Quite a number of people have commented and emailed us on how much they enjoyed viewing our first Metuchen Time Portals series. Believe us when we say we thoroughly enjoyed hanging out in Main Street with the book Images of America METUCHEN by Stacy E. Spies in one hand and our camera in another. This photographic technique is called computational rephotography. The premise is simple, take an old photograph of a scene. Go to said location and carefully AND patiently position your camera so that it matched perfectly the viewing angle of the old photograph. Then click! Easier said than done. It took us a long time and hundreds of shots before we approve one computational rephotography shot. Often we find ourselves coming back to the location to do a reshoot.
We hope you will find this second part as enjoyable to view as the first part. If you like this, please leave a comment here or on our facebook page. As usual, we have more in our facebook page, so if you want to see those surprises – ‘friend’ us now. Enough of us, here are the scenes – before and after combined!
The Clarkson store, constructed sometime around 1808, was a notable establishment on Middlesex Avenue for years. This 1930 photo shows the building when it housed the Metuchen Service and Supply Company. The front of the building has been altered since. Note the early fuel pumps at the curb as well as the Firestone tires on display on the window. The building is now home to Akshar Digital Photo Studio on the ground floor and a couple of residential apartments on the second floor.
Who doesn’t recognize Danford’s corner? In this 1932 photograph, looking towards the train station. The white sign to the left of the door reads, “W.C. Danford, Confectionery, Cigars, Tobacco, Cigarettes.” Danford’s store is presently occupied by E&e Flowers and Gifts.
Looking south, this photo at the corner of Hillside and Main Streets show the Mutual grocery store (now Variety Village). Next door presently is the Martin & Son Jewelers. The prominent clock of the Metuchen National Bank can be seen from the distance.
Robin’s Hall was conctructed in 1873 by Nathan Robins. Nathan Robins and his two brothers, Wright and Amos, were prominent residents of Metuchen. The balcony has been removed and storefronts has always changed. The first was always used for commercial purposes, including the post office, which was located here from 1877 until 1885. The second floor served at different times as a community center, a theater, a ballroom, and as the public library. Major renovations were undertaken in 1950, including the filling-in of the windows with brick. The building was recently renovated, and the reestablished storefronts now contain a Bagels-4-U, a bagel/breakfast shop and a hair salon.
Photographed in early Spring 1930, this view shows the Metuchen National Bank on the left. It now houses an Optical shop and a spa on the ground floor with offices on the upper floors. To its right is the now very popular What’s The Scoop ice cream shop.. The Eagle Hook and Ladder building. which now houses a tailor shop, is pictured second from right. The Burroughs Building on the corner now serves as a convenience store.
This 1930 photo looks north along the east side of Main Street from the pedestrian crosswalk. The photograph shows the 1905 Metuchen National Bank building (with clock) at 406 Main Street and What’s The Scoop Ice Cream Store (hidden by trees). The Eagle Hook and Ladder Company building is the second building from the right.
This view showing the pedestrian crosswalk shows George Hanneman’s “Metuchen Model Bakery” at 395 Main Street, left. Buon Appetito pizza is now located in the gabled-roof building at 399 Main Street. The large brick building on the right is Robins Hall.
Thanks to Metuchen-Edison Historical Society for supplying some of the information.