It's easy to underestimate just how crucial an intersection Fifth Avenue and Ninth Street used to be. Not only was it where the Fifth Avenue elevated tracks met the Ninth Street trolley, it was one of Brooklyn's central hubs for shopping and entertainment. Over the next few weeks our Thursdays will be spent exploring what made this intersection so special back in the day.
We've already discussed the intersection's two main theaters, the grand RKO Prospect (where the Marx Brothers became famous, now a supermarket), as well as the smaller Avon located across Fifth, but today it's all about the gorgeous Michaels Brothers Department Store, located on the northwest corner of the intersection. Here's a closeup, note the great vertical sign:
Constructed in the 1920s, the store specialized in furniture, and was simply massive. At four stories it looked much larger than that due to its high ceilings and large, arched windows. Unfortunately there simply isn't that much more information about it online, and this is the only photo of it I could find. One fact that can't be denied, though: its demolition in 1967 was a major mistake, especially when you realize what kind of junk replaced it: