Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Lost Streets and Homes

The Bayonne Bridge is one of the beautiful municipal structures that remain from a lost golden age. It drive past it several times a week and I'm never not caught by the bold curve of it arch in the day and the patriotic lighting in the night.

But, like many elements of the City's infrastructure its creation came at the cost of homes and pieces of neighborhoods. Going to the maps I set out to see what had vanished in the wake of the bridge's construction in 1928. While no whole heart of a neighborhood was destroyed like with the housing projects in Stapleton, West Brighton and New Brighton, it did result in a giant structure rising like a wall between Elm Park and Port Richmond.

1917 Map - someone helpfully penciled in the bridge's location. Douglas Street is gone and Newark Street half deleted and John Street cut into parts.

Bridge Stanchions Crossing Richmond Terrace
- l. 1931 (Dean Linseed Oil Works in the background)
r. 2010

Below - demolition on the south side of Innis Street - 1928
Bottom - roughly same location - 2010

View Larger Map

There are times when real public needs require drastic changes in landscape. This would seem to safely be one of those times. It never hurts, though, to remember that bridges and highways come at costs more than dollars.

Above - West side of Newark Avenue south of Richmond Terrace - 1928 and 2010

SPECIAL BONUS SHOT - Dean Linseed Oil Works seen from Bayonne

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