Thursday, January 11, 2018

Jersey Street Projects Project: Part Five - north side of Richmond Terrace btw York Avenue and Jersey Street

The destruction carried out in the name of urban renewal in order to build the Richmond Terrace housing projects was significant. As you saw last time, not only was a long stretch of Jersey Street and some of the streets between Jersey and Westervelt cleared, but a two blocks of Richmond Terrace's north side were demolished as well.

The Star Theater was a place my grandmother would go regularly in order to get  a free piece of dishware. It was a thing theaters did back then to draw customers in.

If you can't make out the word on the marquee, have no fear, I was able to figure out what movies were playing. The top billed is The Light That Failed, an adaptation of a Kipling novel and starring Ronald Colman. Below it is Kid Nightingale, a musical boxing movie starring John Payne and Jane Wyman. The last picture listed is The Man Who Wouldn't Talk, a mystery starring Lloyd Nolan. The first two were released in late 1939 and the last in January, 1940.

I found an article from the July 30, 1926 Ocean Grove Times listing Mr. and Mrs. J.E. Semons of West New Brighton arriving in Ocean Grove.

In case you can't make it out, the building house a United Cigar store. Apparently, at one time, it was the largest cigar store chain in the country, with 3,000 stores before the Depression.

"Eat Home Cooking" proclaims the lunch room's sign. I'm going to make a guess that the owner's name was Antone Pappas.

The Liberty Grill, a name that came up in the comments on the Facebook posting of one of the Jersey Street Projects Project articles. They had wines, liquor, and beer.

A shack, probably part of the Gypsum Plant.

I was pointed to some interesting reading from the Staten Island Advance from 1959. Borough President Maniscalco discusses the demolition of the above buildings for the extension of the Richmond Terrace Promenade and its widening. It was supposed to have been the same length as the portion east of Westervelt and have a "central mall separating the traffic lanes." Whelp, like with so many projects on Staten Island it never really worked out the way its proponents claimed. That stretch of the Terrace in front of the Jersey Street Projects remains a bottle-neck almost 60 years later.

 Sixty years later and this is what Staten Island has to show for urban renewal.