Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Stapleton, Yet Again

I've put up lots of pictures of Stapleton, and particularly the Tappen Park area, so I figured I might as well put up some more. Down at the heels as it was when I was growing up, it was still a great shopping district with places to eat and even see a movie. Once, though, it was a true town with its own industrial employers, lots of working class housing and several theaters, not just the long-past-its-sell-by-date Paramount. So here we go, limited as usual by the good graces of the NYPL's Digital Collection to the first third of the last century.

The Palace Theater, sw corner of Wright and Canal Streets - March 23, 1930

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This building is new. When I was growing up the upstairs of the previous building held the notorious "Golden Cue" pool hall and later the relocated "Wright Toy Store". Later it held "Ross Cosmetics". The theater, though, was long gone even when I was little.

The Rex Theater, sw corner of Wright and Canal Streets - October 4, 1936

The Richmond Photoplay Theater - April 12, 1929

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I don't remember what existed on the lots before those cheap looking townhouses. Maybe there's an old photo kicking around my mother's stuff.

Rubsam and Horrmann Brewery - Broad Street between Wright and Cedar Streets - March, 1930

Even when I was little and it had been closed for several years, the great industrial pile dominated Stapleton's skyline. Just a few blocks away, Demyan's Hofbrau House was housed in another vast, defunct brewery.

When the decayed and rat/bum infested brewery came down, my mother and her cohorts pushed hard for a park to go with the houses built along the back of the property. All they got was a weed choked lot with some benches. Thank you Mayor Koch.

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Further up Broad Street were more stores. When I was little there was a model store, Gelgeisser's Hardware and Miller's Pharmacy (still there). In the photo's right you can see the buildings torn down to build the Stapleton Projects. My supervisor's family was kicked out of their apartment because of that undertaking.

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