Tuesday, July 11, 2017

West New Brighton - Henderson Avenue from Broadway to Alaska Street

I find these blocks of Henderson Avenue pretty interesting. Even though these buildings weren't demolished to make way for the West Brighton Projects, not a single one remains on the block  between Broadway and Chappell, except for the AME church. Presumably, they some were torn down for the construction of Cpl. Thompson Park in the mid-seventies.

On the second block, between Chappell and Alaska, all three buildings remain. The first, Lot 27, has even had a little building built alongside it.

The original A.M.E. Zion Church, now Shiloh A.M.E. Zion Church. It looks as if the present day building was added to and bricked over. Or maybe they just built the brick building on the original foundation.

This building confounds me. It was big, really big, and now it's completely gone. It's not on the 1917 map and now it's completely gone. Corporal Thompson Park was started in the mid-seventies, so how long was this building in existence? Forty, fifty years? It seems strange for such a big building to come and go so shortly. If you have any idea of what it was, please let me know.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Port Richmond Part 8: Richmond Avenue (west side), between Grove Avenue and Harrison Avenue

Moving south along Richmond Avenue's west side, starting at Grove Avenue, you hit a real wide variety of stores. By my childhood in the early seventies, some thirty odd years after these pictures, many of these stores were gone, replaced by new, often, cheaper ones.

The last two buildings are the most iconic commercial buildings on Richmond Avenue: Lobel's and Paul's Mens Shop. The former's tall sign and the latter's corner turret are still there, worn and faded reminders of the avenue's heyday.

The picture below, from the late eighties, shows Van Roon (a clothing store) was still in existence then. It's interesting that the present occupants have decided to maintain the same basic color scheme as thirty years ago.

1917 map - the SS Kresge building (hasn't been built yet)

Look to the left end of the line and you can see the Paul's Men's turret with its green shingling.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Port Richmond Project Part 7: West side of (Port) Richmond Avenue between the train overpass and Grove Avenue

It's been a long time since I put up any pictures of Port Richmond Avenue, so here's a batch. As most of the street is still today, it's mostly commercial with apartments on top. Most of the buildings in the photos from the thirties are still there today, but they've been marred with ugly facades, tattered signage, and a general grubbiness. The latter I attribute to a combination of municipal and community neglect. That it's such a bustling avenue, you'd think that would be enough to encourage both the city and property owners to do a better job of taking care of it. Right.

So, let's get started. Oh, by the way, I've updated the previous post from West New Brighton and included the maps.

This building, now gone, was still there in the late 1980s (see below)

So, funny thing. There's no photo of the Palace Theater among the regular batch. If I can find one later (lots of the pictures were damaged, retaken, then allocated to catchall files. Usually, finding them means lucky) I'll put it up.

I spent a lot of time with my mom in the Port Richmond Woolworth when I was little. I don't remember what she bought there, but I know I got several model planes from there. I was surprised to see how close to the Terrace the store was. My memory had it further south, closer to, or even past, Castleton Avenue.

1917 map - Several of the buildings didn't exist this far back in time. It looks like the building on the corner of Grove (#123) was a single family house back then.