Friday, September 30, 2011

☞ REMEMBER: 129th and Madison circa 1932

A photo taken in 1932 shows the northeast corner of Madison and 129th Street which has a very noticeable local landmark holding court.  The All Saints Roman Catholic Church at 47 East 129th Street is an unexpected grand Venetian Gothic structure found nestled in a relatively low level section of East Harlem.  This Catholic church was founded originally by Irish immigrants back in 1893 and is today called the "St. Patrick's of Harlem."  Comparing the two photos, one can see that the ornaments on the towers have been dismantled at one point in time. More details and interior photos an be found on this site: LINK. Top photo courtesy NYPL

☞ DWELL: 529 West 142nd Street Townhouse

OPEN HOUSE: Sunday, October 2nd, 12:00 PM-2:00 PM. Number 529 West 142nd Street (far left of the above photo) just arrived on the market for the initial asking price of $999K and looks like a fixer upper.  The 20 foot wide, 4,399 square foot wide townhouse located between Broadway and Amsterdam has generous proportions but the interior condition appears to be in pretty rough shape.  Photos after the jump.

☞ EAT: New Island Salad Open for Business

The shuttered Perle Noire Cafe on Lenox Avenue closed this past spring and the new business at the corner of 131st Street has now finally arrived.  Tips came in that a second branch of Harlem's own Island Salad would arrived and the awnings out front had been set up for most of the summer.

A reader mentioned that the new business is now open and the above current photo shows that the healthy eatery is definitely up and running.  Island Salad made the news a couple of years back when it debuted at 22 East 125th Street as better option to most of the fast food establishments found in the area.  It seems that they are now doing well and there was a busy dinner crowd at the second location when we walked  by in the early evening. The planters out front are also a nice touch. Check out our past review on the original Island Salad: LINK

☞ REVIVE: What's Up With 2171 FDB?

That open lot at 2171 FDB received a new gate this year and the corner of 117th Street apparently saw a little more activity this week.  A crew had been seen back in June cleaning up the lot and the new fence was installed but nothing much else happened.  As of this past week, some netting and caution tape sectioned off the sidewalk out front.  At the lower photo, one can see a pair of pipes on site which appear to be new on site.  As far as permits are concerned, nothing has been filed at this point so the fate of this parcel of land is still a mystery.  Any tips out there?

☞ READ: New Teen Center at Public Library

A Wall Street Journal article reports that a teen center will arrive at the Hamilton Grange Library on 145th Street thanks in part  to a substantial private donation.  Arnold and Arlene Goldstein's gift of $600,000 will now help transform a third-floor space into a media room that will have college prep materials on hand along with updated resources such as computers, laptops and iPads. The primary funding for the 4,400 square foot center at 503 West 145th came from the Starr foundation and the center will open up sometimes next month.  More in the Wall Street Journal: LINK

☞ SEE: Around Harlem this Weekend

Saturday, October 1st, 11:00 AM-7:00 PM, The African Experience Food Festival, Fifth Avenue and 110th Street. The Museum for African Art presents a FREE festival this weekend which features live Music, cooking demonstrations, and children's activities. Food from various regions of Africa will be featured and $5.00 food tickets will be on sale those who want to try out the cuisine at hand.

Saturday, October 1st, 8:00 AM-4:00 PM, Mount Morris Park Historic District Farmers Market is open for the season at 124th Street and Fifth Avenue.  The Peach Guy is back so check it out: LINK

Saturday,  October 1st, 9:00 AM-5:00 PM, Morningside Park Farmers Market, corner of 110th Street and Manhattan Avenue. Check out the new seasonal and locally grown and produced goods while enjoying Morningside Park: LINK

Saturday, October 1st, 4:00 PM-5:00 PM, Free Yoga in the Park, Morningside Park at 110th and Manhattan Avenue.  Land Yoga continues its free yoga sessions this fall at Morningside Park with weather permitting.  Bring your own yoga mats: LINK

Sunday, October 2nd, 11:00 AM Service, 1:00 PM Afternoon Fair, Feast of St. Francis Blessing of the Animals at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, 1047 Amsterdam Avenue and 112th Street.  St. Francis of Assisi's love of all animals is reflected in the annual October ceremony that blesses all creatures big and small at St. John the Divine.  Get more details on the Cathedrals site: LINK

