Revisiting Logan in the Flesh – Part 2

After doing the photo shoot for The Pew Charitable Trusts referenced in Part 1, I took advantage of the opportunity of feeling comfortable in the old neighborhood to drive around take some more photos.  It was hard to decide where to go first, but I was drawn to heading straight up the block on 10th Street to my old synagogue on 10th & Rockland – Congregation B’nai Israel.





Viewed from different angles, the old church then synagogue and now church again still has a stately charm to it.







Continuing a little further north, I couldn’t resist a walk through the narrow alleyway that separated the synagogue from the neighboring residence to the north on 10th.





… and looking northward in the alley between Rockland and Ruscomb toward the back yard of where the Grossman brothers used to live – Howard, Jerry and Barry, together with father Moishe and mother Martha.



Proceeding north on 10th takes us to Congregation Rodeph Zedek, another church turned synagogue that has long since reverted to churchdom.







Here a few more angles of the intersection at 10th & Ruscomb, first looking westward toward 11th and then looking eastward toward 9th.

10th & RuscombW

10th & Ruscomb3

10th & Ruscomb


10th & Ruscomb 2


Traveling another block northward on 10th brings us to the corner of 10th & Lindley where I discover that the bus traveling south on 10th Street is no longer the “C” but is now the “4”.

10th & Lindley




Wait a moment.  Before proceeding north to the famous intersection where 10th meets Fisher meets Windrim,  let’s double back and go east on Rockland to 9th, then north past Ruscomb and up to Lindley.  This takes you by Birney Elementary School, now Birney Preparatory Academy.













We’ll take a left on to Lindley for one block heading west, then another left around the corner of Hutchinson and head back down the other side of Birney’s school yard until we get back to Ruscomb where Hutchinson has to make a slight turn to continue southward – the only such turn in the neighborhood where the row homes aren’t in a perfect row.












… and the view from the corner of Hutchinson and Ruscomb, looking eastward.




I want to take you eastward for a moment and go over 9th St. to 8th St. on Duncannon Avenue, where the homes still sport a very pretty brick and dead end into what I recollect calling Tabor Field.
















Turn around, opposite the playground/field, and as you look back eastward on Duncannon toward 8th you’ll see a familiar sight on the wire overhead: used sneakers slung over the wires, always knotted and in pairs, an ages-old ritual as widespread in the neighborhood as wireball itself.



Can’t resist commenting again on how pretty the homes still look on 8th between Duncannon and Fisher, still with well-kept stone and manicured little lawns, immaculate in their rows mindful of their counterparts in the Rhawnhurst section of Northeast Philly.




About Leonard J. Press, O.D., FAAO, FCOVD

Developmental Optometry is my passion as well as occupation. Blogging allows me to share thoughts in a unique visual style.
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30 Responses to Revisiting Logan in the Flesh – Part 2

  1. Dear Len: The last photo shows my ex-house. My grandfather built that block about 1948. The houses look perpetually young because there are no trees. Campbell’s Kids is he ex-Northern Hebrew Day Nursery, which had day care for families where both parents worked. I remember Jerry Grossman. David Goodis, the great noir novelist, attended Birney School. Thank you for the ghosts of Logan past.

  2. That’s great, Aaron! You can tell that they’re a special carve-out, still kept in pristine fashion. The Grossmans were a classy family, the three brothers mindful of “My Three Sons” but with both in place. Jerry and older brother Howard taught me about short wave radio – great memories in their house (father worked for a toy company – what joy!). Did know about David Goodis — thanks for the tip. Great website for Goodisheads:

  3. rochelle neuman brodsky says:

    Is that B’nai Israel? or the other one on Ruscomb? I went to Birney! SUch great pics.
    Rochelle Neuman Brodsky

    • I have both there, Rochelle. The beginning photos are of B’nai Israel which was on the corner of 10th & Rockland. The subsequent ones are of Rodeph Zedek which was on the corner of 10th & Ruscomb.

    • Bonnie Adelman Ellner says:

      Dear Len,
      Thanks so much for the pictures of the memories that we treasure, My entire family belonged to Temple Rodeph Zedek. When I was 14 I worked at Northern Hebrew Daycare and enjoyed every moment of it. I attended Birney, Cooke and Olney. I lived at 4943 North 9th Street. My grandparents lived down the block as well as my aunt and I had other relatives living on nearby streets.
      Thanks a lot Len,
      Bonnie Adelman Ellner

      • You’re welcome, Bonnie. I had a very good friend, Maury (Maurice) Bach, who lived on the 4900 blcok of North 9th. As I recall Dr. J.J. Cohen had his office in a house on your side of the block, perhaps it was the next block up btwn Rockland and Ruscomb. It was a wonderful place and time to grow up!

