Posted in music | venues on October 4, 2013

Bowery Ballroom
Bowery Ballroom

A recent post on Gothamist points out that although LES venue Bowery Ballroom, which has only been around since 1997 was built in 1928 using remnants of an old theater, and back in the '30s the place was home to Tree Mark Shoe Store, as recently surfaced pictures illustrate. Via Bowery Boys:

Tree-Mark Shoe Stores, a family-owned establishment since 1919, was an affordable shoe outlet with three locations in New York by the late 1950s -- the original Delancey Street location, one off Herald Square and another on Kingsbridge Road n the Bronx.

"Comfort, rather than high style, is the goal," the New York Times mentioned in a fashion write-up of the shoe franchise. "However, it is possible to get a good-looking pump with a stacked heel for as little as $13.95." In a later article about the popularity of boots, Tree-Mark is mentioned as "specializ[ing] in boots for women with larger than average calves."

That's a shot of the building when it was a shoe store above, and you can check out another of the interior below...

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Bowery Ballroom

Upcoming shows at Bowery Ballroom include Burgerama (sold out), Earl Sweatshirt (sold out), Hanni El Khatib (tix), Sondre Lerche (tix) and more.

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Comments (27)

Pretty cool!
Hard to believe that it was originally built as a show store.

Posted by spikenyc | October 4, 2013 10:34 AM

Astonishingly, the place didn't lose any "sole" in the transition. Ba dum tsh!

Posted by J. | October 4, 2013 10:38 AM

Love it.

Posted by Anonymous | October 4, 2013 10:40 AM

wow. something in new york used to be something else.

Posted by Anonymous | October 4, 2013 10:55 AM

fitting because sometimes they pack it in there so much I need a shoe horn...

Posted by Anonymous | October 4, 2013 10:56 AM

How long until it becomes a Starbucks?

Posted by Anonymous | October 4, 2013 11:11 AM

mercury lounge was a coffin store

Posted by g | October 4, 2013 11:21 AM

That's just linsane.

Posted by Anonymous | October 4, 2013 11:23 AM

Mercury Lounge was not a coffin store, it was store for headstones/tombstones.

Posted by Anonymous | October 4, 2013 11:29 AM

Never mind the shoe store, what was the theater that it was built out of the remnants of? The exterior has always looked ore like an old theater than a shoe store anyway, so I'm more interested to find out what the theater was.....

Posted by Anonymous | October 4, 2013 11:51 AM

Al Bundy was cool before the Bowery Ballroom was

Posted by Anonymous | October 4, 2013 11:52 AM

If the Bowery Ballroom moved in in 1997, was this shoe store there up until 1996?

Posted by Anonymous | October 4, 2013 11:52 AM

Oh, wow, thanks for sharing this photo. Appreciating the historical richness more.

Posted by restlessinnyc | October 4, 2013 12:26 PM

It was not a shoe store in the 90s I don't believe
I lived in that area then but I don't remember what it was but my guess is that it was either empty or another restaurant supply place...which dominate that area... to a lesser degree these days though

Posted by Anonymous | October 4, 2013 12:33 PM

1980 Tax Photo - it was a lighting store called Palace Lighting. Facade was covered with ridiculous awnings.

Posted by Anonymous | October 4, 2013 12:48 PM

Who's the genius commenter that thinks writing 'Love it" adds anything meaningful to any discussion ever?

Posted by Anonymous | October 4, 2013 12:50 PM

13.95 would have probably been a shit-ton for a pair of anything in the 1930s...

Posted by Anonymous | October 4, 2013 12:51 PM

1251

Everything except housing was expensive back in the day. Now with all the shit that's made in China it's just the opposite.

Posted by Anonymous | October 4, 2013 1:07 PM

i wonder if they had asshole security guards, too.

Posted by Anonymous | October 4, 2013 2:04 PM

1:07, very true. However you'd still probably have to work your bag off for fifteen bucks in the '30s when milk was probably 3 cents a gallon or whatever.

Economics, you so kaRAYzay!

Posted by Anonymous | October 4, 2013 2:36 PM

2:04 odd thing to say since I've been going there for at least ten years and have never had a problem with security. The bouncer who checks ID's (been the same guy forever) is super nice.

Posted by Anonymous | October 4, 2013 2:52 PM

u guys will never guess what the knitting factory on houston was

Posted by Anonymous | October 4, 2013 3:39 PM

2:52 is right - that guy (Dante? Or whatever his name is) - he cool

Posted by Anonymous | October 4, 2013 4:03 PM

I bet the shoe-heads were so pissed when they found out their baby was being turned into some music venue.

Posted by Anonymous | October 4, 2013 4:12 PM

Very cool to see how the owners transformed the space while preserving it as well, especially that beautiful mezzanine. Kudos!

Posted by Anonymoose | October 4, 2013 4:54 PM

Terminal 5 used to be a hummus supply house

Posted by Anonymous | October 5, 2013 7:44 PM

Before that T5 was a factory for designer douchebags.

Posted by Anonymous | October 5, 2013 10:13 PM

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