Friday, November 23, 2007

Longmont, Then and Now #6: Main Street, mid-1960s

Moving to to a more modern look of Main Street in Longmont, this is looking north on a summer day. This could be Main Street USA in the 1960s, with drug stores, a Woolworth, sporting goods, a Wards, a hardware store, a shoe store, the bank, and all of the signs advertising them! This was at the height of Longmont's reputation as a great "cruising town" on Saturday nights.

(Larger views of all pictures can be viewed by clicking on them)

The Ford Mustang on the left provides a clue as to the earliest possible year that this picture could have been taken. Traylor Hardware on the immediate right was a valued Longmont business for over seventy years at 346 Main. It closed in the mid-1990s and its location today is occupied by the Used Book Emporium. They've nicely preserved some of Traylor's heritage by keeping part of the old elevator in the rear of the store. Looking further down the right, you can see the old Hotel Carlton sign, which had several locations on Main Street over the previous sixty years (mentioned earlier in this series, as well). And to continue to tie things together, First National Bank on the left, at Fourth and Main, was also featured earlier.

Taken from about the same location on November 23, 2007; not the bright summer day as the original. One thing noticeable right away from the 60s: the signs have disappeared and there are more trees. The islands in the middle of the road were added a few years ago

Forty years later, a few things remain. Brown's Shoe Store on the left in the original picture, is still one of downtown's flagship stores, and in fact, they just completely remodeled their store last year:

When Longmont's downtown recovers someday and enjoys a renaissance, we can look to Brown's for having the vision and courage for sticking with their Main Street location all these years. (Disclaimer: I'm not a shareholder or employee of Brown's). And, take a look at the sporting goods sign on the right in the original, with the fish at the bottom. This sign is preserved outside the Casa Medina store today:

A summary of the informal "Longmont: Then and Now" series so far:

No comments: