Introverted Buildings in Philadelphia
To Betsy Manning. Read the Inquirer this morning. Great story. I was born opposite the old Mayfair movies, Frankford & Cottman Sts., 1936. i grew up between 1945-1950 (i.e., road my bike all over) and remember Stein’s Flower shop well. Next door (south) was a hobby shop that sold model trains (1950).
However, what I remember the most is when they built the Merben movies in 1949. I don’t think it is there any more. That was in the days when they still built buildings with hot rivets. I would stop my bicycle in front of Stein’s Flower shop. The men on the pavement would heat the rivets in hot coals, grab them with large tongs (they wore glove) and with a long sweep of the arm would toss the glowing rivets up to the fellow on the top girder who would catch them with a large funnel, take them out with a small tongs and put the orange-glowing rivet into the lined-up holes and the fellow on the other side would drill the non-headed end blunt so it stayed in place. This went on all summer, or so it seemed.
At the same time this was going on most of the suppied needed on the roof would be brought up by Black workers who always sang while they worked. Wherever you were on Frandford Ave. near the movie house under construction you could hear their mournful, deep voices fill the hot summer air. I could watch and listen for hours.
But that is my memory of the Flower shop. Never met the owner, but knew Mr. Dicoff who had a tailor shop across the avenue.
Good luck with your project and say hello to Harvey.
Harry D. Boonin
(address in 1950) 3408 Vista Street.
Phila. Pa 36
my mom would always frequently visit flower shops because she loves fresh flowers on our house ‘-“
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