Thursday, July 08, 2010

Port Richmond Avenue

Port Richmond Avenue looking north toward the Bergen Ferry

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Same view today - The buildings are ramshackle, some abandoned or used for homeless housing.

I've put up pictures of this intersection before but the new one I just came across above drew me right back in. The photo displays a vibrant Port Richmond intersection with restaurants, a theater in the background (the old Farrell Lumber building, which used to be Leo's Empire), an SRO, numerous cars and a bank. There's some sort of "academy" advertised in a window at the pictures' left. It's streets that are alive and thriving.

I didn't recognize the Murad brand of cigarettes advertised on the building in the left foreground (apparently it was the world's best brand) so I googled it and found scads of beautiful advertising.

Today it's all gone. Some of the buildings remain by the life has drained out.
Instead of trolleys and shops the streets are near empty and the shops gone and the bank closed up. There's not even a Coca Cola ad in the present view.

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I know Main Streets suffered with the advent of shopping plazas and malls and I don't think there's any way their deaths could have been prevented. However, Port Richmond seems to have been more than just a shopping district. There's a real town with houses, apartments, schools and churches all around the storefronts. That it's only staggered on as the place where we allow our day laborers to live (and then don't bother to maintain it) makes me feel a little ashamed.

View looking north on (Port) Richmond Avenue. You can see the still standing Port Richmond Reformed Church in the distance on the left side of the avenue.


Anonymous said...

my old hometown. I lived
on Heberton Ave till 67.
I have many great memories
of the old neighborhood. Thanks
for the wonderful pictures.

Anonymous said...

I now own the buildings from 25-31 Port Richmond ave as seen in your (Richmond Ave, At Bergen Point Ferry, Port Richmond) picture, and we are in the process of a complete renovation. I think this area is on an upswing and will one day be remembered in the same positive light as it was in the early 1900's. Thank you for the wonderful pictures.

The Wasp said...

That's wonderful. Imagine how things will go if they can ever get the train restored.