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Dirty Mary Pickford


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Scouting New York is a fascinating blog in which a long-time New York motion picture location

scout chronicles the amazing buildings he comes across.


The above picture of "Dirty Mary" is a detail of a building in the heart of Times Square which,

back in the 1920s, was a showroom for I. Miller shoes, famous for supplying footwear to those

in show biz.


Along the top of the building, their slogan still remains: “The Show Folks Shoe Shop Dedicated

to Beauty in Footwear.”




When the building was under construction, Miller held a contest to see who the public thought

should be the actresses depicted as statues in the four gold-mosaicked niches on the front of the

building which Miller christened "The Four Niches of Fame" -- one each for Cinema, Musical

Comedy, Drama and Opera.




In the early 20s, Mary Pickford WAS cinema so she was, naturally, chosen for that niche

(depicted in her costume from Little Lord Fauntleroy). She was joined by Marilyn Miller for

Musical Comedy, Ethel Barrymore for Drama and Rosa Ponselle for Opera.


In addition to documenting interesting historical sites, Scout also works for their preservation

and care. The pictures shown here accompany his open letter to the building's newest tenants,

encouraging them to help bring back some of Times Square's luster by removing the years of

soot and grime from this wonderful building's facade, in part because MARY NEEDS A BATH !


huge h/t to scoutingny.com ( http://tinyurl.com/8dg5onx )

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