The photo of the week depicts the exterior of Katy’s Candy Store, a specialty candy shop located at 125 Tompkins Avenue in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn. The family-owned shop opened in 1969 and closed permanently in 2007. This photograph is part of an ongoing project by photographers James and Karla Murray to document storefronts in Brooklyn and New York City. A limited set of images from this project is part of the James and Karla Murray Counter Culture exhibition photographs collection at BHS, and was recently catalogued and published on our online image gallery here.
Katy’s Candy Store was the last remaining penny candy store in New York, and the sign and storefront were original to the 1969 store opening. Catherine Keyzer, the owner of Katy’s Candy Store, was born and raised in the neighborhood. She spoke about her experience closing the store in the Murray’s book Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New York: “I sell penny candy and I can’t afford to pay $2,350 a month plus electric and everything. The landlord wants to convert the whole building into luxury-type apartments and have something more upscale in the space.” Many of the stories in the book reflect a similar experience of being priced out due to gentrification. Mom-and-pop stores are part of the fabric and charm of Brooklyn, and this work speaks to how communities and businesses are affected by structural forces that push them out. To learn more, be sure to check out Murray’s book at the Othmer Library and their website that includes images throughout New York City.
Interested in seeing more photos from BHS’s collection? Visit our online image gallery, which includes a selection of our images. Interested in seeing even more historic Brooklyn images? Visit our Brooklyn Visual Heritage website here. To search BHS’s entire collection of images, archives, maps, and special collections visit BHS’s Othmer Library Wed-Sat, 1:00-5:00 p.m. email@example.com