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Gluten Bread: 1936

Gluten Bread: 1936

December 1936. "Scene along Bathgate Avenue in the Bronx, a section from which many of the New Jersey homesteaders have come." Medium format negative by Arthur Rothstein for the Resettlement Administration. View full size.


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Bathgate Ave. 30 years earlier

My grandmother lived on Bathgate Ave. around 1908. Here she is in a cyanotype, in the back yard with a kitty.

So what is the story with 1575?

I'm trying to figure out whether next-door 1575 Bathgate had two stories added at a later date. Online property records show that it was built in 1931, meaning it would have been only five years old at the time of this picture. They don't show anything about additional stories being added, but I'm not sure if they would show that sort of detail.

It's evident from Street View that the style of the first three floors continues up to the top two floors (this is easier to see from the Claremont Avenue side) and that the top two floors don't look any newer than the first three. The latter is especially odd given that at least 15 years must have elapsed between the construction of the first three floors and any adding of the top two, what with the Great Depression and then World War II, though recent renovations may have obscured any clear age differences. Lastly, and more subjectively, it's not my impression that additions of this sort are at all common in the city.

All in all, it's quite the mystery. One thing we can be sure of is that 1577 Bathgate was demolished sometime prior to 1986, when the school opened on its site. Given the extremely slow pace of school and other government construction* in New York, I would imagine that the building was gone before 1980.

* = the dubious record surely must be the connection between the 63rd Street subway tunnel and the Queens Boulevard mainline, seven years to dig 1,500 feet of tunnel

Near Studs' birthplace

At 1721 Bathgate Avenue, A Russian tailor named Samuel Terkel and his wife Anna were raising three young boys, Ben, Meyer, and young Louis. About 1920, when Louis was about eight, they moved to Chicago. At some point, Louis would become better known as "Studs" Terkel, and his identity as a radio personality, author, and citizen would be inseparable from that of Chicago.
A week after Studs' death in the fall of 2008, David Gonzalez of the New York Times published a short piece on Terkel's original neighborhood, and its descent. Gonzalez wrote that Terkel "did not mention Bathgate in his last memoir, referring only to Clinton Avenue, a few blocks to the east, in a few pages before shifting his memories to Chicago."

One building remains.

Baby shopping

Seeing Judles comment reminded me of our almost family tragedy in NJ about that same year. My mother had run into a store, probably not unlike the one pictured, leaving my older sister in the baby carriage out front (no doubt not a big problem back then). When she came out, the baby was gone and a woman was making off with her. My mother ran after her while screaming as others joined the pursuit. They caught up with the woman at the end of the street. Seems she had just lost her baby so figured she would pick up another at the store. On top of leaving a baby in front of a store, I also have to wonder how many other shoppers would assist in the chase today.


In case anyone was wondering about the meaning of the three-letter word in Hebrew script seen twice: on the neon sign between National and Delicatessen, and in the circular sign to the upper left of the neon.


It looks like 1575 next door is the same building at least for the 3 lower floors. Same detail around the 2nd floor windows. It seems like 2 more floors were added.

Deli Combo

What could be better! A piled high hot pastrami or corned beef on Jewish rye along with one of those draught beers advertised. Count me in!

Times Have Changed

As I enjoy looking at all of the goings on, I realize that nobody would leave a baby in a carriage unattended these days.

Gone far gone.

It's might empty at 1577 Bathgate avenue in the Bronx these days.

Nice slice-of-life shot!

I love the baby carriage and seeing the hustling and bustling going on around it/him.

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