Me, Space, Time, and Architecture
No. 3 March 2023
"Moving on up," was the sitcom theme for the Jeffersons during the 70s and 80s. Well moving to 1st street in Hoboken in the 50s was supposed to be our moving-on-up moment. The Architecture on 1st street changed from mid-rise tenements to two and three-story structures. I see these buildings as the earliest forms of mixed-use architecture. The buildings had commercial on the first floors and apartments on the second and third floors.
One could buy fruit and vegetables on the street below your apartment, there were also clothing stores, and candy shops on the street below the apartments. There was no need for "Vegetable Man" and his horse-drawn wagon on 1st street. The photos below show the typical streetscape that one would find on 1st street.
|Typical 3-story retail/apartment building on 1st street|
|Retail on the first floor |
Densities changed dramatically on 1st street. A single building on Willow Avenue would have 20 families per building and each complex contained 4 buildings some blocks of tenements would have between 600 to 1000 people on a block. On 1st street, the density dropped to 25% of that on Willow Ave. There were fewer people, but the streets were active with shoppers from other neighborhoods as well as the apartments above.
Our apartment on 1st street was still very similar to the Willow Ave. apartment. A central hall with common stairs led to the second and third floors. Each floor had a common toilet. One entered directly into the kitchen adjacent to the kitchen was an open alcove. The alcove was only separated from the kitchen by a lighted window wall of small glass pains. It was completely open to the hall that runs from the kitchen to the living room. this was my bedroom. The framed glass divider may have been a way to provide the required light to the alcove and the absence of a wall would provide the ventilation required by the code. There was a window in the kitchen that opened to a courtyard with access from the retail space below. The living room had two double-hung windows that opened to the street below. The impact this apartment would have on a tenant's use would not change much from the tenements of Willow Ave. The major improvement between Willow Ave. and 1st street would be the density and convenience of shopping.
|Floor plan of 1st street apartment|
|Today's mixed-use apartment retail |
My next post will cover the social and economic impacts on 1st Street. We will look at work, play, education, and the decision to leave the city.
This blog is written by a dyslexic writer with no editor. I think the inaccuracies are part of the story.
I love seeing your beautiful artwork on FB, and what a treat to now hear more about you!ReplyDelete
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