by Kevin Walsh

Continuing my halting, wavering, and occasionally incoherent way up the Grand Boulevard and Concourse, the spine of the western Bronx broached in Grand Concourse Part 1, my first stop was the grand pasha of Bronx entertainment meccas, Loew’s Paradise and East 188th, just south of Fordham Road.

Of the dozens of movie theatres in 20th Century Bronx, the Loew’s Paradise was the Taj Mahal. John Eberson’s grand movie and stage show palace on the Grand Concourse and East 188th Street, one of theater builder Marcus Loew’s five Wonder Theaters still standing, opened in 1929 and seated over 4,000 patrons. The lobby was as much a spectacle as the show itself: ornamented like an Italian palazzo, it featured marble pillars, a goldfish pool, carpeted staircases, tapestries and the highest technology for sound and projection. The detail was such that the stars and constellations on the ceiling were depicted in the sky matching the birthday of Loew himself. Eddie Cantor, Al Jolson, Bob Hope and George Burns performed onstage to live music.

The main lobby, reached through a set of bronze doors from the outer lobby, features three domes in the ceiling containing painted murals depicting ‘Sound, Story and Film’. In the center of the north wall, beneath a statue of ‘Winged Victory’, was a large Carrara marble fountain featuring the figure of a child on a dolphin. At the base of the Grand Stair hung an oil painting of ‘Marie Antoinette as Patron of the Arts’ and a copy of artist Holbein’s ‘Anne of Cleves’.

The auditorium was designed to represent a 16th century Italian Baroque garden, bathed in Mediterranean moonlight, with stars twinkling in the ceiling as clouds passed by. Hanging vines, cypress trees, stuffed birds and Classical statues and busts lined the walls. The safety curtain was painted with a gated Venetian garden scene, which continued the garden effect around the auditorium when it was lowered. cinematreasures

In the early to mid-2000s, work had been slowly ongoing to restore the Paradise to past glory.  It has reopened as a major concert, events and boxing venue.

On top of the frontage, over the entrance, is the space originally occupied by a mechanical Seth Thomas clock, where hourly St. George slayed a fire-breathing dragon. As the Bronx Paradise fell foul to vandals in later years, the figure of St. George was stolen. A similar device, now renovated, was also installed at the Loew’s Jersey Theatre, Jersey City, NJ. cinematreasures

I think St. George is still missing but the clock tells correct time.

Poe side of town

A number of businesses on the Concourse are called Poe, like the Poe Medical and Dental Center, Poe Pharmacy and just plain Poe Building. Is this Edgar Allan of The Raven fame we’re talking here? You’ll find out further down the page a bit.

WAGNER BUILDING, 2488 Grand Concourse at Fordham Road, magnificent Art Deco.

Now it’s a Staples monstrosity…and an Art Deco building! The Wagner building is classic Art Deco architecture: streamlining, detailed decorative architectural elements, and luxury materials at the entrance and in the lobby. (Hint: a “design deposit” with the concierge might bring you a closer look at the lobby, but I didn’t give it a try.) That’s the good part. The bad part? Take a look at the picture to the left. How hard is it for a building owner to insist that the Staples sign not only be in keeping with the ‘30s and ‘40s, but also be in proportion to the building. Don’t get me wrong. I like my office products as much as anyone else, especially the super-cheap Staples-brand white stapler with wavy lines. Yes. That’s right. The brilliant office products superstore can produce nice-looking staplers with wavy lines. So Staples, remove the f*#ing stop sign! Others who should take the hint as well are sole proprietors and Levitz. This isn’t a big-box structure. Where is the National Guard, I ask you? Rachel Greenwald, Not For Tourists

On November 5, 1960, the Wagner Building was the site of a campaign speech by John F. Kennedy, a few days before he beat Richard Nixon. As a boy in the 1920s, Kennedy had resided in a mansion with his family at Independence Avenue and West 232nd Street in Riverdale.

Click on images in the above Gallery to see scenes from Kennedy’s visit.

The northwest corner of the Concourse and East Fordham Road was dominated for many years by Alexander’s Department Store, one of the largest in a chain of stores founded by George Farkas in 1928 and named for his deceased father. The Fordham Road store opened in 1933 and closed in 1992. The building is home to electronics chain P.C. Richard.

One of the underpasses designed by engineer Louis A. Risse in the early 1900s to facilitate Concourse traffic at intersections. Meant originally for horses, carts and wagons, they work well in the auto age as well. Concourse traffic runs under Fordham Road; at other intersections, the Concourse is bridged over the intersecting road.

When Kennedy visited, both the northern and southern sides of the Fordham Road overpass were occupied by military recruiting offices. Today, the southern side features Christian Marche’s “Silver,” a sculpture created from found materials.

