Wednesday, May 14, 2014

John A Schwarz Furniture



The postcard above depicts the John A. Schwarz, Inc. furniture store at One Fulton Avenue, probably not long after their opening at that location in 1949.  Actually the history of this firm begins long before that.  Karen E. Wagner at My Old NY Just Ain't What She Used to Be blog has some great information about the original John A Schwarz and his furniture business. He was born in NY in the 1850s to German immigrants and clerked in a furniture store before he opened his own store in 1876 at 838-840 Broadway in Brooklyn. By the 1920s, his three sons opened an additional tree locations, two more in Brooklyn and one in Jamaica.  By the 1940s, they sold off their stores in NYC to another firm and moved out to Long Island where in 1949, they opened the store you see above as their only store.  (A few years later they also opened a store in Centereach).

John A Schwarz furniture was a mainstay business in Hempstead for the next three decades.  Their building offered full frontage on Hempstead Turnpike/ Fulton Ave with large showcase windows to display their wares.  The building also offered plenty of floor space and lots of parking.

In the 1970s, John A Schwarz felt the squeeze from competing firms, coupled with a downturn in the economy, and on Sunday February 1, 1981, after 105 years in business, they closed their doors for good.

Shortly thereafter the site became home to the Nassau School for Medical and Dental Assistants.  For a while, the local offices of Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy was also located there.  Today, the building is called Nassau Plaza and houses medical offices, including an OB/GYN office affiliated with Winthrop University Hospital.  The presence of Winthrop is ironic, because it happens to be very near the original site of Nassau Hospital, forerunner to Winthrop.  Nassau Hospital opened on an estate at that location as western Long Island's first full service hospital in 1897 before moving to Mineola in 1900. I guess you can say they've come full circle.

Below is a "now" shot of the picture above.


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