1970: West 105th Street between Riverside Drive and West End Avenue
When I first considered this feature for the blog -- "Throwback Thursdays" of internet meme fame -- I had the notion that contributions of old snapshots would pour in from readers and neighbors. I would still love for that to happen. I'd like to see you in your habitat, as my 4-year-old niece Clare would say. But I also like the deep diving architectural history. You can see the whole historical library by clicking on the "Throwback" category, which you will find at right.
Chance had it this week that I came upon Chauncey. Chauncey G. Olinger, Jr., to be exact. Among other things, he chairs a University Seminar at Columbia on the university's history. So we were destined to meet.
Chauncey was a resident of W. 105th Street back in the 1970s. And he was the kind of neighbor who leaned into block beautification as you see below. He was the engineer of the first new-fangled tree guard and a motor of the landmarking process for that beautiful block of houses, status that was designated on April 19, 1973 incredibly enough. (It's a great report; I recommend the read!) Chauncey's DIY tree guard is, to my eye, particularly successful and of its era -- yet not unadaptably so. But take a close look. It's not at all what you think!
So a big hat tip to Chauncey, today, as well as to all the other folks who toil to prettify these parts. It's not lost on us. And history remembers you well.
Bloomingdalers, send in your pictures from the 1960s and 1970s.
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