The sculpture has been made by a local artist of Bronx borough of New York, called Christian Marche. What makes the sculpture most striking is the fact that the entire sculpture is made of recycled materials, picked from the streets of the city. The huge sculpture is about a nude woman entrapped in a cage and few other things made on the crown of the cage like the Cross, a robot, a cat and few more things. The sculpture is quite unusual in concept and design but with a feeling of contemporary art and unusual details.

Funding for the project came from a variety of sources. The Fordham Road Business Improvement District (BID) in partnership with the New York City Department of Transportation’s Urban Art Program and the Al Johnson Art Studio all joined hands to fund the project. Besides, Bronx Council on the Arts also provided a bit of funding. Greendiary

In Chicago there’s a building on Milwaukee Avenue that locals call the “Coyote Building” because it resembles the outlines of a seated coyote, snoot up and howling. The Bronx has a reasonable facsimile with the Dollar Dry Dock bank office building just north of Fordham Road. This Bronx landmark was built between 1932 and 1934 by Halsey, McCormack and Helmer, who also built Brooklyn’s answer to the Empire State Building, the Williamsburg Savings Bank. Like that building, the Dollar (now an Emigrant Savings Bank branch) is best known for its towering four-faced clock.

On the bank’s exterior are chiseled some epigrams devoted to the importance of saving: “Teach economy: it is one of the first virtues – it begins with saving money”; “Without economy none can be rich; with it, few will be poor”; and “If you know how to spend less than you get, you have the philosopher’s stone. ”

The Dollar’s exterior features bronze doors depicting classical feminine figures holding a large key. The banking hall is detailed in marble, limestone and terra cotta. Angelo Magnanti’s murals depicts early Bronx history: Jonas Bronck negotiating with a group of Native Americans and two horsemen crossing nearby King’s Bridge. The clock was a later addition: its red-brick 10-story tower was constructed in 1950 to house the Dollar’s offices.

Poe Park

Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849), the doomed mystery/horror writer -poet of the early 19th Century, has a legacy in many major cities in the Northeast; he was born in Boston, lived in Richmond, Philadelphia, Providence and New York City, and died in Baltimore.

When Poe lived in this small farmhouse with his wife Virginia (a first cousin) and her mother; between 1846 and 1849, there was no Grand Concourse, and the house stood far out in the country. That’s what Poe was seeking in a dwelling, believing the clear country air would invigorate his ailing young wife, who had tuberculosis.  Tragically, it did not work and Virginia died; one of his best-known poems, “Annabel Lee”, is thought to memorialize her.

Poe and his family were destitute while living in the farmhouse. He was a literary success but had lost his savings in a failed magazine venture. The author and his mother-in-law had to forage in nearby fields for the family’s sustenance. The cottage itself was built in 1812 by farmer John Wheeler and stood on Kingsbridge Road until it was moved to its present location in 1913.

The house is one of four Poe museums in the USA; it is sparsely furnished in the fashion Poe must have had while here. It is thought that the bed, gold-framed mirror and rocking chair belonged to Poe himself.

Poe Park, in which the cottage is situated, also contains a circular bandstand built in 1925: it was home to classical and big band concerts until the 1960s, attracting such names as Benny Goodman and Jimmy Dorsey. Today it stands somewhat isolated in a field of concrete, and the floor is fenced off to prevent vandalism.

In 2011 Poe Park was amidst ongoing renovations that have temporarily closed the Cottage and added the new Visitors Center, pictured above. Parks hopes to open The Cottage for visitors again in 2012.

A look west on East Kingsbridge Road toward the massive Kingsbridge Armory. I’ll detail the Armory on a future FNY page, but I’ll say here that it was built from 1912-1917 by architectural firm Pilcher and Tachau as a munitions storage area; when built it supposedly was the largest armory in the world. It has sat empty for several years as plan after plan for re-use has been stymied.

Frederick Philipse built the first Kings Bridge, a tolled span over Spuyten Duyvil Creek, in 1693. Benjamin Palmer and Jacob Dyckman built a second bridge in 1759 to avoid paying the high tolls charged by Philipse. During his retreat from the Battle of Harlem Heights in 1776, General George Washington used both the King’s Bridge and Palmer and Dyckman’s free bridge to escape to White Plains. The original Kings Bridge has inspired a network of roads in Manhattan and the Bronx, some surviving, some not, named for it.  The approximate position of the old bridge is on Marble Hill Avenue where it becaomes KIngsbridge Avenue at the Marble Hill-Bronx border.

2665 Grand Concourse at Kingsbridge Road was built in 1922. a few doors to the north, 2715, was the boyhood home of movie director Stanley Kubrick, who spent a lot of time studying technique at the Loews Paradise.

