Friday, July 31, 2009

Art Deco on Cleveland Avenue

One thing about not driving is that you don't have to keep your eyes on the road (not that texters do anyway). I was checking on construction at a building on East Fifth Street and noticed this Art Deco frieze. Never mind the barbed wire, I'm too short to get a better shot of the frieze.

Here's a closer look. There is a Ford logo in the middle. This building used to be McKelvey's Oldsmobile, but at some point it was a Ford location. In looking up Art Deco, I found a link that shows an example of how the style was used to promote modern transportation. Click here and scroll down to the Chevrolet Showroom example.
The Chevrolet building in New York City is another example of Art Deco style.
Although the frieze on Cleveland Avenue is minor, it is still interesting and worth seeing while it lasts. Does anyone know of other Art Deco ornamentation in Plainfield?


Blogger olddoc said...

Dey's Ford agency. On the morth side of teh street was Goodwin's Studebaker. When I returned from service I needed a car and Dey promised me one asap. I was too stupid to know that afew hundred dollars under the table would have expedited delivery. I final bought a Studebaker from Ray Torbush who was in the Lions club. This was the first of about8 Studies including a "fish bowl" and the second Avanti delivered in NJ.

10:41 PM  
Blogger olddoc said...

On second thought, Dey's Ford Agency was on the south side of the street, the Studebaker and the Olds agencies were on the North Side. I believe that the oldsmobile service buikding is the one Enterprise is in on 4th street. There was another dealership on the block on Park Ave that later became part of the " Esieman's store.

10:48 PM  
OpenID artdecobuildings said...

Great find. A bit of (almost) lost history.

9:01 AM  
Anonymous Bill Garrett said...


This was the front facade of the Ford agency back in the Model T days. Henry Ford wanted all his dealerships to look like this, and what you are looking at is the typical front entrance. It pre-dates the expanded enterprize of F. Day motors, and was probably erected around 1915.

Want more art-deco? look in the window of Sin-Yu restaurant on Park Ave.(600 block). It was the display window of Stire's bakery, and is done in yellow, black, and mirrors.
It was a wonderful place to get a treat after school.

Bill Garrett

3:09 PM  
Blogger Rob said...

Stunning Bernice.....nice and thank you...

9:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And dont forget the dealership that was on 7th where PSE&G currently resides. The only downside to the Ford logo is that it is owned by Paramount and they will likely rip it off or cover it with a stucco facade. Photograph it while you can for the memory book, for it too shall disappear.

5:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Bernice..
Looking at this blog, I am wondering if you or if any fellow blogger could direct me to a Plainfield historian. I need help with the time from 1900 to 1920, the theatres that were here and racial relations of that time. I've been to the library and read the newpapers but would really like to speak to a person who may have additional knowledge. thank you.

11:35 AM  
Blogger Bernice said...

Nancy Piwowar and Dorothe Pollard are two of our city historians. The Plainfield Room at the Plainfield Public Library has more resources and librarian Jessica Myers may know of more researchers or historians of the era you mention.

1:15 PM  

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