Monday, June 10, 2013

What It Is, What It Was

The last tour in this blog, a few weeks back, ended at the corner of 18th and Vine. So let’s pick up there. But this time, look down the south side of 18th Street, east from Vine. In this 1940s photo, Matlaw’s clothing store (owned and operated by a white Jewish family) ocupies the corner space in the Lincoln building. Gazing down 18th, you see the Gem Theater and the Boone Theater.

Today, Danny’s Big Easy holds the space once filled by Matlaw’s. The cars parked along the street are newer. Otherwise, the view is remarkably similar.

And here’s the other side of 18th street in 1940, across from the Gem Theater.

Today, this view is remarkably different. All of the pictured buildings and businesses have been replaced by The American Jazz Museum / Negro Leagues Museum complex. Today, new construction lines the north side of 18th Street in the Historic District.

On May 4, 1930, the members of Musicians Local 627 lined up in front of their new union hall at 1823 Highland Street. Standing with Bennie Moten’s orchestra is their pianist, Bill Basie, and singer Jimmy Rushing.

All of the musicians in the 1930 photo are gone. But the photo fills the wall when you walk into that building today, the Mutual Musicians Foundation, where their music lives. The houses at the right are gone. But the Rochester Hotel at the left was recently remodeled and reopened as The Rochester at Highland Place, apartments for seniors.

Across the street, at 1824 Highland, stood this single family home in 1940.

Today, the house has been beautifully remodeled as a duplex.

Next door in 1940, at 1826 Highland, stood this house.

Today, it still stands, recently remodeled for rental. Note that what was an empty lot south of it in 1940 today is filled with a modern apartment building.

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