Brockman Manor (1927), 2701 Grand Concourse near 196th Street.

2751 Grand Concourse, the former House of the Holy Comforter hospice, is now Concourse House, a shelter for homeless women and their children. The Holy Comforter, a hospice center for incurables, was founded in 1879 on West 23rd Street downtown; it moved here in the 1920s and then to Cortlandt Manor, NY as Fieldhome-Holy Comforter.

Metal signs like this aren’t rare on the Concourse and the mid-Bronx in general but that doesn’t make them any less well-crafted or attractive; they generally come in red or green, black and gold, with hand-lettering by craftsmen. Under the word ‘available’ was generally a set of signs that indicated rooms available, 2 1/2, 3, 4, 5, whatever.

I took a short detour to Creston Avenue, which features a number of small, porched houses; between East 198th and Minerva Place is this tall rock outcropping, not a rare sight in the Bronx. The boulders were left by glaciers as the advanced and then retreated during an ice age, the last of which occurred about 20,000 years ago. The avenue is so named because it is on the same crest, or ridge, on which the Concourse is situated.

A double house of somewhat former grandeur on Minerva Place, which runs for a block between the Concourse and Jerome Avenue at the two roads’ closest approach. According to late historian John McNamara, the name commemorates a statue of the Roman goddess on the estate of race track owner Leonard Jerome, or a prize race horse.

A small survivor on the west side of the Concourse south of East 199th, wedged in between two multi-family behemoths.

1920s-era apartments, east side of the Concourse at East 199th.

North of Bedford Park Boulevard. The Concourse is dominated by large apartment buildings end to end, but as you press north, some small one or two-family dwellings become increasingly apparent.

ST. PHILIP NERI CHURCH (1898) Grand Concourse and East 202nd Street. While the Arthur Avenue area in Norwood is justly celebrated as the Bronx’ Italian epicenter, there is also a more compact section at the Concourse and Villa Avenue, just to the west. St. Philip Neri was established to serve Italian immigrant laborers that made their homes in the area.  The cornerstone of the church (dated 1899) was in fact quarried from what became Jerome Park Reservoir, and brought there by a horse-drawn carriage. Though the church has had a mostly Italian-American congregation for most of its history, it was served by a mostly Irish-American clergy.

In October 1968, future Mayor Rudolph Giuliani married his first wife, Regina Peruggi, a second cousin (once removed) at her home parish of St. Philip Neri. The two divorced in 1982 and had a Church annulment in 1983. Regina Peruggi in 2011 was the President of Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn.

Saint Phlip Neri, from Florence, Italy (1515-1595) was a missionary and the founder of the society “Congregation of the Oratory.”

For more views of St. Philip Neri Church, which extends west to Villa Avenue, click on each Gallery image.

Queen of the Universe

In November 1945 9-year old Joseph Vitolo had a vision of Mary, the mother of Jesus, here at this house at 3191 Grand Concourse near East Van Cortlandt Avenue; she told him to pray for peace at a time the USA had just finished with a world war. Vitolo, now 73 [in 2010], still lives nearby. The shrine has attracted visitors from all over the country (in the early days, Francis Cardinal Spellman and Frank Sinatra) and from overseas, much like the Bronx’ Little Lourdes in Bronxdale.

Massive Tudor-style complex, NE corner East Van Cortlandt Avenue and Grand Concourse.

One more Grand Concourse masterpiece, NW corner East Van Cortlandt Avenue, a pre-Deco building with terra cotta accents.

This building caught my eye at East Van Cortlandt Avenue at Villa Avenue.

There hasn’t been a Jerry’s Steak House here for probably  few decades but the neon sign is preserved very nicely. However: note that the neon tubes don’t seem to match the lettering underneath. Can anyone make out what it says?


From this point I turned south on Jerome Avenue, which I haven’t spent much time on previously. One of the Bronx’ longest avenues, and the divider in the Bronx for east and west streets, it was the road that led to Jerome Park Racetrack, laid out in planks in 1874, before the Bronx west of the Bronx river was annexed to New York City. Leonard Jerome was a prominent financier, owner of the racetrack, founder of the Academy of Music, and eventually the grandfather of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.  Originally called Central Avenue, it was renamed Jerome at the insistence of his wife Kate.

For most of its length, the avenue is shrouded by the Lexington Avenue Line elevated (#4 train) — with some exceptions, as we will see.

Art Moderne-style streamlined Concourse substation serving the Concourse’s IND line, built in the 1930s, Jerome Avenue and 204th Street.

