Junior’s for sale: The disappearing face of classic NYC amid luxury glass and steel

Posted at 6:27 PM, Feb 20, 2014
and last updated 2014-02-20 18:29:32-05

NEW YORK (PIX11) – New York City may be the city that never sleeps but if you ask some, its lost plenty of its luster in recent years.

Locations that once defined what the Big Apple was all about are slowly vanishing. Junior’s in Brooklyn being the latest.

“New York is always changing and we’re not against new buildings,” Peg Breen, President of the New York Landmarks Conservancy told PIX11 News. “But I think people have a sense that it’s all happening without the community’s input.”

Breen points out that although its evolving, New York’s drastic change in architecture is leaning more toward the blandness of glass and steel.

“You don’t want to lose the sense of generations that have been here before you, and that sense of continuity and sense of place that New York really has so well now.”

One of the prominent iconic places that captured the spirit of New York that is no longer was Harlem’s legendary Lenox Lounge which closed after a lease dispute. Another, the beloved Katy’s Candy Store in Bedford Stuyvesant which was one of the last ‘penny candy’ shops in New York. It was closed following a rent increase.

You can’t talk about classic New York without mentioning the legendary CBGB’s club which once called 315 Bowery its home. In 2006, it was shut down and replaced by a not-so classic high-end retail shop.

Photographers James and Karla Murray known a thing or two about the disappearing face of New York, having photographed a series of vintage New York store fronts over the years. Shockingly, more than half of those stores have been forced to close their doors.

“All these places, they’re really community centers,” James Murray told PIX11 News in a telephone interview. “The humble candy store or the newspaper shop. I think what you’re losing is that sense of community and I think that’s a real big loss New York is experiencing.”