Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Jersey Street Projects Project: Part Four - north side of Richmond Terrace btw Westervelt and Jersey Street

   I don't do a lot of these post. I should - I've got loads of pictures copied and saved - but I don't. The primary reason is laziness. There, I've admitted it. It's true, I'm a lazy, lazy man. In my defense, however, putting these posts together is time consuming and tedious. The 18 old pictures below are composed of 69 separate images that I had to put together like puzzles. I love getting these posts together and I love the feedback they get and conversations they start, but man, it's annoying. That said, here you go, one of the most interesting streetside recreations to date: the waterside of Richmond Terrace opposite the Jersey Street Projects, between Westervelt and Jersey. Enjoy!

These particular buildings appear to have come down in 1959 or thereabouts, specifically to help widen the Terrace and extend the Promenade down to the foot of Westervelt. Considering it's an overgrown mess today, was an overgrown mess when I was a kid forty-five years ago, and was probably an overgrown mess within months of demolition, I think it's clear the City did its usual bang-up job of urban renewal.

I look at these buildings and I imagine the people who owned the businesses - Chen Hing's Hand Laundry, Burns Coal, the Pan-American Bar & Grill - raised families, sent their kids to school, buried their parents, and now all the memories that remain are these old photos and family memories. I know it's not really important, but for some reason, I feel like it is. I know, it's weird, but I can't help it. I feel driven to recreate these lost street vistas of places that were demolished half a decade or more before I was born.

NOTE: I think it's safe to assume Chen Hing was Chinese. From things I've red and seen, I know there were more Chinese laundries along Jersey Street. Does anyone know anything about the history of Chinese living on Staten Island before the sixties?