Monday, February 17, 2014

Flint in the Fifties

video

23 comments:

  1. I remember getting lost in that S.S. Kresge as a child. Whatever happened to men wearing hats?

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    1. Men Without Hats became popular! Sorry, I couldn't resist!:)

      http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=6pOq4hyoX9g&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3D6pOq4hyoX9g

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  2. First impression of where this is at the beginning-Bradley Avenue, Brentwood Drive, or Sherwood Drive. There are not as many clues as the Colchester Road pictures.

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  3. Beginning shot is on Kellar Avenue.

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  4. You are correct on the location. To be precise, the opening scene was filmed in the driveway of 2413 Kellar Avenue (midway between Dayton Ave and Welch Blvd). The house now has a stone front facade per Zillow and Google street view, but it was just wood shingles during the 1950s. I do not know the couple in the video.

    During the late 1950s I took piano lessons from Lenore Laternman in a house across the street. I believe it may have been the house with yellow shutters (2410 Kellar) seen in the video. However, it might have been in one of the other houses on the east (even numbered) side of Kellar in that same block. I grew up on Seneca Street, a few blocks to the north.

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    1. I remember the names Lenore Lanterman and Helen Boyd as piano teachers from that era. I may have a program from a joint recital that lists others that I will try to find. Some private Woodwind teachers have been mentioned here on this site, both Bennie Gregurick and Daniel Teare, both Clarinet, have come up in various threads, and Cid Roth (Flute) was another private teacher. I'll try to come up with others. Flint was full of Music and Fine Arts back then. I found a google news link from The Owosso Argus Press that had a paragraph on Lenore Lanterman.

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    2. Awesome! I am the person who submitted the clip to Gordon. The two people at the beginning of the film are my aunt and uncle (my dad's sister and brother), Maxine Hellinger and Al Butts. Hellingers lived on Kellar - Uncle Al lived in Detroit. I studied piano with Alice Thompson and Mr. Carambula. Trivia: The dog's name is "Scrappy"! Thanks for the memories.

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    3. That particular joint recital was held at The International Institute. Many piano recitals, and all of the performances of the St. Cecilia Society, were held in the basement of Woodside Church on Court St. Believe it or not, the design of Woodside Church was done by Pipsan Saarinen Swanson, sister of Eero Saarinen, designer of the St. Louis Arch, Bell Labratories Headquarters in NJ, TWA Terminal in NYC, GM Tech Center in Warren, and many others.

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    4. Lenore Lanterman (I had misspelled her name in my earlier post) was the organist at Woodside Church, and all of her student recitals were held there. About 1960 she moved from Kellar Ave to Hill Street, near Pierce School.

      My family were/are members of Woodside Church. Eero Saarinen was the original architect of Woodside Church, and he is generally credited with the design (as is noted on the plaque in front of the church). However, the final work on the church was completed by the Swanson Associates firm, of which Pipsan Saarinen and her husband J. Robert F. Swanson were senior members.

      I also studied piano with Mrs. Zale who lived on Forest Hill Ave, midway between Civic Park and Haskell. Daniel Teare also lived on Forest Hill, behind Civic Park, and I studied clarinet with him for a few years before switching to the bassoon.

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    5. Helen Boyd was my Piano and Music Theory teacher from about 1960 to about 1966. She also was a member of Woodside Church, and held her recitals there. I knew Mrs. Zale's son at UM-Flint.

      I was reading the history of the design of Woodside Church online after discussing it here. I see that all the Saarinens and Robert Swanson had all worked for father and father in law Eliel Saarinen before the Swansons split off from brother and brother in law Eero Saarinen and founded their own firm. I did a paper on Saarinens' Architecture in an Art History class taught by G. Stuart Hodge in 1974-1975. I'm curious about when that plaque went up, because I hadn't seen information on the other Saarinens' involvement until I began posting on this thread. I had checked out many books about the Saarinens while doing the paper. I see that the design was a topic of controversy at the time when plans were being made for Woodside Church. The end result is beautiful. The basement Youth Ministry area borrowed from some of the Saarinens' earlier work on the Crow Island School in toney Winnetka, IL, in the highly acclaimed New Trier School District. It also has similarities to the Fenton Community Center, also a Saarinen design.

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    6. At the time I did the paper on the Saarinens' Architecture, most books still had mainly monochrome pictures. We can get most pictures on line now, and in color. I hadn't noticed from the limited number of pictures just how similar the design of Woodside Church is to The Crow Island School in Winnetka, IL. Take a look at the pictures at this link.