Sunday, October 2nd, 1:00 PM, as it is, as it could be Gallery Tour at the Studio Museum in Harlem, 144 West 125th Street between ACP and Lenox.  Target free Sundays provides this free gallery tour of the current exhibit at the Studio Museum: LINK

Thursday, September 29, 2011

☞ REMEMBER: West 129th and FDB circa 1940

An Archival photo from 1940 shows the elevated train that used to dominate 8th Avenue but also some of the old tenements that no longer exist today at this intersection above 125th Street. This particular block in Central Harlem now has public housing buildings on either side so the commercial corridor seen in the above photo is a missing element along with the noise that the trains would have added to the neighborhood. Photo via NYPL

☞ DWELL: Closings Begin at 88 Morningside

Even though this weeks press release on 88 Morningside touts that 60% of the units are sold or are in contract,  the actual closings on a few of units just started this past month: LINK.  There appears to be 3 closings that happened in past few weeks, 36 contracts currently out and 17 units still available.  The 12-story residential building that features views of adjacent Morningside Park includes a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom homes.  Remaining units include one-bedroom, one baths and one-bedroom, two-baths from approximately 625 – 945 square feet and in price from $375K – $615K range. More details on this new construction at:

☞ REVIVE: New Windows at 505 West 144th

One of the lower priced SRO buildings that sold last year in Hamilton Heights appears to be coming along with its renovations.  Number 505 West 144th Street  is located just west of Amsterdam Avenue and now has new windows in place as can be seen in the lower photo.  So what is going on with this townhouse?  Based on DOB permits filed, the building used to be a 10-unit SRO but the new owners are now converting the home into a 4-family residence. This appears to have been an estate sale and the new owners are based in New Jersey so this might eventually be a flip or rental property.

☞ READ: The Arts Flourish at PS90

The New York Times caught up with a new resident over at the adaptive reuse schoolhouse called PS90 at 220 West 148th Street and it appears that those in the arts are finding a home at this new condo. Michael L.  Breaux, a bassoonist, and his partner Reggie Grayson moved into a one-bedroom at the Central Harlem building last October and the other new residents of the building include other musicians, artists and photographers.  Then there is the National Dance Institute which will soon open its national headquarters within the building. Only 9 units out of 74 are available now so the efforts in the restoration of the building seems to be making an impact with buyers.  More details in the New York Times: LINK.

 Lower photo by Angel Franco for the New York Times

☞ MEET: Friends of Morningside Park Fundraiser

Tuesday, October 11th, 6:30 PM-8:30 PM, Friends of Morningside Park Fundraiser at Cathedral House, 1047 Amsterdam Avenue and 112th Street.  Friends of Morninside Park have been around for 30 years now and will have fundraiser next Tuesday which will help contribute to the continual  revitalization of the Harlem green space.  Tickets are $75 and may be purchased at the organization site: LINK

☞ SEE: Viva Riva! at Nectar Wine Bar

Tuesday, October 4th 7:00 PM, Viva Riva! screening at Nectar Wine Bar, 2235 FDB/8th Avenue and 121st Street.  The Big.Shade.Tree Film Salon will Screen Viva Riva! as part of its film series at Nectar Wine Bar.  Riva is a small time operator who has just returned to his hometown of Kinsha, Congo after a decade away with a major score: a fortune in hijacked gasoline. For more details, check out the organizer  Facebook site: LINK

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

☞ REMEMBER: A Street Scene in Harlem c. 1943

An archival photo taken in 1943 is filed only under the title "A Street Scene in Harlem" but those familiar with uptown's main commercial strip can easily identify the location.  With the Blumstein department store sign on the far left and the double vertical theater signs at center, one can identify that the location is on 125th Street looking west from 7th Avenue.  Those signs in the distance would have been the original ones at the Apollo and the Victoria theaters which both still stand today but are in contrasting conditions.  The one major landmark missing from the lower current photo would be the Harlem Opera House which met its demise sometimes in the 1960s to be replaced by the current modern structure years later. Top photo via the Library of Congress

☞ DWELL: 458 West 145th Street Status

The townhouse at 458 West 145th Street which is located between Amsterdam and Convent has been on the market since January 2010 and recently had a price increase.   An initial asking price set at $1.1 million did not work out and the house went into contract finally after price reductions lowered the Hamilton Heights home to $800K. Now it appears that the property is back on the market for $850K (even though the contract is apparently still out) since July which even makes things more convoluted than the building's current setup.  Photos of the interior after the jump.

