Tuesday, February 20, 2018

West Brighton Projects Project Part 7: southwest corner of Market and Richmond

Quick addition to the ongoing recreation of the neighborhood demolished to clear way for the construction of the West Brighton Houses. I still need to get a few more house pictures to show the rest of the block, but I've got these, so why not just put them up?

Unlike some of the other blocks, this appears to be all residential. It's the usual Staten Island mix of wooden and stucco buildings, some 
single-family, others multi-. I still cannot believe that once upon a time there were urban planners who believed massive towers packed with people and devastated commercial centers was an improvement for the lives of the poor and working class.

1917 Map

1924 Aerial Map

2012 Aerial Map

Thursday, February 15, 2018

West Brighton Projects Project Part 6: West side of Broadway, between West Union and Henderson

I remembered that I hadn't finished recreating the neighborhood wiped out to build the West Brighton Houses. Some of it's because I've had a little trouble pulling all the pictures together. In others, like with today's post, it's because I've forgotten to do it. So, without further ado, Broadway between the no-longer-extant West Union Street and Henderson Avenue.

As usual, I'm somewhat fascinated by the closeness of significant commercial buildings to actual houses. Modern building doesn't seem to do this in any way. I guess the goal of suburban development is to keep the two at more of an arm's length, save for the deli or drycleaner you can walk to. It's also, obviously, a result of carcentric planning. Cars allow you to build the something like the old Penney's Plaza on Forest and Barrett and assume the people from West New Brighton will go there. They don't need a major shopping and dining area outside their door. I'm surprised no one seems to be suggesting this sort of old fashioned building as an antidote to heavy traffic. I would much rather walk to a store than have to take the bus or ride a bike any day of the week. Is this sort of pedestrian friendly development even allowed anymore? Seriously, does anyone know?

1917 Map

NYC 1924 Aerial Map

2012 Google Maps

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Jersey Street Projects Project: Part Six - east side of Henry Street

Recently, I've become interested in the infamous tenement collapse on New Street in the summer of 1937. This New Street wasn't the one in Port Richmond, instead it was a little dead end street off of Jersey Street roughly where the entrance to 81 Jersey Street is today. It was a horrible disaster, killing 19 people, and I'll write more about it in the future.

Right now, I'm putting together pictures of the buildings that were down in the valley between Jersey Street and Westervelt Avenue. New Street, Henry Street, and James Street, all no longer in existence, were situated below the level of Jersey Street. That was part of the reason the tenement collapsed, their basements having filled up with over ten feet of water during a torrential downpour.

Henry Street ran north from Cleveland Street to James Street, behind 131 and 151 Jersey Street. Between the maps and the photos are 23 years. In that time, several of these buildings were constructed and several more vanished - whether from demolition or fire, I have no way of telling. There's a little more of a ramshackle quality to a few of these buildings than the vanished streets of Stapleton and West New Brighton. As I've written before, I think it's due to the greater age of the neighborhood, but I'm only guessing.

this building is actually 51-61