      Crow Island School

      http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=crow+island+school+pictures&qpvt=crow+island+school+pictures&FORM=IGRE#view=detail&id=63CC4BBEB4B79FC03C14792D898CAE9643FD58AE&selectedIndex=11

      Woodside Church Flint

      http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=woodside+chuch+flint+images&qpvt=woodside+chuch+flint+images&FORM=IGRE#view=detail&id=FDD2490525AFAFDD1AB0A86A20DF3DE103520D5F&selectedIndex=4

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    7. Actually, the design of Woodside church, built in 1952, was heavily influenced by Eliel Saarinen’s (Eero Saarinen’s famous father’s), 1942 First Christian church, located in the architecturally notable town of Columbus, Indiana; one of the first churches to be built in the United States in a modernist style. The sanctuaries are nearly identical. All of the buildings noted here, and including the Fenton Community Center, bear the style of the elder Saarinen, who also created the beautiful Cranbrook Educational Community in the 1930s. Eero joined the Swanson-Saarinen firm in the mid 1940s, but had started his own by 1950. His style was purely modernist. Eero’s sister Pipsan Swanson was also a member of the family’s original architectural firm, specializing in interior and textile design.

      Pipsan’s and J. Robert Swanson’s granddaughter, a fourth generation architect, is an old friend of mine.

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    8. G. Stuart Hodge appreciated that I picked the Saarinens for my paper, rather than someone more obvious like Frank Lloyd Wright. I think he resented the fact that many took the course to satisfy the distribution requirement, and liked me getting into something that I could relate to as a Michigan homebody who didn't travel to France and Italy.

      There was a house on Nolen Drive that was designed by Alden B. Dow. It was a very unusual design. I knew a kid that lived there from Longfellow. Oddly enough, later on, his family bought the colonial two doors down from the Rhodes (from the other thread) on Colchester Rd.

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    9. > There was a house on Nolen Drive that was designed by Alden B. Dow.

      The end house, or the Burroughs house to its northeast? Or am I mis-remembering?

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    10. It was a couple of houses East of Marquette, if its the one I found on google maps. It looks a lot different. They painted the beams white, for one change.

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    11. Ah, 2699. I was assuming you were talking about Dave Burroughs, who lived one house from the western end of Nolen and went to Longfellow...and I thought perhaps you were referring to the end house on Nolen, which I thought as a kid, and still think, was a marvelous modern design in a very nice location if you like river views. I don't know who the architect was, but I could believe Dow.

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  5. I see the State Theater is no longer next to the Strand. Anyone know when it closed?

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    1. State closed in early 50's, making way for Winklemans in 53. (Picture Palaces & Movie Houses by GCHS)

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  6. Thanks for a great trip down memory lane. Dancing, classical ballet was also a part of the fine arts. Took lessons at Mar-Ja-Dot studio. Went to Detroit and took exams. Most studios now are hip-hop, jazz, modern and some dances I'm still not sure what they are all about:) I feel so luckt that my memories of Flint are so good.

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  7. I also came upon a program for a recital in 1967 held in Detroit. This did not come from a Flintite, but as I started reading through the names, I was surprised to see the names of people I knew, some that I knew quite well, and even some close neighbors of mine in Flint. It was a Regional Competition of The American Guild of Music, and included competitions mainly for Accordion, Guitar, and Drums, but had some Piano, Organ, Vocal, and other instruments. I recognized some of the more unusual names and spellings of people I didn't know, but knew they were from Flint. Many have done well, doctors, lawyers, accountants, and even a real life Caltech Ph.D. Physicist like on The Big Bang Theory. Finally, I noticed the names of the studios that many were from, which confirmed their identities as Flintites. Flint was the address of three of the 22 studios represented there. Concert Accordion Studio, 2318 S. Vassar Rd., Universal Music Studio, 1011 W. Court St., and Lowe Music Studio, 225 W. Third Ave., were the Flint Area Studios. I would like to scan it and send it or fax it to anyone who is interested, or perhaps I could scan or fax it to Gordon. You probably know a bunch of people that I didn't know.

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  8. In the 50's there was a Reader's Digest article titled, "Flint's Gone Culture Crazy." The article described the many programs in the various arts that were created and had prospered in this city. Much of the financial support for these programs was from the Mott Foundation Fund. Comparisons were made with other--supposedly more sophisticated cities--and Flint exceeded them in many areas of "culture."

    Flint has become quite a topical item in recent years, all of it bad. Consistently, Flint is described--even in its commercial prime--as a hardscrabble town, and rough around the edges. Completely ignored in this depiction are the many contributions Flint made in every aspect of the arts.

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  9. Amendment to the Above: The article's precise title was, "Flint's Gone Crazy Over Culture," (March, 1959). I could not find the article published on-line, but there must be hundreds of libraries with RD archived inventories. General Motors was also a major financial contributor to these culture programs.

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  10. One of my earliest memories was of those green and yellow busses belching diesel exhaust. Used to catch the "Civic Park" bus in front of Longfellow JHS and take it downtown.

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