The interior of the shoe store, 1930 (Pic courtesy MCNY)
This building has had a rocky history, according to historian Matthew Postal. Using remnants of an old theater at this spot, the current building was constructed in 1928 as a retail store, but the stock market crash the following year ensured tenants never stayed for long. Tree-Mark was home here the longest, almost thirty years.
Tree-Mark Shoe Stores, a family-owned establishment since 1919, was an affordable shoe outlet with three locations in New York by the late 1950s — the original Delancey Street location, one off Herald Square and another on Kingsbridge Road n the Bronx.
“Comfort, rather than high style, is the goal,” the New York Times mentioned in a fashion write-up of the shoe franchise. “However, it is possible to get a good-looking pump with a stacked heel for as little as $13.95.” In a later article about the popularity of boots, Tree-Mark is mentioned as “specializ[ing] in boots for women with larger than average calves.”
The advertisement, at right, is from a 1934 issue of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. “8,000 customers cordially recommend them.”
On an unrelated note, in 1971, employees at the Herald Square location all chipped in to buy a lottery ticket and won $100,000.
Here’s a couple bonus photos of life along Delancey Street in the 1930s. The first captures the southwest corner of Delancey and Ludlow. Judging from this 1929 picture of the same corner, that building being torn down is a public school. Today that is the location of the swanky lounge The DL.