East 204th underpass under the Grand Concourse, as seen from Jerome Avenue

Fresh Air

As stated before, Jerome Avenue spends most of its time beneath an elevated train, but does enjoy a couple of blocks in the fresh air as it makes a bend between Minerva Place and Bedford Park Boulevard. The el continues straight past the Concourse Yards, which serve IRT #4 trains as well as the B and D trains that run beneath the Concourse.

Some fab terra cotta work above the entrance at Edna, Jerome Avenue south of 199th.

Though the Bronx is ahead of the other 4 boroughs in switching over to new upper-lower case street signs, somehow hey’ve missed removing this vintage 1964 color coded blue and white sign. From 1964-1984 NYC street signs were color coded by borough, with the Bronx signs blue with white letters.

Why the Paul Avenue sign is here is a head-scratcher, since the avenue south of Bedford Park Boulevard was absorbed into the campus of Herbert H. Lehman College several decades ago.

Maps show a Parkview Terrace on the east side of Jerome Avenue between East 196th and Morris Avenues, but maps can fall short showing topography. Here Jerome lies at the bottom of a ridge, with Parkview at the top of the ridge. A high wall separates the two. Apartments facing the west are at the top of the ridge and some rooms have a good view of the Hudson River.

Here at Jerome and East 196th, you can drip pizza on your shirt and get it cleaned in the same place. That’s called symbiosis.

St. James Park

Of all the boroughs, the Bronx has the reputation as the most urban, grittiest, and borderline dangerous in places, perhaps unjustifiably. But acre for acre, the Bronx is the city’s greenest borough; Pelham Bay Park is the city’s largest, beating Central Park by a large margin, and Van Cortlandt and Bronx Parks are also vast, and there are plenty of midsize parks, such as Crotona and St. Ann’s. And, there are the neighborhood parks like Poe Park and St. James Park, which is in general between Jerome and Morris Avenues and East 191st and 193rd Streets. Before doing this walk I had never before seen St. James Park.

The park’s reputation as infested by gangs and rife with shootings preceded it. I did not linger for long but it looked peaceful on a midweek August afternoon.

St. James Episcopal Church

Similarly, because I had never walked Jerome Avenue I had never before seen St. James Episcopal Church, a country parish that has seen an elevated train, paved streets and apartment houses spring up, replacing its heretofore rural environs. Unusually, the St. James Church website has a detailed description of the church’s design and architecture.

Because of heavy foliage it’s nearly impossible to shoot St. James church from Jerome Avenue, so I did the next best thing and photographed the side of the church from East 190th Street.

St. James’ Episcopal Church, a picturesque stone building designed in 1863 for a rural parish in what was then a part of Westchester County, is among New York City’s finest Gothic Revival style religious structures. The design of St. James’, resembling that of a medieval English parish church, reflects the major philosophical movement in mid-19th century Episcopal church design known as ecclesiology. English emigre Henry Dudley, a leading architect of the ecclesiological movement in North America, designed one of his finest churches for the congregation of St. James’. The church is now located in a heavily urbanized section of The Bronx, only one block north of commercial Fordham Road. However, with its landscaped grounds situated beside St. James Park, the church is one of the few surviving reminders of the period when this part of New York City was largely farms and country estates. Church of St. James, Fordham

Parking garage across East 190th from the church. If you show me a good looking parking garage, you’ll be showing me the first one.

Sensing my interior parts melting from the blazing sun, I struck east on Fordham Road to escape to the cooler climes of the IND subway back to Penn station, when I spotted a mural on Morris Avenue…

… featuringKool Herc” (Clive Campbell) the Jamaican-born DJ widely credited with inventing hip-hop by isolating the break (instrumental section) of an R&B record and then seguing breaks on two turntables. Speaking over the music became rap. Early acolytes like Afrika Bambaataa and Grandmaster Flash soon had hit records in the genre, but Herc did not have a successful recording career.

Fordham Road, which runs from the University Heights Bridge to Pelham Parkway, is the Bronx’ main east-west shopping mecca, with weekend throngs in the thousands. It was originally an animal trace, then a meandering Native American path.

The turreted and dormered Limestone Gothic Creston Avenue Baptist Church has been on Creston and East 188th, just south of Fordham Road, since 1905.



Gary Fonville October 10, 2011 - 3:03 am

I believe that Rudy Giuliani was married to his first wife at St. Philip Neri Church on the Grand Concourse.

Richard October 10, 2011 - 9:59 am

Above you guys asked if we were able to make out the neon on the sign for Jerry’s Steak House… It says Cero’s Pizza… After the steak house Cero’s Pizza was there for a while!!!

Phyllis Perrotta O'Hare October 2, 2012 - 2:01 pm

My family ate at Ciro’s every Sunday afternoon. I loved living on Villa Avenue

Cara October 4, 2014 - 3:47 pm

I lived directly above Ciro’s. Our fire escape is the first one above the restaurant. Uncle Ciro was my baby sitter while my mom worked at Alexanders.

