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Issue Date: March 2014 Issue


Erick Trickey

A coal stove burned in Sol Bergman's jewelry store at the foot of East Fourth Street, just a block south of the Euclid Avenue Opera House. Bergman opened for business in 1893, when East Fourth Street was still Sheriff Street. Watches and jewelry filled his window displays and his stock included pawned items the hard-up owners never reclaimed. "500 unredeemed Ladies' and Gents' Watches — 20 and 25-year 14-kt. gold filled cases," he offered in a 1906 newspaper ad at $8.80 each.

By 1912, Bergman's neighbors included a hattery, a penny photo studio, two liquor stores and the Stern House, where rooms went for 50 cents to $1 a day. A mock camera, with its accordion bellows, hung above the Weidenthal Photo Supply Co., while a giant key next door appears to have advertised a locksmith.

Months after this photo was taken, Bergman's building was demolished. He offered all his store's fixtures for sale, from the safe to two 16-foot wall cases. Later, Bergman Jewelry Co. reopened in the new office building on the same corner. After 88 years at 401 Prospect Ave., where chef Zack Bruell's restaurant Chinato is today, the store finally closed in 1981. 

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