Dr. Patrick’s Postcard Roadside

CHINN’S CAVE HOUSE

George Chinn opened up -literally, with dynamite- Chinn’s Cave House at Brooklyn Bridge, Kentucky, in the 1920s.

It was a well-known hole in the wall where US 68 crossed the Kentucky River between Lexington and Harrodsburg famous for his wife Cotton’s ham sandwiches, and infamous for its penny and nickel slot machines operating in a not-so-secret passage in the back of the cave. When Chinn was busted for operating “illegal games of change” his defense was that his customers “don’t have a chance” to win at his rigged machines. The postcard shows the Cave House in 1942 when it was selling Hudepohl Beer. It also shows a second hole in the wall that may have been the calcite mine operated by a Chinn relative before World War I. Long gone as a business, the holes and ruins of Chinn’s Cave House still exist along the banks of the Kentucky River.

Woodbridge Cloverleaf

What could be more appropriate for New Jersey than a postcard celebration of a highway interchange? Not just any interchange, this is the Woodbridge Cloverleaf, the first cloverleaf interchange in America.

Originally designed in 1906 France and patented by a Maryland engineer in 1916, the cloverleaf was unnecessary until automobile traffic volumes justified the expensive of building it. That happened in New Jersey first with the construction of State Route 25 in 1928-29. Concurrently signed with US 1, NJ 25 was the main road across the waist of New Jersey connecting Philadelphia and Atlantic Seaboard cities to the south with New York and cities to the north. It intersected with NJ Route 4 (now NJ 35) in Woodbridge. Route 4 was the main road connecting the New York metropolitan area to the Jersey Shore resorts. Howard Johnson’sEngineer Edward Delano with the firm Rudolph & Delano designed a tried-and-tested traffic circle and an innovative cloverleaf for the intersection. Both interchanges were designed to move large volumes of traffic through an intersection without stopping or dangerous left turns. The New Jersey Highway Department chose the cloverleaf.

In 1939, a Georgian Revival Howard Johnson’s opened on NJ 25/US 1 not far from the Woodbridge Cloverleaf, taking advantage of the traffic plying the 4-lane spine of Megalopolis. A modern Howard Johnson’s replaced the original in 1966, which became a Landmark Inn in 1974, and was demolished for a car dealership in the 1990s.Cloverleaf Photos

New Jersey’s 1928 Woodbridge Cloverleaf in 2000, after NJ DOT proclaimed it to be functionally obsolete. The cloverleaf was demolished and replaced by a different design in 2007.

The tight 1928 turning radii of the Woodbridge Cloverleaf survived into the 21st century.

Designed for 1920s traffic volumes, the original Woodbridge Cloverleaf was built without accelerating or decelerating lanes. This became a problem after traffic volumes far exceeded its design capacity in the 1960s. The cloverleaf continued to function for another 40 years until concrete started spalling and holes began to appear in the bridge.

‘Greyhound Blue’ Bus Terminals

A quick message scribbled on this 1940 postcard and mailed off to family in Ohio depicts what to the transient sender was just the Greyhound bus station in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

To us of the future, it is a Streamline Moderne gem, one of more than 50 “Greyhound blue” porcelain enamel bus terminals designed by William Arrasmith and scattered across the line’s nationwide system. The Fort Wayne depot opened in 1938 replacing a Berry Street bus stop that required passengers to load and unload at the curb. The new station had a second story restaurant and loading stalls for buses screened from the street by a glass block pierced wing wall. The station closed in 1977, survived the 1980s in a neglected state of abandonment, and despite hopeful ideas for adaptive reuse was demolished in 1992. A Marriott Courtyard now stands on the site adjacent to Parkview Field built in 2009 for the Ft. Wayne Tin Caps, farm team for the San Diego Padres.