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Surma Book and Music Company

About this listing

A store selling all sorts of Ukrainian goods

Place Details

Borough : Manhattan
Neighborhood : East Village
Commercial, Shopping

Place Matters Profile

Surma opened in 1918 at its current location, and is a distinctive family-owned business that specializes in Ukrainian folk arts.

Ukrainians started immigrating to the United States in the 1870s but it wasn't until the first decade of the 20th century that they began to establish community institutions in earnest. St. George's Church was founded in 1905 on 20th St. and moved to East 7th St. in 1911, anchoring the formation of "Little Ukraine" on the Lower East Side. (Since the 1960s, this part of the Lower East Side has been known as the East Village.) Myron Surmach opened Surma as a general store for fellow Ukrainian immigrants. Its location across the street from St. George's helped it to prosper. (A store called Arka, still extant on E. 2nd St. and specializing in Ukrainian products, was another early community venture.) Myron Surmach began his business by selling practical necessities. His...

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[Interview with Markian Surmach by Elena Martinez for Place Matters, Feb. 2008.

[Posted, Apr. 2008]

On The Web

Surma Book and Music Company


Yuri Yanchyshyn

Surma has the authentic decor, countless books, articles, and memorabilia of the earliest Ukrainian immigrants to New York City: authentic Carpathian musical instruments, woodcarvings, books, embroidered shirts, Easter eggs, etc.

This store is very well documented, with numerous articles in the city papers over the past 90 years. It should be landmarked.

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