Wednesday, May 26, 2010

S Klein Then & Now - Follow Up to Previous Post

The sketching below comes from an ad that ran on page nine of the Saturday, August 13th, 1955 edition of Newsday, heralding the grand opening of the S Klein Dept. Store in West Hempstead that Monday.

The building's initial design took full advantage of the property's wide frontage along Hempstead Turnpike with large showcase windows along the full length of its' north facade. You will also notice that the store originally had an entrance from Hempstead Turnpike. Overall, though the building typified the "big box store" model that became so prevalent throught American suburbia, it evidently had somewhat greater aesthetic appeal than what it eventually devolved into over the years. And while it didn't exactly compare to other upscale department stores, shoppers who entered the main floor were greeted with high, waffled ceilings and broad columns.

Comparing the "then" shot to the "now" shot below, taken roughly from the same angle, aside from the showcase windows being boarded up, the one striking difference is the addition of a third floor, which wasn't built until 1961, effectively adding another 75,000 sq. ft. to the building.

Looking closely, one notices a different color shading of the bricks used for the third floor. When Liquidators occupied the building, the 3rd floor was used for the offices of their national headquarters.

From S Klein (1955-74) to E J Korvette (1974-80) to Shopper's Village (1980-95) to National Wholesale Liquidators (1995-2009 to Shopper's Village #2 (2009), this property has gone through alot of tennants.


Bill said...

I just finished scanning a bunch of slides taken while growing up near there. Some of the trays still had the Klein's "T-Square" logo on faded price tags.

Jacob said...


I would love to see some of those slides if you are willing to share. You can contact me at yossiaz