Tuesday, July 15, 2014

P.S. 17 Hamilton Park - Burned and Gone

PS 17, a fairly standard looking school once stood on the heights overlooking York and Jersey Streets. The bit of woods visible in the right of the picture, behind the school, represent the edge of The Cedars, businessman Shipley Jones' estate.

The school burned down in 1977 and Parks began the process of acquiring the land from the Board of Education in order to build what's now called Skyline Park. It's a great place and every time our nephews visit we try to get there at least once.

1874 Map - a school existed on the site but it's footprint differs from the photo/post card, implying it was a different, older facility.

1917 Map - That's the building in the pictures. The entrance faced Fairview Avenue (now Harvard). I wish there was a photo from a further away location so there'd be a sense of how the school sat on the land.

The streets today - Here's a shot up the little piece of Arnold off York. The school was on the rise to the right.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Bay Street - Looking west toward Hylan Boulevard

To look at the buildings on Bay Street in the past and then today, it's as if they've melted. The intricate details that were just bits and pieces of the original construction but gave the buildings character have been stuccoed or covered with sidings. Attractive canvas awnings have given way to vinyl or plastic ones. I appreciate these are old buildings that need alterations if they're to survive as actual working buildings but it's a little sad.

But then, hey, it's why when a building gets landmarked it can bankrupt the owner. Too keep a building even looking like it used to, forget about using "period" repair items, tends to drive out owners without lots of extra cash on hand. Too many folks don't really care much about what happens to the owners of such properties, just that their perfectly imagined bits of history are preserved in amber.

Here's a great little detail for the transportationally minded: horse, cars, and trolleys, all living together.