Tomorrow Jeffrey Bennett, webmaster of the Newarkology website, leads his second walking tour of the Weequahic district, starting off from Lyons and Elizabeth Avenues at 12:15pm. Five bucks. Cheap.
Today I present pix of two spots along the path of last year's tour. I was uncertain about the identity of these buildings, so asked Jeff. Here's the info he provided.
The first pic you have, of the Chancellor Avenue Annex, is of the former YMHA. (Young Men's Hebrew Association). Opened in 1959 after five years of planning, the Y was initially a huge success. Alas, history intervened, and the YMHA was sold in 1968/69 to the Board of Ed. The Jewish community then managed a senior citizen's center on Lyons Ave (to be included on [tomorrow's] tour), but even that was sold in the early 1980s.
Check out Nat Bodian's fascinating history of the Newark Y movement:
The fact that such a nice Y was built and was initially successful shows you what kind of trajectory Weequahic was on in the 1950s. IMO, Weequahic was on its way to becoming like Midwood (Brooklyn) and Forest Hills (Queens) are today. Though one can trace back Newark's decline to the 40s, the 30s, even the 20s, the 1960s was the pivotal decade.
[The] second building [below] ... was Young Israel, one of Newark's largest orthodox congregations, headed by Rabbi Zev Segel. I *think* Phil [of the Weequahic High School Alumni Association] said it was a Jewish school as well.
Young Israel was at the Weequahic location from 1942-1968.
If the weather is good, tomorrow's walking tour will be captured by a filmmaker working on a documentary about Newark. If it rains, however, he can't risk his equipment. Then again, if it rains badly enuf, the tour may be called off, so check the Newarkology website's home page before leaving for Elizabeth and Lyons Avenues in time to arrive by 12:15 Saturday.