Endangered NYC: Farewell, Academy Hardware
Academy Hardware in Morningside Heights was among the last of the old shops in the neighborhood that predated the area's gentrification. Having attended Columbia University between 1991 and 1995 -- and bought a nail or two at the shop -- I always glanced with dread toward Academy Hardware during my recent visits to the neighborhood. Would the store still be there? And until recently, there was always relief that the place had hung on.
The store's fate is explained in a touching note left in the window. Academy Hardware decided not to renew its lease -- but the story doesn't end there, as most of these do. Academy's owner purchased Schall's Paints and Hardware in Yonkers, near Riverdale, and most of the staff will make the move north. The window sign ends with a fond "thank you" to the neighborhood that supported it for 32 years.
No word on what will come next, but it will most certainly not be a hardware store and will most definitely cater to upscale tastes, perhaps housing a business of no local origin whatsoever. Perhaps what's next will surprise me, but Morningside Heights just got a little less interesting.
Our special correspondent Farnoosh Torabi visits the new Yonkers store location and gets more on the move in her weekly Small Business feature, complete with photos.
-- Rolando Pujol