Monday, November 2, 2009

Exploring the Other Side of the Tracks

Here we are again!! This time, we are going to the other side of the tracks where there was a notable street: South Elm Street. South Elm Street had a strong past since it is a part of the downtown scene as well as the railroad scene. Well, this part of Elm St. was very active due to its location near the ever popular railway. There have been many stores, lawyer offices, and even insurance companies that have taken residence on this street.

Now, we walked up and down both sides of the street to see what was there presently. I did not manage to get any pictures this time (grrr....), but I will explain the best that I can. Each building did not look like a new building, but as if they were re-used. (seems familiar from a while back) Anyways, we looked at these today and from overtime back from 1925, 1950, 1975, and 2000. It was a very interesting process.

Overall, I was not very surprised about a few of the results. 1925 had a lot of commercial businesses such as Furniture stores and hardware stores. Still, it was very commercial due to one big fact. The railroad was right by this area! The train was a powerful mode of transportation and lots of people came through the area of Elm Street to get commodities, food, etc. Where people are is where the businesses will clutter. So, it is very logical to see.

To add on, a lot of businesses died out because of the dominance of the railroad and expansion of properties. Also, the Great Depression just cut through the United States like a wildfire so therefore, businesses will get hurt and be closed due to money. Then, the 1950s came and people started worrying more about money and their right to take money for wrongdoings. So, what takes over this area? Lawyers and insurance companies, that's who! Where could accidents happen the most? Well, at a busy part of town, or the railroad itself. Money became a key part of society and that's how this era came around.

Now, the railroad became over-prosperous and it needed to expand. Therefore, around the times of the 1970s and even today, places were taken out for parking spaces, more railway goods and necessities, and even a bus depot for people to get to the station and other places. So, the railroad took over the area and took away from the commercial areas. Now, more traditional areas popped up and took the places of the lawyers and insurance areas such as a Goodwill and other small businesses.

To end with, there are some big patterns throughout this era of railway dominance. First, there is the Fordham Drug Co. It stood the time barrier from 1925 to today. How did this survive? Well, my opinion is that it is a historical landmark that became a historical landmark over time. Something must have gone on over time and made this place historic. What could have appened? Maybe it could have adapted over time to create this store that could adapt with the times. Who knows?
Also, many stores have taken the test of time and survived. There is the Salvation Army Hall, Southside Hardware Store, Coe Grocery, and many other places. Why? Once again, they contributed to the ongoing necessities of the people coming off the railroad. There were palces to get clothes, tools to build, and even food to eat. They had what people needed, so they survived the test of time.
Well, that's it, but leave some feedback if you desire and I hope that you continue to read The Amazing Journey of HSS 105!!

1 comment:

  1. i like the way that you are able to observe small details and patterns and say something big with that evidence. fordham's is an interesting relic from another era for sure. keep up the great writing and reflections!