Borrowed from http://vanishingnewyork.blogspot.com

Since Google and LIFE teamed up, offering a search engine within an engine to browse their vast visual history its ensured an easy way out for lazy bloggers like me looking for great shots to pass on to you, the reader, in an attempt to look learned. Given the quality and scope of their pictoral work, pretty much everything archived carries a certain class and resonance.

This week it afforded an extra depth to a history posted on the excellent Vanishing New York blog late last year by Jeremiah Moss surrounding the closure of the Gowanus, Brooklyn-based Eagle Clothes factory in the 1989. In the current climate, ‘to let’ signs on stores and buildings are depressingly commonplace, but few have the bombastic beauty of the huge ‘Home Of Eagle Clothes’ neon and metal behemouth that sits atop the vast dormant space. With the site set for redevelopment, the sign may have been saved by delays due to the economic slump. It’s actually a two-tiered tale of financial woe.

Opened in 1951, representing a big step for the then-established makers of men’s formal wear, once championed by man’s man Rock Hudson, Eagle apparently took the dress-down knocks of the ensuing decades until extinction beckoned. With a burgeoning preoccupation with craftsmanship and quality when it comes to clothes, I’m anticipating a reverse version of this sad situation for anyone that’s put all their gaudily painted eggs in an all-over print basket.

“Eagle Clothes Loses $4M In 4th Period, $5M for Year NEW YORK (FNS) — Eagle Clothes, Inc., recently restructured through the acquisition of Bonds stores, reported a loss of $4,146,000 in the fourth fiscal quarter and a loss of $5,585,000 for the year ended July 31.” Daily News Record November 16, 1988.

These LIFE shots capture busier times…