Syrian Coffee House – 1948

Another Friday, and again the end of another month…

This one is a bit a mystery. This photo is part of a grouping of store fronts all dated Feb. 29, 1948.

The caption on the back reads:

    Syrian Club on Cartier St., Windsor, Ont.

I am assuming that there must have been a big raid on illegal gambling parlours in Windsor in February 1948, and all the places I have pictures of were involved?

Cartier Place is today known as Freedom Way.

The photo shows number 382 visible on the right side of the photo on the oval plaques that were given out following renumbering, but the fire map shows a 380 and a 384, but no 382…

Either way it had to have been one of the last buildings on the right hand side at the bottom. I suspect the second last one, as you can see daylight on the right, if it was the last building the right would show more building…

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That would made the equivalent Windsor shot, the one above.

Have a good weekend everyone see you back here Monday for the first post of May.

Leamington High School

Staying out in Leamington, here is a shot of the old High School. Looks like it was once a residence that was added on to and converted to scholastic use.

Some time the detail in these old post cards is just amazing. Look at how full the parking lot is :)


House of Refuge – Leamington

OK, County Historians, what can you tell me about this place?

It looks like it was quite a grand place. A bit of googling brought me to this document here, that makes it look like it was built around 1900 maybe a little before, and sometime before 1961, became known as the Sun Parlour Home For Senior Citizens.

An old folks home?


Brewster Projects – Detroit

Happy Friday everyone… Here we are again, and today we’ll head across the river to take a look at this great rendering of the original plans for the Brewster Projects.

The photo is dated April 11, 1936, and the caption of the back reads:

    Brewster – (East Side)
    slum clearance project –
    11 blocks, bounded by Rowena, Brewster, St. Antoine & Rivard

The project was planned as part of the Public Works Administration, during the great depression. George D. Mason was involved in the project, as the chief architect. He was formerly one of the partners in the Detroit firm of Mason & Rice. It was Mason & Rice who first employed a young draftsman by the name of Albert Kahn. Mason & Rice were the architectural firm behind the Hiram Walker Offices on Riverside Drive.

The first phase of the project was completed in 1938, and over the years many famous Detroiters came out of the Brewster, including: Diana Ross, Mary Wilson, Florence Ballard, Lily Tomlin, and Smokey Robinson. Wikipedia has some information here.

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According to the rendering the first phase was planned from Rowena on the north (Now called Mack), Brewster on the south (which is now only a block long). St. Antoine on the west side and Rivard on the east side, which is now across I-75. I suspect that many of the 1938 era buildings were demolished during the construction of the freeway.

Below are a few views of the complex today. Many of the newer townhouses are still occupied, most of the older sections and the highrises are vacant.

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Below is the view most people see of the Brewster that looms over the Stadiums and I-75…

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Have a good long weekend everyone, I’ll see you back here Monday.


Talbot Street – Leamington

Sticking to the county again, this time we’re out to Leamington in the late 1940’s/early 1950’s.

A neat view of the main shopping district. It’s easy to see upon closer inspection how these were just hand tinted versions of black & white photographs… The Kelvinator sign, street lamp and old car were all left in b&w.

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As best I can tell, I think this is the same view today… BOO to Leamington, this is nearly as bad as a Windsor scene…

Essex High School

Sticking with the Essex County theme again today, we head back to Essex…

According to Wikipedia, Essex District High School “… was founded in 1885 and is the oldest operating publicly funded high school in Ontario”

The original building burned down in February 1921, and Pennigton and Boyde were hired to design a replacement. The replacement building seen above opened with classes in September 1922.

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Much expanded, the original section is still standing in the middle of the building. In my notes I show an addition designed by J.C. Pennington in 1948, although I suspect that it is hardly the only one. :)


Riverview Apartments – 1948

Happy Friday once again! Up today is a picture of the Riverview Apartments, sadly without any kind of explanation about exactly what has happened here….

On the back is a stamp dated March 24 1948, and a caption that reads: “RIVERVIEW APTS 951 SANDWICH ST WINDSOR” but nothing else…

A storm? An explosion? I see a fire escape twisted on the ground, may the wall just gave away? No idea.

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However if you look at the Riverview today, you’ll notice that the top floor of the façade appears to have been repaired with a slightly different coloured brick.

Any ideas out there about this one?


Talbot Street – Essex

Off for the first time in a long time out into Essex County… Today’s postcard features a view from the late 1970’s? I’m sure someone can date it by looking at the cars.

The caption on the back reads:

    Photograph by: Barry Schneider

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Seeing as this is not Windsor, it was easy enough to match up the location in the postcard to today… 😉