Clemens Avenue

My discoveries usually begin with a question: why does Clemens Avenue just north of the old St. Luke’s Hospital on Delmar curve in the middle of the block, for seemingly no reason?

Looking at old Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps, we realize that it was planned that way, out when this was a suburban part of town, and there were wood frame houses mixed in with brick houses. There were even strange shaped lots and plats that didn’t front the streets. And note: no alleys.

But by the 1950s, according to historic aerial photography, the houses on the south side of Clemens had been demolished for large surface parking lots for the hospital.

But there are still some stunning houses left on the north side of the street, some in great condition, and others that are sadly abandoned.

The old parking lots have been converted into housing, known as the Village at Delmar Place.

Further west, as was so common, those old suburban wood frame houses were torn down and replaced with higher density brick apartment buildings in the early Twentieth Century. The one below is now obviously abandoned.

The proximity to the old hospital is evident in this photo below.

But there are also some wonderful, well-maintained apartment buildings that look great.

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