Bobby Smrcka November 29, 2014 - 8:17 pm

Ciro’s had the best plate of veal parmesan and French fries I have ever eaten in my life. The name of the prior restaurant was Jerry’s Castle Villa. Made coal oven pizza.

vivian lax May 11, 2015 - 5:29 pm

I remember Jerry’s Castle Villa. We lived across the street
in 3235 Grand Concourse, which is the photo of the
tan building on the Concourse and East Van Cortlandt Ave.
Jerry’s made great pizza, but I really remember his garlicky
linguine with white clams (whole clams, I think ! ). The name of
the Tudor Building in the photo,across the street from
3235, was Pickwick Arms (3224 Grand Concourse) Carl Reiner lived there. And Garry and Penny Marshall lived in our building, 3235. I was friendly with their sister, Ronnie. All the girls in the building (and a few boys) attended their mother, Marjorie Marshall’s, dancing school.

Cindy March 23, 2018 - 9:47 pm

I lived at 3235 when I was young. Mrs Marshall was my dance teacher! I have great memories of our large apartment on the 1st floor. I live in NJ now but do educational consulting for a preschool in the Bronx and I have the great pleasure of driving by. I can see 3235 from Mosholu Parkway and it always makes me smile.

Kitty Kelly June 26, 2015 - 5:46 am

My family lived in Pickwick Arms until January 1957. Carl Reiner did not live there but his mother did.

Renee May 10, 2019 - 8:13 am

Why wasn’t there a 1,000 block on Villa Avenue ever?! Does anyone know where a 1,000 block near Villa would have been in the 1900’s?
My mother was said to have been born at 1034 Villa Avenue but there is no such location.

marion ehmen October 10, 2011 - 6:00 pm

I lived across the street from the bolder on Minerva Place and was married from there in 1950, wow the best years of my life for sure, can’t take the Btonx out of me..

P Harpas August 30, 2012 - 1:53 am

That was “Red Rock” Do you have any pix of 2805 Creston Ave- ‘George Lane Court” Bldg that “burned down”” in 1981? I lived a few houses before that down that that street. Thx.

bob September 14, 2013 - 9:05 pm

I used to live there! We had moved out well before the fire but boy that was a shock to see the place you grew up burn to the ground. I drove by and it was just a pile of bricks.

Jim Carroll December 21, 2014 - 10:52 am

Are you Susans brother?

bobby smrcka February 17, 2015 - 7:01 pm

Yes I am Jim.

Peter Harpas August 2, 2015 - 1:24 am

I am Susan H’s brother. I remember Tommy Carroll on Creston that my sister, Susan Knew.

ken paturas October 12, 2011 - 11:38 am

every summer, as a kid, i looked forward to attending the “Villa Avenue feast” which was good enough to give the ” San Genaro” feast a run for its money; did you know that Penny Marshalls mom, Marion Marshall, gave dancing lessons in the apt house at the head of Villa Avenue ? my family has pictures of my sisters dancing in various recitals.

Eileen February 25, 2015 - 8:05 pm

Great times.. The Villa feast were the best summer nights!

Dave October 14, 2011 - 1:20 pm

Cero (I always thought it was spelled Ciro) was a distant cousin of mine. Ate there a few times back in the 1970s.

JudyJ October 15, 2011 - 4:19 pm

Yes, I’m from that era, the 50s, and Ciro’s was the name of the neat little restaurant.

Tyrone Lewis June 7, 2020 - 11:24 pm

I remember eating there in 1959 my dad and cero got me my first haircut at one 1956. I just remember the large bowls of spaghetti? Or maybe they were just large to me. What happebed to him and the restaurant

Susan November 23, 2011 - 7:53 pm

I grew up near Bedford Park in the ’70’s. I remember the Villa Ave feast well.
Great pictures. Thank you for the trip down memory lane.

Peter May 11, 2015 - 1:40 am

I remember Villa Feast too. The Ze
pollis in a greasy brown bag for a dollar or two.

Peter Harpas August 2, 2015 - 1:31 am

Yes, I remember those Zepollis.during the Villa Feasts. A dozen in the brown bag for 1-2 bucks in the 1970’s. Lard back then tasted so much better.

gerry July 29, 2012 - 7:34 pm

I remember the feasts on Villa Ave. Is it still an Italian neighborhood, feast &all? I must say I fondly remember growing up & attending St. Phillips. I couldn’t have had a better childhood anywhere. thanks for the memories

Charlie Muller January 5, 2013 - 4:34 am

villa ave is now albainan. no more feasts. i lived in da Bedford Park Blvd section for 46 years before moving to Woodlawn in da bromx.

