Memory Lane: Pharmacies of Boro Park - A “Then and Now” Journey in Time

Memory Lane: Pharmacies of Boro Park - A “Then and Now” Journey in Time

by Yehuda Alter

Pharmacies in Boro Park of yesteryear are a relic of times gone by—when the scent of remedies wafted through the old apothecaries, and advertisements for vintage laxatives were posted in the window. Here we compile eight such establishments from 1940, juxtaposed with the very same location in the present day. Most of the structures endure, and the architectural features clearly remain to this day. Give a close look, and you will see that in the ensuring 80 years, so much has changed… while so much has remained the same. 

1) The corner of 16th Avenue and 45th Street was once Ginni’s Pharmacy and Prescriptions. While the structure is quite obviously the very same, it has served as a grocery and now a Pizza Shop.  

2) Schick’s Manor has been a Boro Park landmark for many years now. But in 1940, the corner of 12th Avenue and 49th Street was a pharmacy, and was next door to the legendary Park Surgical Co., as we can see here. Here too, the signs of the original façade are clear to see. 

3) The beautiful Beaux Arts edifice on New Utrecht Avenue was a Drug Store in the year 1940. Today… it quite obviously continues to serve as such! Again, very little has changed here. 

4) 43rd Street and 13th Avenue is an accessories store today. Back in 1940, it hosted M. Snow Pharmacy, and seems to have shared storefronts with Orloff Opticians.   

5) “Crystal White” Pharmacy was located on 13th Avenue between 46th and 47th street. Today, it serves as—what else—a bank, right alongside Avenue Plaza, which was a bank in 1940. But don’t worry, the ground level is bank today as well. 

6) Much effort and creativity must have been put into erecting this structure at 46th Street and New Utrecht Avenue. While it seems to have been neglected today, the remnants of its old grandeur are still clear to see. 

7) The small, one-level, shop at New Utrecht & 55th Street has not shot up in the ensuing years. Today it serves as a bakery. 

8) Silver Rod Stores was a chain of pharmacies in days gone by. The name was a composite of the two owners’ last names; Rodnon and Silver. The old house on 46th & 13th Avenue has since been replaced by TD Bank. 

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