North Broadway, Near and Far North Riverfront, Summer 2019

North Broadway never ceases to fascinate me. As usual, I refer to it as a street, and also an area. For example, the above and following two photos are on or around Holly Avenue. The image of east of Broadway, if you have one, is usually one of warehouses, factories, or sadly, abandonment. It is not usually 1950s four-family Modernist-tinged flat above, or below, an extremely rare one-story wood frame Italianate shotgun house.

Just south of Holly Avenue, the furthest eastern block of Athlone is almost completely gone, save for one last wood frame house, lying in the weeds and overgrown grass.

Moving south, on the east side of North Broadway, there are a string of interesting corner bars. I’ve never gone in any of them, but they seem to cater to local workers or people off of Interstate 70.

There are still some houses, such as the one below, which I’ve seen occupied. I suspect these are people who like their peace and quiet, and living in isolated parts of the city.

And there are some beautiful survivors, such as these fantastic Second Empire tenements and storefronts, which bend with the course of the street out front.

Then there are various other buildings, some of which are occupied and others that are abandoned and boarded up.

I love the building below; it’s been painted in the same color scheme as the shipping containers in the yard behind it.

And then I made a surprising discovery; that warehouse I had photographed one year ago has been demolished (scroll down to see the building with the collapsed roof).

I suppose it’s not surprising, considering the shape the structure was in, but it is still a sad loss to the urban fabric along Broadway. Help was not in sight to save it, realistically.

I was happy to see at the monument to the Big Mound, vandals are no longer trying to steal the bronze medallion and plaque off of the granite boulder anymore.

A month later, I proceed northbound on Broadway, starting at Smoki-O’s, and photographed the west side of the street. I recommend the snoots at the famous barbecue restaurant, by the way.

There are some vacant lots, but much of the street wall is preserved.

In an attempt to cut down on drag racing and other mayhem, the City has put up Jersey Barriers. I understand the point, but I’ve heard the racing has continued, and it gives the impression the area is being fortified for an imminent invasion.

There are so many beautiful buildings, but they are all abandoned.

Below, these are some incredibly old buildings, masked by what looks to be a 1950s reskin that hides their age.

Update: I revisited the bank and restaurant below in greater detail in August of 2022.

Finally, just before the McKinley Bridge, there is the famous chili restaurant and the Bremen Bank, which is right across the street from Mallinckrodt Chemical.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Dan Dunsford says:

    Hello chris, I noticed you pictured the Crystal Grill building. I worked there when I was a kid washing dishes. The owners were great people to work for and my older brother dated their youngest daughter. I think the building was a hotel, bar and restaurant at the turn of the century. It was a very busy place as well as the street in the 1970’s. The food was good to.

    1. Chris Naffziger says:

      Wow, how interesting, Dan! It looks like the Crystal Grill is closed now?

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