As this looks now from the street it's pure kitsch. The 'evidence' points to an owner who totally flouted both the law and regulatory instructions that were intended to keep things in line.
Given the current state of 8th Street, with random storefronts and signage all about, this one only stands out as another bit of disconnected stuff to catch your eye. Not saying that this stretch should be turned into a row of totally conformist faux historical storefronts, but some consistency of style & materials should be the aim. 8th Street could be an attractive strip of lively retail & eateries (as opposed to the downtrodden area it's turned into over the past 15 years as so many of the shoe & clothing stores have moved to bigger spaces to the east on Broadway and up Sixth Avenue). The trick is have the LPC regulate in a way that does not overburden owners so that good upgrades are less likely.