☞ INTRODUCING: Noodle Bar in Manhattanville

There has been a lot of activity at 3185 Broadway between Tiemann and 125th Street and now it appears that a noodle shop will be arriving sometimes soon to this section of Manhattanville.  Construction workers have been on site since the summer and occasional glimpses of the interior reveal wall-to-wall narrow horizontal wood paneling in gradient thicknesses.  This is a contemporary finishing that a lot of modern Thai restaurants have in common so we were guessing that something with an Asian offering would be coming along.  Looking up the DOB permits, it appears that a business called Jin Noodle Bar will be arriving sometimes in the near future at this fringe section located right before the new Manhattanville campus construction site.

☞ ARCHITECTURE: A Contextual Townhouse

The townhouse at 117 West 131st Street is probably one of the better examples of what a modern contextual building might look like for a brownstone neighborhood. This 2-family house located between Lenox and ACP/7th Avenue is definitely contemporary in nature but the generous proportions of the windows and the presence of a stoop gives it a classic nuance that helps the building fit in with the immediate block.

Everything appears to even visually line up horizontally with the other brownstones on the block but for some reason the building was not built taller which is what most current developers tend to aim for. Another plus is that those facade piercing Fedder air conditioners are not present. Short of a total revival of the original building, this is probably one of the better examples of mixing a modern structure into a block with a lot of history.

☞ SEE: Visible at the Gatehouse Theater

Wednesday-Saturday, October 14th-15th, 7:30 PM, Visible premier at the Gatehouse, 150 Convent Avenue at 135th Street.  Harlem Stage in Hamilton Heights sets up the new season of dance uptown with a show produced by Urban Bush Women.

Visible is a performance work that explores epic journeys, myths, dreams and memories of the known world and an imagined future in an unknown land. Nora Chipaumire and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar are conceiving a landscape that unlocks the personal narratives of those who leave their homelands, by choice or not in search of “warmth of other suns” (Richard Wright). The vision of the work is reflected in the male and female cast who range from early twenties to mid sixties and who come from many places around the world. More details and $35 tickets purchase available at the Harlem Stage site: LINK

☞ EAT: The African Experience Food Festival

Saturday, October 1st, 11:00 AM-7:00 PM,  The African Experience Food Festival, Fifth Avenue and 110th Street. The Museum for African Art presents a FREE festival this weekend which features live Music, cooking demonstrations, and children's activities.  Food from various regions of Africa will be featured and $5.00 food tickets will be on sale those who want to try out the cuisine at hand.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

☞ REMEMBER: Strivers Row circa 1970

An archival photo taken after the Depression years shows Strivers Row at West 138th Street with mid century vehicles on the street but the buildings on the block itself are all still unchanged.  The neighborhood located between ACP/7th Avenue and FDB/8th Avenue has always been recognized for its architectural significance and each house is now designated a New York City Landmark. The lower photo shows the block today and how many modern homeowners have since decorated the townhouses built back in the early 1890s.

North side of unidentified block of Strivers Row, ca 1970 via the digital collection at the Museum of the City of New York

☞ DWELL: 240 West 123rd Street

One of the mystery townhouse lots in South Harlem is up for sale at 240 West 123rd Street.  The adjacent townhouses on this block located just east of the lower FDB corridor are around 13.8 foot wide so the 100 foot deep plot is on the narrow side.  An initial asking price is set at $425K and apparently the parcel is zoned for up to 5,584 square foot of livable floor space.  Check out our past post on one homeowner who also decided to buy an empty lot and build his own modern vision of a townhouse just a block east of this location: LINK.  Get more details for this land sale at the broker site: LINK

☞ REVIVE: Progress at 2066 Fifth Avenue

The last time we checked on 2066 Fifth Avenue, a reader mentioned that the entire facade had been removed of every brick and we still were hoping that maybe parts of the old building would somehow make it back on the construction site.  Walking by this section of Fifth Avenue and West 127th Street this past weekend, we noticed that the new brick underneath the scaffolding appears to have been mostly in place.  At the lower photo, one can see that the building now consist of wide balconies on the right side with just one window on the left. Number 2066 would have been an interesting adaptive reuse project but this  particularly picturesque block is not in a landmark district so developers can do as they will.

