Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Winter Scene 1944 and Today

Norman and Lora Koepper took turns posing with two of their children, Paul and Susan, on a winter's day in 1944.  The Koeppers dwelled in a Craftsman bungalow at 5263 East Tenth Street. Behind the happy family, you can see 5256 and 5260 East Tenth Street. 71 years later, I returned to the scene after a recent snowstorm on February 21, 2015, to snap the same houses.  In 1944, Louis and Winifred Schade dwelled in the Tudor-Revival house at 5250 East Tenth Street. The Schades ran a local motel. Norine Sparks dwelled in the cottage at 5260 East Tenth Street.  Sadly, she lived alone in the house as her husband, Robert, had passed away at a very young age in 1942.  To learn more about the lives of the Koepper family, click on the label below.

Norman Koepper posed with his children, Paul and Susan Koepper, in the winter of 1944.

Lora Koepper beamed as she posed with her children, Paul and Susan Koepper. Behind the family, you can see 5256 and 5260 East Tenth Street in the winter of 1944.  

5256 and 5260 East Tenth Street on February 21, 2015
The historic images are courtesy of Steve Koepper.  

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Winter in Irvington--1941-42

Irvington residents had a lot on their minds in the winter of 1941-42. The Japanese had just bombed Pearl Harbor and President Roosevelt had asked Congress for a declaration of war against both the Japanese and the Germans.  A beautiful snow might have come as a welcome respite from all of the gloomy news.  At the Koepper home at 5263 East Tenth Street, little Susan Koepper helped to build snowmen in the front yard perhaps at different times that winter.

Three Snow Creatures!  Susan Koepper posed in between two snowmen in the winter of 1941-42. Behind her you can see the front porch of her house at 5263 East Tenth Street and that of the Latta Family at 5261 East Tenth Street.  

Susan Koepper was the daughter of Norman and Lora Koepper.  She posed next to a snowman during the winter of 1941 in front of her home at 5263 East Tenth Street.  

Fat Snowman! Susan Koepper, who dwelled at 5263 East Tenth Street, stood next to her snowman during the winter of 1941.  Behind her, you can see the homes of the Schade family at 5256 East Tenth Street and the Sparks family at 5260 East Tenth Street.

The historic photos are courtesy of Steve Koepper.  

Saturday, February 14, 2015

The Lindeman Cottage on Michigan Street

Dr. Robert and Mary Margaret Blottman Lindeman moved into their brand new brick cottage at 5234 East Michigan Street in 1938.  The young couple situated the front door to face Michigan Street, but placed a side porch and entrance along Ellenberger Parkway West Drive.  Giant picture windows on the eastern facade of the dwelling allowed them to see Ellenberger Park.  They built a matching and tasteful brick detached garage in the backyard.  The couple had three children and remained in the house for the next several decades.  Dr. Lindeman served as dentist on the east side for over 46 years with offices along East Tenth Street.

Mary Ann Lindeman posed next to Santa in December of 1939. If you look closely you can see that the mail slot had recently been placed into the front door as you can see the ghosts of the numbers 5234 around the slot.  The Lindemans dwelled at 5234 East Michigan Street for many decades. You can also see the side of 5232 East Michigan Street.

The Lindeman cottage at 5234 East Michigan Street in 2015.  The front door has no porch, but serves as the official entrance to the home.  Clearly, the lovely side porch serves as the real entrance to the home.

5234 East Michigan Street in 2015.  Note the matching brick garage in the rear of the backyard.  The Lindemans likely planted the lovely magnolia tree in the front yard.  
The historic image is courtesy of Diana Kelly.  

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Butler Students Performed Booth Tarkington Play at School #57 in 1926

In March of 1926, nine members of the Pi Epsilon Delta Theater Fraternity performed "Tweedles," a comedic play written by Booth Tarkington.  Butler University lacked many facilities at its Irvington location, including a theater so local productions had to be staged in IPS #57 at 5435 East Washington Street.  Tarkington, most known for his novels, authored several plays.  "Tweedles" centered around the character of Julian Castlebury who visits a tea room.  Hilarity ensues.  The play was directed by Claude Sifritt and was a student production.  The cast performed two shows in mid-March and provided a perfect date night for Butler coeds.  It is not known if Mr. Tarkington attended the production.

"Tweedles" by Booth Tarkington was performed on March 17 and 18, 1926, by Butler University students at School #57.  Pictured left to right: Harold Magee, Volney Hampton,  Helen Pascoe, Rudolph Baker, Horace Storer, Frances Ogle, Fred Sanders, Mary Dirnberger

Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Arlington Theater (1949-1985)

The Arlington Theater opened its doors at 1025 North Arlington Avenue in 1949.  For the next thirty-six years Irvingtonians flocked to the Art Moderne building to see the latest and most popular films in the country. The move theater became the place to go in the area among families because the management frequently showed Disney films.  The construction of the theater coincided with a building boom north and east of Irvington as returning World War II veterans took advantage of the GI Bill of Rights to purchase their dream homes.  By the early 1980s, independent movie houses like the Arlington struggled to compete with large megaplexes in nearby shopping malls.  The theater closed in 1985 and for a brief stint it served as venue for live music.  In the early 1990s, the local ACE Hardware Store (formerly Central Hardware) moved from its location at the southeast corner of East 10th Street and Arlington for the old theater.  Local carpenters converted the once stylish structure into a functioning hardware store by leveling out the floor. Thankfully, the management kept many remnants of the theater including the original fabric that used to cover the cinderblock walls.  All one has to do is to look up at the original ceiling to envision a lively movie theater.

A special thanks to Manager, Don Heslin and ACE employee Charles Luther for their assistance and hospitality.  

The Arlington Theater opened on October 6, 1949.  "You're My Everything" starred Anne Baxter and Dan Dailey.  (photo courtesy of cinematreasures.org)  

The very modern interior of the Arlington Theater at 1025 North Arlington Avenue in 1949.  (photo courtesy of cinematreasures.org) 

The beautiful entry of the Arlington Theater at 1025 North Arlington Avenue as it appeared in 1949. It took fifty loads of dirt to fill in the sloping theater to help level the floor for the ACE Hardware store in 1991. (photo courtesy of cinematreasures.org)   

One of the last films shown at the Arlington was "City Heat" starring Burt Reynolds in 1984. 

The Arlington Theater ceiling looks down upon an ACE Hardware Store in 2015

The original cloth fabric of the Arlington Theater can still be seen hanging on the walls of  the current ACE Hardware Store at 1025 North Arlington Avenue.  The fabric was actually hung on wood which was attached to the cinderblock walls. 

The management of ACE Hardware saved one theater sconces of the Arlington Theater for posterity.  

Part of the original fabric curtain still hangs at the west end of the former Arlington Theater at 1025 North Arlington Avenue.  

The original Art Moderne curved walls from the Arlington Theater at 1025 North Arlington Avenue still stand in 2015.