George H.Gray, president of the Brooklyn Real Estate Board, pointed out that the change will benefit all of Brooklyn "in that it will encourage the further development of a high-grade shopping center.
" Retail districts have proved helpful,"he said,"in other sections of the city, particularly along such a fine thoroughfare as Fifth Avenue, Manhattan, and they should produce beneficial results in this borough."
Turning Fulton Street into an elegant shopping destination has been tried before...back in the late 1940's, early 1950's. The unsightly elevated train structure had been removed shortly before that time and everything seemed possible. Zoning on the strip was changed
"prohibiting opening of other than high-class retail stores...There are a few spots in this great shopping area which have not yet yielded to the march of progress."
The picture above is from that era. I wonder if Lane Bryant, Ripley and the Waldorf Cafeteria shown in the photo were considered high-class.
Reading the New York Times article from 1948 is like reading news from 2008. 60 years have gone by and developers are still trying to figure out how to turn Fulton into Fifth, though these days, the latter has lost a bit of its luster, wouldn't you say?
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