Charlie Muller January 5, 2013 - 4:37 am

thanks for da memories. i remember loews theater and i lived in da Bedford Park Blvd section for 46 years before moving to da Woodlawn section in da Bronx.
i was a altar boy for 14 years at St Philip Neri church and attend da school which i graduated in 1971.

Dan Molloy May 31, 2013 - 8:40 pm

Hi Charlie – I was amazed to see your name on this site. It has been many years since we were attended St Philip Neri.

Frank November 22, 2019 - 1:50 am

I was an alter boy at SPN also and worked with Sr. at Con Ed. as did my father. FGM

Rita March 2, 2013 - 10:48 pm

Wow……times have changed. I remember going to Fordham road in the 70s because in westchester, where I lived, it was difficult to find cool shoes, clothing etc. What was the name of the shoe store by Nardi’s which sold lighting shoes? They looked like colorful Doc Martin shoes. Everyone who frequented The Second Floor in NR wore them!

Peter May 11, 2015 - 1:42 am

Stay away from Tom McAnne’s shoes in the 1970s they were cheap

Dolores Walker November 16, 2013 - 12:38 pm

The Grand Concourse from 138th Street to 149th Street appears to have been washed out of our history books. No mentioned in Wikipedia. Those who lived further north on the Grand Concourse, their world began at 161st and Grand Concourse. My world was between 144th street and 149th street; Public school # 31, known as ‘castle on the hill’ and the attached playground. Across the boulevard 6, five story walk up apartment buildings #448- #458 and the 149th Street and Grand Concourse Subway System on the corner. Most of the area was replaced by Hostos college in late 1950s.

too bad January 19, 2014 - 4:57 pm

excellent pictures of the area .

so so sorry for the plague that blighted the entire u.s.a and made us the way we are now.

the ultra high price of freedon for all . if you know exactly what i mean .

Beth May 3, 2014 - 6:11 am

Thanks for the walk through the Bronx ! St. James Park was around the corner where I grew up in the 1950’s it was a most wonderful place.

Barbara Resnicoff Kramre May 14, 2014 - 1:39 pm

I grew up in 2665 Grand Concourse. So many good memories, including meeting my husband
on the Concourse right across the street while I was out with friends! Anyone from the neighborhood? Or P.S. 46?

Margo White Arroyo August 10, 2017 - 8:18 am

Yep….P.S. 46. I grew up at 2917 Grand Concourse (199 St., 1 small. block down from Bedford Park Blvd.). 2665 Grand Concourse was the corner of Grand Concourse and Kingsbridge Road? I had some friends growing up in your building (brothers Ralph and Stuie Friedman, Peter Krasnov, Alan Silverman) and directly across the Concourse from your building (Vicki Kanner, Pauline Hora). The great Poe Park was catty-corner across the Concourse from your building. Everything, just everything such fond memories!

Marilyn June 11, 2019 - 12:10 am

I graduated PS 46 in 1966. I was Marilyn Coleman then. Lived on Valentine @ 198th St.

Meet the Staff: Kathy Ewbank, Bronx Site Manager - Mobile Health July 7, 2014 - 12:00 pm

[…] Bronx after learning about its rich history. The medical center is located in the 2nd floor of the historical Wagner Building. The Wagner Building features a classic Art Deco design and was the site of a John F. Kennedy […]

bobby smrcka February 17, 2015 - 7:07 pm

I recently saw a picture of a bar on Villa and 204th st that was there in 1936. I wondered if that was the bar that Moccio’s took over. The name on the awnings was Palace Tavern. My dad never told me about that one. He would have been 9 yrs old at the time.

Nina Duffy September 22, 2015 - 7:39 pm

Bobby, is your father’s name also Bobby and is your mother’s maiden name Eileen MacNamara (I’m guessing at the spelling of her name).? I think the bar you are referring to was the Idle Hour.

bobby smrcka September 26, 2015 - 10:24 pm

My fathers name was also Bob. My mom’s maiden name was Irene McAlarney. It wasn’t the Idle Hour. This was on the other side of the tunnel and became Moccio’s later on.

Travis Myers July 28, 2018 - 6:38 pm

Yes it was the Idle Hour

Eileen February 25, 2015 - 8:03 pm

This was an amazing article to read. I grew up in a house on 203rd street and the grand concourse.It’s torn down now. I went to St. Philip Neri right across the concourse from my house. I remember my principles name was Brother Brian.My late father bought the house in the early 80’s.. Reading this, looking at the pictures, brought back so many wonderful memories. It brought me to tears.

