Michigan Furniture Company, Harlem, 1905

June 14, 2014

2174 3rd Avenue. Michigan Furniture Co.This is a great street view of a four story furniture store stone building of the Michigan Furniture Co at 2174 3rd Avenue (at 118th Street), East Harlem, New York, 1905.

The Michigan Furniture Co was one of the largest furniture stores with it’s massive windows with shades on each floor in Harlem. The Michigan Furniture was right next door to the Vaudeville Theater on the left of the store and the Taylor Real Estate building on the other side. The white vertical and horizontal bars is cropping tape from a production studio that was probably using the picture for print.

The Michigan Furniture Co has an interesting history as it is mentioned in the book Breaking the Wave: Women, Their Organizations, and Feminism, 1945-1985. In the book the Michigan Furniture Co had a history of “unscrupulous business practices” and “offering shoddy merchandise” to Harlem housewives. So, in August 1949 the furniture store was picketed by the Consumers Protective Committee (CPC) a movement created out of the women’s movement in NYC. The states that “After months protests and negotiations … (the company agreed to) … lowered service charges and hired an African American accountant, reported to the the first black white Harlem retailer.”

The building today has been replaced by a City College NY (CCNY) building (Source).

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