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Fayetteville at Five: 1941

March 1941. "Traffic on the main street of Fayetteville, North Carolina, at about five o'clock, when the workers start coming out of Fort Bragg." Photo by Jack Delano. View full size.

March 1941. "Traffic on the main street of Fayetteville, North Carolina, at about five o'clock, when the workers start coming out of Fort Bragg." Photo by Jack Delano. View full size.


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Today’s Top 5

McFayden Music

I was a little surprised to find out that McFayden Music is still in business, though now they are in Greenville, according to their website!

Fayetteville Street Life

I suppose the trees planted along the sidewalk in present-day Fayetteville are nice, and I know there is an anti-automobile sentiment in many towns, large and small, that results in limited street parking, narrower roads, bike lanes, pedestrian priority rights-of-way, etc. But I can't help but notice the vibrancy of street life in Fayetteville back in 1941. The streets are lined with shops, and there is exuberant signage everywhere. There are actual pedestrians - shoppers, workers, people running errands - walking on the sidewalks. The street is bustling with traffic. Today? It looks kind of quiet and desolate - although I bet the local shopping mall and the Wal-Mart and the Home Depot out by the Interstate are full of consumers.

No, it's not a Lincoln

The shape of the rear fender, the three horizontal ribs, and the location of the filler cap leave no room for guessing – it's a 1941 Plymouth P12 Special Deluxe.

5 p.m. Fort Bragg exodus?

I lived on Fort Bragg when my dad was stationed there in the early '60s and it's highly unlikely any end-of-the-day traffic from the post would be noticed in downtown Fayetteville 13 miles away.

[Fayetteville was home to thousands of construction workers engaged in a massive wartime expansion of Fort Bragg -- the reason this series of photos was made. - Dave]

5th car on left

I don't believe so. The Continental had a different trunk lid and rubber mudguard on the front of the rear fender, and the Zephyr rear was more sloped. Could be wrong though.

My guess is Chrysler

I'm thinking this is a 41 Chrysler Series 30 Eight

I have lived here since the 70s

Yes, he will have been standing on the west balcony of the Market House, it was recently in the news due to an attempted arson during the riots last summer. The debate is still open as to what should be done with it, tear it down, move it, or?

I remember many of the buildings in the picture, many started going away by the late 70s and early 80s as the downtown area fell apart and shopping moved out to the malls. Quite a few of the buildings are still there but heavily renovated. The Hotel Lafayette is long gone, The Prince Charles is still there and is currently housing rental condos and small businesses. Downtown has come, gone, and come again.

Is that a Lincoln?

The fifth car back on the left, the light-colored one. I need help from the Shorpy auto buffs.

Twist of Fayetteville

There have been a lot of changes in downtown Fayetteville. This looks approximately right - Rayless department store was at 200 Hay St. There is no more parking, and the street has been narrowed with many trees planted. I can spot at least 3 surviving buildings on the right, including the old McFadyen Music.

It looks like the original photo was taken from the balcony of the Market House. You can see it in street view if you swivel 180 degrees.

What's he standing on?

Is what he's standing on still there?

[Planet Earth? Last we checked, yes. - Dave]

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