☞ SHOP: Coffee Shop Arriving at 245 Lenox?

The newly renovated brownstone at 245 Lenox Avenue and 122nd Street has rented out its residential portion but the ground floor commercial space has been vacant for the past year.  A tip sent to our inbox mentioned that a coffee shop or cafe was being planned for the lower level of the landmark building and thus would include the garden space out back.  Checking on DOB permits for the Mount Morris Historic District townhouse, we found that a renovation permit was applied in July for renovation of the existing store which would include installing a new kitchen and cooking equipment.  Looking a little bit closer at the paperwork, the permit was then disapproved last month so it might be some time for this one to happen.

☞ READ: The Faison Firehouse in the News

The New York Daily News has a feature on Broadway choreographer George Faison who is making strides to get his Firehouse Theater at 6 Hancock Place a destination for those interested in Harlem history. Mr. Faison purchased the vacant firehouse back in 1999 and converted it into a 350-seat theater located around the corner from Manhattan Avenue.  There is also rehearsal space and a cafe inside but now the Tony Award winner is having a 5-minute film produced on the neighborhood's history so that visitors will make the theater a required stop on any uptown venture.  The Faison Firehouse also has the end goal of engaging the younger generation in Harlem and raise awareness on all the possibility that working in the theater has to offer. Read more in the Daily News: LINK

☞ SEE: Blessing of the Animals at St. John

Sunday, October 2nd, 11:00 AM Service, 1:00 PM Afternoon Fair, Feast of St. Francis Blessing of the Animals at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, 1047 Amsterdam Avenue and 112th Street.  St. Francis of Assisi's love of all animals is reflected in the annual October ceremony that blesses all creatures big and small at St. John the Divine. Worshipers arrive with their pets but a menagerie of animals as large as elephants have shown up in the past since the cathedral is the largest one of its kind in the world.  Service usually ends by 1:00 PM and the parade of mammals, reptiles and fowl can be seen going down the steps for public viewing. A public fair in the courtyard afterwards also provides an opportunity for pets to be blessed. Get more details on the Cathedrals site: LINK

Monday, September 26, 2011

☞ REMEMBER: 1890 Park Avenue circa 1935

An old photo of the corner at East 129th and Park Avenue shows a massive mansard building that no longer exist today.  The archival material labels the said building as Gus Hill's Minstrels but there also appears to have been an auto garage at the lower floor.  This section of Park Avenue faces the elevated train tracks on the east side so it would have made sense that there would have been some commercial or industrial use for the immediate area.  Based on DOB records, the entire structure was demolished about four years after the photo was taken and the lower photo shows the gas station that holds court on the corner today.

Berenice Abbott, Gus Hill's Minstrels, 1890-1898 Park Avenue at 129th Street, December 19, 1935, via the Digitial Collection at the Museum of the City of New York

☞ DWELL: 240 Lenox Sold in September

The massive 23 foot wide corner building at 240 Lenox Avenue arrived on the market in March at the asking price of $3.2 million, was reduced to $2.5 million by the end of April, went into contract in June and has now finally sold as of September. A reported 9 bedrooms, 5 baths, 7 fireplaces existed within the interior along with 5,755 square foot of living space in the landmark building.  There also appeared to have been a lot of original details on the inside but the house was listed as a renovation project and is evidently an SRO with a Certificate of Non Harassment in place.  When the contract finally closed, the property located in the Mount Morris Park Historic District on the corner of 122nd Street eventually sold for $1.9 million.

☞ ARCHITECTURE: Harlem's Smallest House?

There is a little brick house at 401A Convent Avenue and 147th Street which appears to be one of the most compact residences to be found uptown.  The petite red brick, semi-detached building is in the historic district and therefore an official landmark but not much material can be found on its origins.  Most of the other homes in the area are grand limestone townhouses and this particular property appears to be a fraction of the size of its towering neighbors. Does anyone have any more details on the history of this curious building?

