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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Storefront Additions: Delmar Boulevard West of Vandeventer

My recent post on the demolished Delmar Foods storefront addition reminded me of the trove of storefront additions on Delmar Boulevard between Vandeventer and Whittier streets. Some were lost before my time, for sure, but the remaining examples are impressive.

Of course, I cannot attest to whether or not the storefront addition and house across the street from Delmar Foods was impressive. On June 10, 2006, I photographed the storefront addition at 4162 Delmar in the midst of demolition:

The remaining gems are one block east, all on the north side of the block. Two fancy additions stand adjacent to each other at 4033 (right) and 4035 (left) Delmar.

The vacant storefront at 4035 Delmar dates to the early 1930s, and its parent house is a Second Empire town house from 1884. The storefront at 4033 Delmar houses Tennessee's Lounge, and is less obviously an addition. The original house also dated to around 1884, and the addition to 1925. However, this was not the usual attachment, because the developer severely altered the house, removing its original roof line and building the addition into the house to completely
obscure it. According to records, the house at 4033 Delmar was the home of Gus C. Meissonier, a member of the Merchant's Exchange. The conversion of the house of a member of the civic elite into commercial space was quite a big change.

A similar storefront addition project happened at 3963 Delmar eastward on the block, and coincidentally the space is also occupied by a lounge, Waldorf's.

These additions tell us about the rapid and abrupt changes of our city in the early days of the twentieth century. We were booming!

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