Of all the main streets I’ve done, this may have been the biggest surprise. It’s about the size of Fargo when I was growing up - a bit shy of 50K souls. Nicknames: The Parlor City, Carousel Capital of the World, Valley of Opportunity. The third sounds like ballyhoo, but what of the others? We’ll see.
This . . . this looks like the town’s been through a war.
A war fought with acid. What was it?
History: "Built in 1892, this building served as the hub of the Binghamton Opera scene throughout the late 19th and early 20th century. From the 1930’s-1970’s it was used as a movie theatre. It’s basically been abandoned since then."
Shall we go inside?
There are some remarkably solid and substantial commercial structures, and you usually don’t find things this big from this age in smaller towns.
Nor do you find unmolested 1940s facade jobs that just scream BENNY GOODMAN ON THE RADIO
I mean, holy jeezum crow:
The Press Building. Tallest “privately owned” structure in town, the newspaper says; finished in 1905. Slated to be residential, of course.
This description makes you worry:
So much past tense. Alas:
The rest of the street: remarkably well-preserved, and all from an era whose buildings are usually lost.
It’s like looking back a hundred years. Turn around, and . . .
WOAH again. Same architect as the Press Building - T. I. Lacey - and completed in the same year.
They were throwing around a lot of cash in 1904.
As for this one . . .
I’m starting to think Mr. Kilmer was a big deal around town.
It’s right by the train station, as you can see . . .
But the elevated roadway somehow disconnects everything from everything else.
Bad Buckaroo, and inflicted on a terra-cotta facade like this? SHAME.
Years later it hosted the premier of Deep Throat. Have a look inside, if you wish.
I’d bet it’s an older building that got the screen-wall treatment . . . why, yes.
That's just a fragment. More next week.