An iconic advertising billboard that stood atop a south Bronx waterfront building for over 15 years is now history.
The iconic ‘History Channel’ advertisement in Mott Haven was razed after the cable network’s parent company did not renew its advertising agreement, according to sources.
The giant gold colored ’H’ and ‘The History Channel’ in big red capital letters are now a memory.
It was almost impossible not to see the massive, 4,000-square foot History Channel advertisement and logo from parts of Harlem, especially while driving northbound from Manhattan across the Triboro/RFK or Willis Avenue bridges.
The life expectancy of the billboard had reached the end of the road.
The steel frame structure, atop 20 Bruckner Boulevard, was disassembled in early January after all of ‘The History Channel’ lettering and the electronic message board were removed.
In February, the symbolic ‘H’ was removed from the building’s roof, completing the removal process, eliminating all evidence of the advertisement that looked across the Harlem River.
“There is a long history of advertisements and signs being put up in prominent places – especially an area with heavy traffic flows,” said Lloyd Ultan from the Bronx Historical Society.
“This area, an area that is so close to Manhattan and has easy access to transportation is a prime spot for billboard advertising. I assume that this billboard will be replaced by something – I’d be surprised if another advertisement wasn’t put in its place.”
“As a historian, it was always a pleasure and always very welcoming to see the ‘History Channel’ advertisement upon entering the Bronx,” said Thomas Casey, president of the East Bronx History Forum. “However, that area of the Bronx (Mott Haven) is rapidly developing, and this is just another change in that area of the borough.
Casey added that he recently received a tip that the vacant advertising space may be substituted for a ‘Greetings From The Bronx’ sign, similar to a post card he designed many years ago.
It’s worth millions to an advertiser – there’s no better spot for a sign,” said Sid Miller, a real estate broker who previously had an office on 138th Street for 25 years. “Think about all of the cars that pass that spot on a daily basis – and what will it lead to? Money for the advertiser that puts a sign there.”
The building that sported the billboard was once the home of the Ruppert Ice House, an ice manufacturer that operated before the refrigeration era.
A&E Networks, who represents the History Channel, as well as Clear Channel Outdoor, the advertising billboard corporation who owns the rights, did not return a request for comment.