Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Ward Baking Company and Tip-Top Bread

Above: 1916

Above: a 1915 photo; building was brand new

The Ward Bakery (makers of Tip-Top bread) began operating in 1916 at the intersection of 4th Avenue and the railroad in the Ampere section of East Orange. A 1917 Moody's report said the "factory" could turn out 120,000 loaves in ten hours.

Above: photo was taken near the end of 1915 soon after the bakery was built

In 1911, George S Ward, president of Ward Baking Company, and a team of architects returned from a tour of Europe with plans for two great baking plants for the New York City area. One was built that year in the Bronx, the other in what is now Prospect Heights, Brooklyn. The buildings' most impressive physical feature was the tile work, which, if polished, would make the factory shine. That's how Mr. Ward wanted it, to make the building "the snow-white temple of bread-making cleanliness," as it was described by a bakery publication at the time.The fa├žade was made up of glazed white terracotta tiles and graceful Grecian-inspired arches ran the length of the buildings, front and back. The East Orange building was under construction in 1914 with the same architectural design and in 1921 a $500,000,  5-story addition was 
constructed extending the 1914 building. 

In the 1950's, and probably earlier, Stockton students were walked over to Ward's as a field trip in the 1st or 2nd grade. Each student was given a miniature loaf of Tip-Top bread at the end of the tour.
Above: The Ward Bakery building can be seen in the distance in this view from the 1920's

The Ward Bakery closed in 1979 but the buildings were reopened in 1999 as Bakery Village after being redeveloped as a mixed use of apartments, community center, and commercial space. The 1911 Ward complex in Brooklyn was demolished about 2007 despite efforts to save it as a historic structure and the successful 1999 renovation of the East Orange complex was used by opponents of the Brooklyn demolition in their ultimately fruitless fight to save the Brooklyn buildings.  

Below left, 1915; Below right, circa 1995

Below: after 1999 redevelopment

Below: 1947 Tip-Top bread baseball cards

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Peck's Hill

In the late 17th century and early 18th century the main route from Newark to The Mountain was called First Road (which later became West Market Street, Orange Street, and Main Street), and one of the highest elevations on the road was Peck's Hill (also referred to as Pecktown), which was later the intersection of Main Street and Maple Avenue in East Orange. When the Morris and Essex railroad was first built in 1836, the railroad station at Grove Street was called the "Peck's Ridge" station. The station was later called the "East Orange Station" and by 1890 it was renamed the "Grove Street Station."

The following are two articles from the late 19th century:

Runaway Railroad Car, 1889

The New York Herald, August 16, 1889

When this event occurred the railroad was still at ground level in East Orange and in Roseville. Later, the Roseville part of the Morris and Essex railroad would be put in a "cut" i.e. in a trench to have fewer streets where there were railroad crossings. Still later, in 1921, the railroad through the Oranges would be elevated for the same reason.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

East Orange Station of The Lackawanna RR Circa 1910

The East Orange Station is the station where Main Street crosses the railroad. On an 1878 map the station in this area is described as the "Orange Junction" Station (through much of the 18th and 19th centuries Main Street through the Oranges and Orange Street through Newark was called Orange Road). What was later called the "Grove Street" Station is described as the "East Orange" Station on the same 1878 map. An 1890 map shows the current names. 

Above: looking west
Below: looking east; the Lackawanna station is on the left and the Commonwealth Building is on the right

Above: looking west

Below: looking east

Below: The station on a 1911 map

Below: from the newspaper, The Sun , 1908

The New Stockton Neighborhood, 1905

                          Above: The Sun, a New York City newspaper, Sunday, October 8, 1905
Below: the text from the ad

Below: from a 1905 architecture magazine

Sunday, January 20, 2013