Charlie February 12, 2021 - 5:02 pm

I used to live in a building right across the concourse from St. Philip Neri. I also attended that school from grades 1-4 and seeing you mention Brother Brian’s name brings back so many memories. I still remember my teachers’ names – 1st grade was Mrs. O’brien, 2nd grade was Mrs. Coffee, 3rd grade was Mrs. Tucker, 4th grade was Mr. Supaul (sp?).

sylvia torres March 5, 2015 - 10:07 am

Do you remember a family named halpern – their son was bruce and they owned the shoe store another person asked about?

robert smrcka July 17, 2015 - 5:55 pm

I knew Bruce and Andrew Halpern from 2986 Briggs ave. Didn’t know they owned a shoe store. Andrew would be around 65 now.

Charlotte O'Neill October 6, 2015 - 2:08 pm

After 50 years of searching, I’ve located today a “missing” uncle, Thomas O’Neill who emigrated to New York in 1926. His profession was listed as Architect. The Ship’s manifest stated that his intended place to stay was with a cousin, surname of Noonan in 25?? in Creston Avenue, New York. However the next very faint entry doesn’t look like “Bronx”. Are there any other Creston Avenues in New York. What did Creston Avenue look like in 1926? Thank you so much for any help you can give me. Charlotte

Sam January 9, 2016 - 4:29 pm

I saw the comment from Charlie Muller, is that the same Charlie from Con Ed

Jon Windholz January 10, 2016 - 4:16 pm

Grew up in the Bedford Park section of the Bronx in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Lived directly across the street from St Philipp Neri School and Church. Went to PS80 and Dewitt Clinton High School. I remember fondly the feast of St Anthony’s and the St Gennero Feast on Villa Ave. Loved those Zeppolis! We played stickball there and the Italian Men played Bocci Ball in the empty lot. My friends and I actually sang doowop on the stage at one of the feasts. Everybody had a doowop group back then. The above pictures brought back many fond memories. Especially the pictures of Fordham Road with all the shopping and the Lowes Paradise Theatre. I could write a book about my experiences in the Bronx. It was a safe area to live in with a diverse population. How I miss those egg creams.

Jon Windholz January 10, 2016 - 4:21 pm

Does anyone remember when someone claimed they saw The Virgin Mary on the Concourse near Villa avenue? They made a shrine in that spot.

Sam January 12, 2016 - 10:01 am

My mothers family was from Villa Ave. they were the LaPorte family, my grandfather owned a grocery on the 204th st. Overpass just west of the Concourse.

Jon Windholz January 21, 2016 - 8:12 pm

I believe I knew that grocery store. There was actually two grocery stores on 204th street that I remember

Jon Windholz January 21, 2016 - 8:22 pm

One of the guys I grew up with from Villa Avenue was in the movies the Bronx Tale and Analyse This
and Analyse That with Billy Crystal and Robert Dinero. He played a Mafia guy.

Steve Bobker July 23, 2017 - 1:22 pm

I would like to see proof that Stanley Kubrick lived on the Concourse, -I was under the impression that he lived in a private house,– you do an incredible job maybe Paddy Chayefsky lived there,

Charlie Cameron June 16, 2018 - 2:55 pm

I Googled “2715 Grand Concourse Stanley Kubrick” and this is one one of the websites that mention that he did indeed live there (although I had seen another site that mentioned the family only lived there a year or two),
I grew up in that building; my grandfather was the super until the day he died and my mother and sister still live there.

hector August 12, 2018 - 9:24 pm

lived above Sal’s barbershop on E198 st btwn creston & grand conc. Sal’s was an institution as he was a great guy & great barber. i lived in there from 79 to 1990. afterwards, moved to the “Edna” on Jerome Ave until 1996. i appreciate the fotos. they bring back fond memories. i went to the paradise, jahns, alexanders, poe park, st james park & poe’s cozy nook.

Liam G November 10, 2019 - 9:42 pm

I remember Sal, and before him, his father, cutting my hair (and Dad’s and my brother’s, cousins’, and uncle’s) from the late 60s till I left the area in the mid 80s. Took years to find a neighborhood barbershop again.

Tyrone Lewis June 7, 2020 - 11:29 pm

Would Sal have been around cutting hair in mid to late 50s?

