I’m usually white-knuckling my steering wheel as I’m driving north or south on South Grand Boulevard, having picked up my carryout at Banh Mi So #1. But recently I finally decided to take a closer look at the buildings on the west side of the street of the major thoroughfare that cuts through the heart of Dutchtown, separating the Nineteenth Century half from the early Twentieth Century half.
Perhaps what is most interesting, and is illustrated in the first two photos, is how the first floor entrances were renovated in the mid-Twentieth Century, updating the look of the storefronts for the post-World War II shopping world.
What’s also interesting is that in many ways it just looks like a regular street, albeit much wider.
Many years ago, and despite Chicken Littles assuring that the sky would fall, city leaders made the decision to narrow Grand to two lanes, thereby reducing the width of the traffic lanes. It’s still a rough stretch of road, but it is definitely better.
This neighborhood is still where many immigrants live, and these well-built brick houses with their pressed metal cornices that are now over a hundred years old are holding up, even with deferred maintenance.