Long after it stopped advertising a buyable product, the massive Eagle Clothes sign at Third Avenue and Sixth Street in Brooklyn will be torn down, DNA Info reports. The vintage signage, a fixture in the skyline viewable from the F train and Gowanus Expressway, is being removed by U-Haul, which owns the building and would like to add two floors. But rest assured, “U-Haul will keep the sign’s pieces and incorporate some of them into the expanded building as a nod to the neighborhood’s bygone days.”
In 2001, New York’s own Mark Jacobson lamented the rise of a new era in “corporate graffiti,” lacking the elegant permanence of the old “semiological fossils.” Eagle Clothes opened its factory there in 1951, but filed for bankruptcy in 1989.
In Jacobson’s words, “Giant faded letters set with industrial elegance upon a 50-foot-square metal frame, topped by a longitude-demarcated globe befitting a ‘world headquarters,’ the Eagle sign speaks of a more primal, less fleeting era of capital. A time when sewing-machine manufacturers and coffin coopers, so many of them immigrant machers on the make, felt the need to announce themselves and the claim-staking entities they created, to carve their names upon the skyline like fixed stars.”
U-Haul, meanwhile, insists, “We’re doing our job if we can maintain history.”