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?

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Jersey Street Projects Project: Part Three - east side, running north from the corner of Cleveland Street

Sorry I've taken so long to get another post up. So here's a quick glimpse of the east side of Jersey Street starting at the corner of Cleveland Street and running north.

 The corner of Cleveland and Jersey Streets. With a name like White Eagle, I'd guess it was a Polish bar. To the left is a building I don't have a better picture of. It reappears in the next shot, but on the right.

   The same corner today.

 A house. One of the interesting things about Jersey Street is the large number of individual houses right in the middle of largely commercial blocks. That's not the case in Stapleton and West New Brighton.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Jersey Street Projects Project: Part Two - west side between Crescent and Carlyle

I've held off on the Jersey Street Project for so long (a year and a half), because, compared to Stapleton and West New Brighton, it's huge and unwieldy. It covers way more ground, making it more like Port Richmond than the other areas I've covered. So, without more jib jab, here's another round. Sadly, it's not connected directly to the last batch  - cause I still need to get more photos.

Saturday, September 02, 2017

Jersey Street: Part One Northwest side between Richmond Terrace and Pauw Street

When I was a kid, Jersey Street had a reputation as a dangerous place. Much of that was overblown and attributable to racism. It wasn't the safest place on the Island, though. Once it had been a heavily trafficked commercial and residential strip, but my childhood, the projects and changing demographics had dimmed Jersey Street considerably.

Once upon a time it was a street lined by shops with apartments over head and even a synagogue. Just off it were detached houses and a church. By the early eighties, a large stretch of the old buildings were demolished and replaced with attached townhouses. Today, Jersey Street is a little better than it was in the eighties and recently a few new businesses have opened. No matter what happens, Jersey Street will never be the mighty commercial strip it once was. As usual, the removal of mixed-use building and their replacement with purely residential housing projects utterly changed the fundamentals of the area. A ton more people were packed into the area, but a great number of stores were eliminated, limiting the choices residents would have.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

West New Brighton - Henderson Avenue from Broadway to Alaska Street

I find these blocks of Henderson Avenue pretty interesting. Even though these buildings weren't demolished to make way for the West Brighton Projects, not a single one remains on the block  between Broadway and Chappell, except for the AME church. Presumably, they some were torn down for the construction of Cpl. Thompson Park in the mid-seventies.

On the second block, between Chappell and Alaska, all three buildings remain. The first, Lot 27, has even had a little building built alongside it.

The original A.M.E. Zion Church, now Shiloh A.M.E. Zion Church. It looks as if the present day building was added to and bricked over. Or maybe they just built the brick building on the original foundation.

This building confounds me. It was big, really big, and now it's completely gone. It's not on the 1917 map and now it's completely gone. Corporal Thompson Park was started in the mid-seventies, so how long was this building in existence? Forty, fifty years? It seems strange for such a big building to come and go so shortly. If you have any idea of what it was, please let me know.