The Cut Rate Store — and other Polish Hill signs

Recently, we were very happy to receive a donation of an old store sign for the PHCA archive.  The sign was found in the basement of 3037 Brereton Street.  We’re in the process of carefully cleaning it and will display it in the PHCA office.

A list of shops and businesses as of about 1942 doesn’t record a store at 3037, but it does mention one next door, at 3035. According to this list, the Housewares Merchandise Outlet was owned by two Polish Jews “that sold their merchandise from house to house in satchels”.  Could this be the same store — or is this sign from a much older business?  The sign is all wood, and the lettering is handpainted in an old style.  It could have been up from anytime from the early 1900’s up to the 30s or 40s.  If anyone has any recollections about this business, we’d love to hear them.

While we’re looking at old signs, here’s one for Lasky’s Beer Distributors that a resident on Bethoven Street found in his shed.  Lasky’s used to be at 1027 Herron Avenue, catty-corner from what is now the Rock Room.  The Lasky family ha other businesses around Polish Hill, including a dry cleaning shop, also on Herron, and a groceries and notions store on Bethoven Street.

And here’s a sign which looks old, but isn’t.  Although the sign, complete with Coca-Cola logos, looks quite authentic, there never was a business called Poldowski’s.  Still mounted on the former VFW post (later a garage, and now Tai+Lee Architects) at 3106 Brereton Street, the sign is actually set dressing created for the 1995 movie “Roommates“, scenes from which were filmed in Polish Hill.

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