05 December 2012

The Ghosts of Columbia Street: More Irving Street Images

Earlier this fall, I started posted selected images from a cache of old photos of Columbia Street that were uncovered by Freebird Books, a local used book store. The photos dated from the 1960s and 1970s. Some of the more interesting shots depicted Irving Street, an old, two-block waterfront street that has since been demapped.

The proprietor of Freebird recently scanned and uploaded a new set of the photo collection. (There are many more to come. Freebird owns all the photos I post here.) Among there are a variety of shots of Irving Street. Two of them are seen here. The one above, from the 1970s, gives you a pretty good idea of what the expanse and character of Irving was, despite the damage to the photo. Pretty breathtaking how the road stretched right down to the river.

As the owner of Freebird says in his caption: "By the late '60s it was essentially a quiet cul de sac for the Puerto Rican community, a backdrop for events and sports activities. The reclamation of a large empty lot on the street's northern side is chronicled in these photos, as well as other attempts (like mural paintings) to beautify other abandoned buildings."

The photo seen below is from 1964 and depicts a parade of sorts.

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