Dr. Patrick’s Postcard Roadside

The Blue and White Restaurant of Warren, Pennsylvania

Blue and White Restaurant

This stunning Art Moderne postcard records the similarly styled 1937 remodel of Constantine Spiridon’s downtown restaurant. Although the porcelain-enameled storefront was “environmentalized” with cedar shingles and a faux mansard roof, the building still houses a restaurant.

Constantine Spiridon and his two brothers opened the Blue and White Restaurant at 211 Liberty Street in downtown Warren, PA, in 1925. It was one and a half blocks north of US 6, certainly the coast-to-coast reference on this postcard showing its 1937 Art Moderne remodel.

1956 flood, US Route 6 at Rogertown just east of Warren, PAIn 1956, the Allegheny River spilled over its banks and swallowed up US Route 6 at Rogertown just east of Warren, but the Blue and White Restaurant billboard was still doing its job.

Blue Manor Restaurant
C. P. Spiridon soon bought out his partner brothers, added private banquet rooms in 1942, and changed the name of the Blue and White to the Blue Manor Restaurant in 1962.

The 1885 McKain Building
C. P. Spiridon retired from the Blue Manor Restaurant in 1970 when his new Spiridon Building opened nearby. The 1885 McKain Building, which housed the Blue Manor (and the Liberty Tea Room before 1925) continues to be the site of a restaurant, Jack’s Tap House.

New York City’s West Side Piers

A circa-1960 postcard shows New York City’s Transatlantic Steamship Terminal in the Hudson River between 44th and 54th streets.

The terminal with its 1,000-foot piers was opened by the city in 1935 to accommodate longer ocean liners that could no longer be accommodated at Chelsea Piers. A line-up of famous midcentury ships are docked at the terminal including the American Export Lines’ SS Independence (1951), the US Lines’ SS America (1939), and SS United States (1952), the Greek Line’s SS Olympia (1953), USS Intrepid (1943), the Cunard Line’s RMS Mauretania (1938), RMS Queen Elizabeth (1946) turning into its berth.

On April 7, 1963, this promotional photograph was set up to catch the United States Lines transatlantic sister ships, the SS America and the SS United States, passing in the Hudson River. This normally took place out in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. They are passing the Pennsylvania Railroad’s West Side Yard, now the location of Hudson Yards. Bound for a refitting in Thailand, the SS America broke its tow and ran aground in the Canary Islands in 1993. The SS United States, still the transatlantic speed record-holder from 1952, is docked in Philadelphia awaiting an unknown fate.

In the age of the Titanic, transatlantic ocean liners docked at Chelsea Piers between 12th and 22nd streets. Like the later Transatlantic Terminal, Chelsea Piers were built to accommodate longer steamships. Warren and Wetmore completed them in 1910, in the same year and Neoclassical style as McKim, Mead & White’s Penn Station. Piers 59 through 61 were leased to White Star Lines. The Titanic was bound for Pier 59 when it sank in 1912.

The SCA’s boat trip around Manhattan scheduled for June 19, 2022, will sail from Chelsea Pier 62 in one of these two 1920s-style yachts, the Manhattan, or the Manhattan II.

Chelsea Pier 54 was leased to White Star rival Cunard. The 706 survivors of the Titanic were brought to this pier by the Cunard Line RMS Carpathia. The steel framework is all that remains of Warren and Wetmore’s original Neoclassical pier portal. The words “Cunard-White Star” are barely visible painted after their 1934 merger. This is now the location of Heatherwick Studio’s Little Island, part of the Hudson River Park being assembled along the west side of Manhattan.

CEDAR TOURIST COURT, Clay Center, Kansas.

Westward across the plains of Kansas, US 40 originally split at Manhattan with the south branch following the Victory Highway through Salina (current US 40), and the north branch following the Midland Trail through Clay Center.

By the time this postcard of the Cedar Tourist Court was published in the 1950s, the road through Clay Center had been resigned US 24. This gas, food and lodging one-stop was depicted with its owner’s headhouse, a couple of graphic stripes and a rustic log script; homey but Modern. The Cedar Tourist Court still stands on the east side of Clay Center with the coffee shop now occupied by El Puerto Mexican Restaurant.