Years ago, when I saw this post card image for the first time, I was thrilled to realize that I was looking at the lost block of Warren Street--the south side of the block between Front and First streets. With the exception of the building at the corner of Warren and Front, this entire block was demolished in the early 1970s to make way for a "shopping mall" that proved the fallacy of the assumption, "If you build it, they will come." To my knowledge, there never were stores in the building that's there now, which is now used by COARC.
I recall hearing that the buildings on this block were in such terrible condition that they were beyond repair. Just today, in the History Room of the library, I discovered this picture of the block, which appeared in the Register-Star on July 31, 1973, shortly before the buildings were razed. Looking at the buildings, I was reminded of Roberta Gratz's assertion in her latest book, The Battle for Gotham, that the blighted condition of buildings and neighborhoods to be cleared for Urban Renewal projects was usually exaggerated.
The section of the block shown in the two pictures is a little different. The first building on the right in the 19th-century picture appears in the center of the 1973 picture.