fame and the tragic site of the World Trade Center remains
in our collective radio memory. As Barbara Levow's article shows, the A.R.C. Web site
creates more opportunities for sharing memories. (Editor)
Recently, while surfing the Web, I found your page about Cortlandt Street. [See
A.R.C., September '98.] Thank you. It triggered many memories. I used to go to Cortlandt Street with
my father around 1960. My uncle owned a men's haberdasher on Greenwich Street, and we would
walk to Cortlandt Street.
About 15 years ago when I lived in New York City before I retired, I was given the original
street sign shown below as a birthday present. It had come from a store called "Irreplaceable Artifacts"
on 2nd Avenue and Houston Street in the East Village. This store had tons of old street signs.
About two years ago, the store building collapsed, and the entire inventory of signs and memorabilia
was destroyed. This sign may be the only Cortlandt Street sign remaining in existence.
Your Web map [September '98, p. 8] shows North Radio on the corner of Washington
and Cortlandt. This store became Metro Radio run by Sy Denby. After the World Trade Center was
built, I believe Metro moved to West Broadway and Chambers St. and later closed.
Two radio stores mentioned in your article as "around Union Sq." were Packard (Union Sq.)
and Dale (14th Street and 8th Avenue). Both were owned by Stanley Leger.
Barry Electronics at Broadway and Spring is still in business and is now on 2nd Avenue and
East 6th Street. Barry Gensler was killed in a boating accident in the 1960s, and his wife Kitty has run
the business since.
Cantor the Cabinet King was just that -- tons of cabinets. However, radios and televisions
were also sold.
Movements in and out of Cortlandt Street were common. Even Radio Shack moved to
Cortlandt Street, but I can't remember when. Advanced moved from Cortlandt to West 45th Street in
mid-Manhattan, as did many other radio stores.
Blan the Radio Man survived as Blan Electronics and is still in lower Manhattan about four
blocks from City Hall. Blan was an eccentric who would menace customers with a high voltage Tesla
[Other articles on Cortlandt Street and Radio Row may be found in the following issues of
A.R.C.: November '91; October '98; February '99; November '01; September '02].
(Barbara Levow, 5434 Iberville St., N. LasVegas, NV 89031)
CORTLANDT ST SIGN