January 2019 Photo Contest

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    • #817

        Can you name the location of the below photo (street and cross-street)?  If you are the first to correctly identify this location, you will win your choice of KHS t-shirt!

        Contest Rules:

        1) Your response must be posted on the forum here (you cannot email your response to us).

        2) Your response must name the street and cross-street depicted in the photo.

        3) Responses due by Friday, January 18th.

        4) You must be a member of the Kingsbridge Historical Society to participate.  Become a member here.

      • #822

          This photo is difficult to identify but here’s a hint:

          The building on the left had to be torn down soon after the photo was taken.  However, the building behind the man in the foreground still stands at this historic intersection.

        • #823
          Thomas Casey

            Fordham road trian station bookstore and Fordha u. behind man

          • #824

              I guess The Bronx had more bookstores back in the day.  Now it just has a few religious bookstores and small college bookstores.

              Unfortunately, your guess is not correct.  This place is further to the west.

            • #831

                Looks like we really stumped the membership with this one.  I wonder if zooming in on one part of the photo would help any.  I believe all of the buildings shown in this shot are still standing with the exception of the closest one on the left with the “Christmas Cards” sign attached to it.  That building was torn down for a Major construction project that left a big mark on the neighborhood.

              • #833

                Broadway and 230th?

              • #835

                  Well, now you are getting close.  This intersection is a short walk from 230th and Broadway.  I am extending the contest to the end of the month to get a few more guesses.  I’ll have another hint soon.

                • #836

                    Broadway and Ververleen. Could that be Robert’s Book Store?

                  • #837

                      You’re on the right track with that guess.  You are so close that it would be difficult to provide any more hints without giving it away.  For those not familiar with spabob’s guess, Verveelen Place is this short street that meets Broadway between W 230th and W 231st Streets (next to the shopping center and the Carter’s clothing store).

                      It is named after Johannes Verveleen.  Before the construction of the King’s Bridge in 1693, there were no bridges to Manhattan from The Bronx.  Johannes Verveleen operated a tavern and a ferry in this location to carry passengers across the Spuyten Duyvil Creek before the bridge was built.  His ferry and tavern were ordered by the provincial government of New York in 1669.  The orders dictated that Verveleen “provide a sufficient dwelling house with three or four bed for ye entertainment of travelers, and that he be furnished always with provisions for them, their horse, and Cattle and stabling and stalls accordingly.”  Also “That he have a sufficient boat for transportation of passengers, horses, and cattle.”

                      The governor set the rates for Verveleen’s tavern.  “That in case he lodges any person one night he is to have 6 pence per night in case they have a bed with sheets and without sheets two pence in Silver.”  Rates were set for the ferry as well: “For transportation of a man and horse 7 pence in silver.  For a single horse 6 pence . . . For Droves of Cattle to be driven over and opening ye Gates 2 pence apiece.”

                      Excuse the digression, but I always thought it was funny that this 17th century ferryman is honored today by the name of an obscure alley with no addresses.

                      But to get back to the point, the photo does not depict Broadway and Verveleen Place.  Very close though.


                    • #838

                      Is It Broadway and Kimberley

                    • #839

                        Another close guess–you are just a couple of blocks away.

                        Only two days left to make a guess so give it a try before time runs out.  An expanded view is below:

                        Just to recap the hints:

                        1) The building on the left had to be torn down soon after the photo was taken.  However, the building behind the man in the foreground still stands at this historic intersection.

                        2) The building was torn down for a Major construction project.

                        I’ll have one more hint tomorrow if nobody gets it by then.

                      • #852

                          This is your last day to get an answer in.  Here is the last hint.

                          The intersection behind the gentleman in the foreground is where two of America’s oldest roads met in colonial times.  John Adams passed through this intersection on August 19, 1774.

                        • #853

                            Adams must have been on his way to the Continental Congress. I don’t “see it” but have to say Kingsbridge (Kings Bridge) at West 230th st.

                          • #854

                              Another really close guess but it isn’t W. 230th Street.  And you’re correct–Adams was on his way to the Continental Congress.  Shortly after passing through the intersection in the photo, he spent that night in Kingsbridge at a tavern near W. 230th Street and Broadway.  In his diary he referred to Kingsbridge as “a pretty place.”

                            • #857

                                Hello, did I miss the answer?

                              • #858

                                  January is over so it is time to reveal the location of the photo.  Does this look familiar?

                                  It is the intersection of W. 231st Street and Albany Crescent, looking East toward Bailey Avenue.  If you have been in the neighborhood a while, you may know this corner as being across the street from the Piper’s Kilt, which is now the Bronx Public.  Now check out a photo from today side by side with the old photo:

                                  I think what made this one really tricky was that the building in the foreground is not longer standing.  It was demolished for a Major construction project–the Major Deegan Expressway.  Here is an earlier shot (looking west toward Broadway) of that building, which was home to Robert’s bookstore, Tynan’s hardware, and the Van Cortlandt Democratic Club:

                                  You really had to zoom in on details in the background to figure it out what you were looking at:

                                  All of the buildings in the background are still standing, including a house that you can barely make out in the distance on Bailey Avenue.  Here is that house today:

                                  That house has been there for a very long time.  You can see it on the right side of the below photo, which is looking east on 231st Street toward Bailey Ave.  “The Local” bar was then a soda fountain.

                                  You can even see that same house (upper right) in the below 1909 image of 231st Street during the construction of the sewer system.  Rather than digging out a trench for sewer pipes, the sewer was built well above street level.  The manhole covers are easily 15 feet above ground–sticking out like chimneys.  The street level was then raised, except for the viaduct for the railroad and Major Deegan Expressway.

                                  I had mentioned in a hint that the intersection in the photo (231st and Albany Crescent) was where two of America’s oldest roads met and that John Adams passed through it in 1774.  Albany Crescent is something of an unusual name and it has an unusual shape to it as well.  Sometimes when a street has an unusual name and an unusual shape, it is really old.  I have highlighted Albany Crescent in red below:

                                  The intersection of W. 231st Street and Albany Crescent is where the Boston Post Road met the Albany Post Road.  These were two of the oldest and most important roads in the colonial period.  Coaches from Boston or Albany would pass through this intersection and cross over the King’s Bridge to Manhattan at today’s W. 230th Street and Kingsbridge Avenue.  Here is a revolutionary era British intelligence map showing the same area:

                                  It is not exactly easy to make out Albany Crescent so here they are side by side with the roads highlighted:

                                  KHS member, Tom Casey, calculated here that Paul Revere travelled through that intersection and over the King’s Bridge 10 times.  How many people walk past those corners not realizing the streets are over 300 years old!

                                  Thank you for everyone that participated in the photo contest.  We will have another one soon.  I have uploaded more old photos of these streets to the “members area” of the website.  If you are a member you can view them by logging in to the site.  If you are a member but you do not have a password, or have forgotten it, please let me know and I will send one to you.

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