The needler in the haystack.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Hidden Plainfield: Cornerstone Quiz IDs

The former Wardlaw-Hartridge School now houses Koinonia Academy,
a private lay-sponsored Catholic school.
So, where were those four buildings from yesterday's Hidden Plainfield?

Quite widely spread around town, actually.

Here are the buildings in long shot, with their accompanying cornerstones --

What many of us know as the Wardlaw-Hartridge campus between Plainfield and Stillman Avenues is the result of the merger of two private schools that were originally founded in the 1880s: The Wardlaw Country Day School (boys) and The Hartridge School (girls). After merging in 1976, the school were consolidated on the Hartridge campus until a completely new school was built on Inman Avenue in the 1990s (see school's website here). (Note to WH alums among the readership: somebody needs to tidy up some misstatements in the Wikipedia article here)

An Hispanic church has occupied these premises for years, but only in recent times have I noticed them conducting prayer services on the walkway leading to the entry. The church building itself (with the 1912 cornerstone) was added onto a pre-existing Victorian home. What this tall-windowed building was I do not know, but it would be a fun project to find out (hint to teachers and PHS readers).

Was the inscription on the entablature just so much blather?
The path to finishing construction of Plainfield's City Hall was not an easy one -- I  believe the original contractor went bankrupt in the process and construction was halted for some time. In any event, the building -- in the City Beautiful style -- was eventually finished. But was it really MCMXVII? (The cornerstone is mostly obscured by the column to the left of the entry.)

The building housing the Second Street Youth Center was originally (I am told) the company offices of International Motors, a firm that flourished alongside and was eventually absorbed into the Mack Truck works so important to Plainfield's industrial underpinnings in the early- to mid-20th century. The SSYC itself was an outgrowth of the Model Cities program, part of President Lyndon B. Johnson's War on Poverty initiative in the 1960s.
Where shall we go next week?

  • Hidden Plainfield:  "Cornerstone Quiz" -- All comments and guesses have been posted.
-- Dan Damon [follow]

View today's CLIPS here. Not getting your own CLIPS email daily? Click here to subscribe.


Cheri said...

Good job Dan, You are always keeping us on the hunt. Thanks for keeping our Sunday reading fun and on the light side.

Joan Van Pelt said...

Regarding the Wardlaw Wiki site - I believe that the original post was written by two energetic recent grads who had consumed too much caffeine and stayed up all night writing it. (Hence most dating from 12/11/07) Perhaps they can take a break from their graduate school studies and correct the mistakes.