☞ INTRODUCING: Soluna Spa in East Harlem

Soluna Holistic Spa at 143 East 103rd Street is something new that also just opened on the block between Lexington and Park.  Information on the spa website has it that they not only provide massage therapy but include aromatherapy, facials, waxing and even seasonal Tai Chai, yoga or meditation in the back yard as part their overall services.  This type of boutique salon is pretty new for uptown so it will be interesting to see if the concept takes off.  More details at:

☞ WALK: Bette Midler at the 103rd Street Garden

The big ribbon cutting ceremony was on last Thursday for the debut of the 103rd Street Community Garden and New York Restoration Project's (NYPRP) leading lady was on hand to celebrate the occasion.  Bette Midler founded the non-profit NYRP to help restore the city's parks and just happened to drop by East Harlem last week to showcase what all the volunteers have been working on in the past few months.  The East Harlem 103rd Street Community Garden is now a pristine oasis that has been landscaped and seeded with vegetable crops but also has a restored playground.  Check out the end results after the jump.

☞ SEE: Hollywood on One Harlem Block

An article in the Daily News this weekend reveals that one particular block adjacent to the Mount Morris Park Historic District is apparently very popular with location scouts for television shows.  A designer who lives in a brownstone located between Lenox and ACP/7th Avenue has leased his building for filming "Law and Order," "The Good Wife" and even the Obama Campaign of 2008 at $5,000-$6,000 for each project. This part of the neighborhood is evidently so in demand that the block association had to form a film committee to insure that that all goes smoothly with those living in the area.  Sometimes things get a little too realistic and the aforementioned designer arrived home at one point to find that a fire scene was being filmed on site with smoke and flames "pouring out of the windows." More in the Daily News: LINK

Friday, September 23, 2011

☞ REMEMBER: Trolley Traffic on Lenox & 116th

Above is another interesting photo showing one of the old Harlem trolley lines but this one used to run on Lenox Avenue.  The archival image was taken in 1930 and one can actually see the Bernheimer building at the far left.  Information on the source material also states that Bickfords department store was also housed in the said building. Today the trolleys have been replaced by bus lines and Conways is now on that particular corner of West 116th Street.  Check out our past post on the Bernheimer Building: LINK

Trolley in Traffic (on Lenox Avenue above 116th Street), ca 1930, via the digital collection at the Museum of the City of New York

☞ DWELL: 471 West 140th Street Townhouse

OPEN HOUSE: Sunday, September 25th, 11:00 AM-2:00 PM. Number 471 West 140th Street just arrived on the market this month for the initial asking price of $1.5 million.  The 18 foot wide, roughly 3,888 square, 4-unit buildng is on a handsome block of barrel front townhouses in Hamilton Heights directly facing the more scenic part of the City College campus.  There are couple of shells on the block that still need to be fixed up but this townhouse appears to have been fully renovated in recent years.  Photos after the jump.

☞ REVIVE: Something New at Hamilton Grange

The historic home of Alexander Hamilton opened last weekend after a relocation along with several years of renovation and we discovered something quite modern over at the Grange. Restorations to the building located at north side of St. Nicholas Park and 141st have been more accurate than any other attempts in the past but there was one particularly modern addition to building.

☞ READ: Second Ave Subway Connected to 96th

The big news yesterday was that the tunneling is actually complete for the Second Avenue Subway's first phase which is now connected to East Harlem's most southern border at 96th Street. A photo released from the MTA shows the massive tunnel boring machine breaking into the wall of the Lexington Avenue 63rd Street Station and thus linking the new tunnel with an existing station further south.  Now that the first part of the tunnel is complete, all that needs to happen is laying down the tracks and getting the new stations at 96th, 86th and 72nd Street up and running.  This apparently will not be complete until December 2016 so there still is some time before the east side line will actually be functioning for commuters.  More in the New York Post: LINK

☞ INTRODUCING: H.O.A.S.T Fall 2011

Saturday-Sunday, October 15th-16th,  12:00 PM-6:00 PM, the 6th Annual Harlem Open Artist Studio Tour.  After a hiatus from last year, the popular H.O.A.S.T. event is back better than ever and provides a two-day self-guided tour of the various art studio in Harlem. H.O.A.S.T features visual artists, musicians, performing artists, authors and poets.  Harlem's artists range from emerging talent to internationally recognized figures with studios from traditional loft spaces to converted bedrooms. Art ranges from cutting-edge new media and outsider art to more traditional styles or representation and abstractions. The event is free to the public and can be started at Casa Frela (47 West 119th Street), Work Space Harlem (2340 Fifth Avenue), and Floor4art (2136 FDB). A map of this year's participating artists can downloaded from the organizer site: LINK