Liz (Carter) Scarnati August 31, 2019 - 10:55 am

My family lived at 3081 Villa from ’66 to the early 80’s. We were right behind St Philip Neri and I still have fond memories of the great Villa Ave. feasts each summer, Drewson’s German deli and the beautiful Grand Concourse. It’s a shame that wonderful Sutter’s is no longer in business. Joe “Bosh” where are you now ??? LOL

ippy August 31, 2019 - 12:47 pm

great memories. the picture of 204 st towards the concourse reminded me of the stickball games we played on that section. the other side of the concourse against villa ave. they beat us most times.

i took my wife for pizza at jerries on our second date. she lived at 3081

i think the idle hour bar was on 204th street on the other side of the concourse, many customers were ww2 vets including my brother and brother in law. if memory serves me right carl reiner did live in the pickwick arms. i remember him driving by in his convertible while we were playing stickball. too bad there was no picture of ps 8 and the coal tar ball field in the back of the school or harris of frisch fields. the late forties and early fifties were a great time for a youngster to grow up.
thanks again for the memories.

Patricia (Agnelli) Guardino October 24, 2019 - 10:45 pm

Wow.. I was born in 1948, but I lived in Throggs neck. But most of my friends lived in Burnside Ave. I went to Alexander’s every Saturday morning, and all along Fordham Road. I used to walk from Fordham Road to Tremont Avenue and Brucknee Blvd. Yes I remember Poe Cozy Nook Bar .. Does anyone rember Valintine Ave and Saint Simon Stock church . I went recently a lot of buildings are gone.

Lillian Pribeck November 1, 2019 - 7:52 pm

I used to go to Poe Cozy Nook. Born in 1940. For a while I lived on Tiebout Ave, near St. Simon Stock I also lived on Grand Aavenue off Burnside Aavenue. We used to hang on Davidson near Fordam Road. Had wedding reception at Hillman’s, off Jerome Ave. Married in Holy Spirt on University Ave.

Buddy Schultz November 12, 2019 - 6:15 pm

I was born in 1962 at Pelham bay General.
Spent the first 13 years of my life at 2664 Grand Concourse across KIngsbridge from Poe Park. My Dad was raised in the same building with His sister Lenore. His name was Bobby. His Parents were Irving and Helen Schultz. I was named after Irving but went by Buddy. Moved to DC when father got a new job.

Anonymous March 21, 2020 - 7:33 am

MY WIFE AND i WERE MARRIED 04/04/1964 IN St. Simon Stock church

Colin June 12, 2020 - 1:32 am

Thank you to the posters who identified that pizza place on Van Courtlandt and Villa as Cero’s! I went to Bronx Science from 1998-2002 and couldn’t for the life of me remember what it was called. I only have a few memories of going there for lunch and playing the arcades until it closed in 1999, I believe. Since I was only a freshman at the time, not many of my friends ever got the chance to grace its halls. I was worried it would remain but a foggy, incomplete memory until I read the comments. Thanks again!

Myrna Saturn Gatty July 17, 2020 - 5:20 pm

Oh my. It’s like “ This Is Your Life”. Reading this from
Charlotte, NC. I’ve lived in the Carolinas for decades. Born in the Bronx. Lived @ 3155 Grand Concours…white art deco building on the NW corner 205th Street. PS 8.JHS 80. Bronx Science. I remember the shrine where the little boy saw the Virgin Mary right next door and thousands came. The feasts each summer and Ciro’s. I danced at
Marjorie Marshall’s for years. She and my mother were close friends. Anyone remember Shweller’s Delicatessen,Jade Garden Chinese restaurant and Moishe’s appetizing store – all on Jerome Ave. Concerts at Poe Park. Ice skating at Van Cortland Park lake. Fordham Road for shopping and ice cream at Krum’s or Jahn’s. . 40s and 50’s. Blissful.

Kenneth Hamilton August 19, 2020 - 3:11 pm

My family lived at 3155 Grand Concourse for a few years then we moved to Valentine Avenue at 201st Street. A wonderful neighborhood to grow up in! Went to SPN, Fordham, and fondly remember Ciro’s (great food!), the Idle Hour, Moccio’s on 204 close to Villa – Mike’s buthcer, Joe the Barber on Valentine, Drewsen’s, Vogel’s, Tony’s Pizza, the Rainbow and the “Donut Shop”, Madden’s Shea’s, the Alibi – going “across the park” and “downtown”, Hi-Jinx Sporting goods…..wonderful memories of people and places that made Bedford Park a special place. And I miss the zeppoli’s, the “grease pole”, and all the fun at the Villa feasts – one for Saint Anthony in June and another for the Assumption in August….

David December 1, 2021 - 9:07 am

My Mom grew up on Villa, and I remember hearing stories about the shrine, though I do not recall visiting it when we visited back in the 1970s (had relatives on Van Courtlandt and Villa, including Ciro/Cero).

Bernard (Ben) Kan December 1, 2021 - 12:10 pm

Brings back memories, born ay 182nd st and Webster Ave. Then moved to Williamsbridge Rd and Pelham Parkway. Worked with my Dad on Saturdays, he was a plumber and worked all over the Bronx.


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