☞ SEE: Around Harlem this Weekend

Friday, September 23rd, 6:00 PM, The Charlie Parker Jazz Festival, Marcus Garvey Park, Fifth Avenue and West 122nd Street. The Charlie Parker Jazz Festival had to be rescheduled this year by Summer Stage because of Hurricane Irene and now Friday, September 23rd has been selected.  The annual festival assembles some of the finest musicians in the world who reflect Parker’s musical individuality and genius, to promote appreciation for this highly influential and world-renowned artist. This year's lineup included Kenny Werner, James Carter, Tia Fuller and Gerard Clayton.  More details on this public music event can be found at the Summer Stage site: LINK

Saturday, September 24th, 11:30 AM-1:00 PM, El Barrio Today Walking Tour, at El Museo del Barrio, 1230 Fifth Avenue and 104th Street. El Barrio Today Arts Cluster invites you to come explore the neighborhood. Highlights include the Graffiti Wall of Fame, Julia de Burgos Boulevard, local murals and much more. All tours leave from El Museo's lobby. FREE admission. In the event of inclement weather, a guided tour of the Permanent Collection will be offered in lieu of the El Barrio Today tour.  RSVP required.  For more information and to RSVP, view the event on El Museo's website: LINK

Saturday, September 24th, 8:00 AM-4:00 PM, Mount Morris Park Historic District Farmers Market is open for the season at 124th Street and Fifth Avenue.  The Peach Guy is back so check it out: LINK

Saturday,  September 24th, 9:00 AM-5:00 PM, Morningside Park Farmers Market, corner of 110th Street and Manhattan Avenue. Check out the new seasonal and locally grown and produced goods while enjoying Morningside Park: LINK

Saturday, September 24th, 12:00 PM–5:00 PM, Common Ground Family Festival, at the Morningside Park lawn by 117th Street and Morningside Avenue A full afternoon of FREE family entertainment. Face Painters, Balloon Art, and performances throughout: LINK

Sunday, September 25th, 3:00 PM-7:00 PM, Sunday Sermon at Morningside Park, 113th Street and Morningside Drive.  This is the season finale of DJ Stormin' Norman live dance party at Morningside Park.  Guests and special live performance: LINK

Sunday, September 25th, 5:00 PM, Crowning of the Octobierfest Queen at Bier International, 2099 FDB/8th Avenue and 113th Street. Arriving by a traditional, horse-drawn carriage amidst lively strains of Zydeco-tinged Polka music and adorned in traditional Octoberfest garb, Harlem’s first Oktobierfest  Queen will be crowned at Bier International: LINK

Thursday, September 22, 2011

☞ REMEMBER: 7th and 125th circa 1898

After the old painted sign was revealed at FDB/8th Avenue and 125th Street this past week, we wanted to find an old photo that shows some lower level corner structures on the main street  and only found one from an old post that shows the view west from 7th Avenue.  This image is a record of a small estate that still remained on its plot at the far right and the building at the far left would later be replaced by the Hotel Theresa.  The painted signage seen in this photo is on the long gone Harlem Opera House.  We could not come up with images of what the corner of 8th Avenue looked like in the late 19th century but this probably provides an idea of what 125th Street in transition probably looked like at most intersections. There is another photo of this corner from our past post that shows the new building that would replace the mansion within the next decade: LINK

☞ DWELL: Update at the Metropolis

The eco-friendly "green" building called the Metropolis at 51 East 128th Street had its initial closings on units at the end of 2010 but how is the development doing these days in final sales?   This new construction on the part of East Harlem that feels more  like Central Harlem had 8 units sold out 13 in the beginning of the year and now it appears the new construction has made a little progress since then.

☞ REVIVE: Vintage Signs Revealed on 125th

The disastrous collapse of the demolition site at 125th Street and FDB/8th Avenue was the big news this week but now a new sign has been revealed after the dust settled.  There is not much left of the last standing building on this part of the commercial block but now one can see that some old signage on the adjacent building has been exposed. This particular corner must have had low level structures on site over a century ago since the center building had painted advertising on its side wall.  Click on image to enlarge.