  4. Marian Leonard Rothstein says:

    Leonard, thanks for the pics. I grew up at 4814 N. Marvine St and I believe your Dad was my opthomologist. Was his name Israel Press?

  5. Judith Gittelman says:

    Thank you so much for the tour. My mom was the choir leader at Rodeph Zedek, assisting Cantor Mermelstein (he was also the butcher on 11th Street). We lived at 812 West Wyoming Avenue and my mom was also a Piano Teacher. We moved to Bustleton Somerton in 1959, which at that time was G-d’s Country. I visited Logan many times right after I moved, but one day we drove around the area, I saw that my house and my block was sure to be taken down any day. I never got to find a picture of my block (West Wyoming Avenue from 8th to 9th St.) in any of the street records. If you can find it, please post it. I don’t think it actually exists in the records. Thanks for the pictures.

  6. Dear Len:

    Do you have any recollection of Superior Billiards (aka Mosconi’s) at Broad and Ruscomb? If so, I would like to add your impressions to the David Goodis website.

  7. GaRy Bennett says:

    This is Gary Bennett, the son of Leon and Reba Bennett, and brother of Alan. As you may know I have been living in Israel for 45 years with 3 kids and 8 grandchildren. A few years ago I visited the old homestead at 5019 N. 9th St, and was pleasantly surprised tio see that it was in very good shape and well taken care of since I left it in 1965, and since my parents left it only in the year they died in 1981

    I also remember very well sitting in Izzy Press’ optometrist office many times.

  8. Gerald Barton says:

    Awesome Photos Leonard! Remember walking those street when I went to Cooke in the late 60’s.
    Always thought that it was odd the way I would enter Barret playground. Street end on Duncannon.
    Then again, My playground Cherashore was the same. Thank you so much for taking these. Kindest Regards,

    • You’re welcome, Gerald. It was all quite spontaneous. Having driven in for a photo shoot to cap off an interview that I’ll try to post when published, I found myself drawn to revisiting what was left of the neighborhood. I had no idea how I would feel; whether it would even be safe to pull over the car and take some shots, or to park the car and get out to walk around without getting shot! A calm came over me, even nodding to people – a few with whom I chatted warmly when I told them I used to walk/play where my feet were now re-taking me. Having a good phone camera made it easier for me to come and go. And when I finally drove back up down to Hunting Park Avenue, turning Northeast on the Boulevard heading toward the Turnpike, I found myself invigorated and exhausted at the same time. Quite an emotional roller coaster to go back to the old ‘hood.

  9. Perla Jakubowicz Goldschmidt says:

    I lived next door to the Grossmans, just one door from the synagogue. The pictures were great! Your father was also my ophthalmologist. I don’t remember you, but I do remember Dr. Press having a daughter. Was her name Arlene, maybe? My sister must have been closer to your age, Chana Jakubowicz. I remember running in the alley by B’nai Israel that you pictured, and being yelled at by Mrs. Verling, who lived next to the synagogue and thought the alley was her property. I really enjoyed reminiscing. Thanks!

  10. Lucille Tenaglia Criniti says:

    I have a few pictures of the alley behind the Grossman house and even one of Gerry and myself in the yard. I lived 3 doors away from Grossman’s house at 4931 N. 10th Wonderful memories and great pictures. Thank you

    • You’re welcome, Lucille. That’s great! I was a contemporary of Barry’s, the younger brother. Gerry was the middle and Howard was the eldest. Howard and his wife moved to Northeast Philly and took an apartment there in the late ’70s (Pennypack) near us, but lost touch with the family after we relocated to North Jersey in the early ’80s. Wonderful memories indeed.

  11. Dear Leonard,thinking back to the 60`s,I believe your dad was an optometrist and sort of a match maker.

  12. I used to live on the 5100 block of 8th street.Your photographs of 8th and Duncannon are great.

  13. Adrienne Berger says:

    I enjoyed this. I lived at 4729 N. 10th Street, and went to Birney and Beth Judah; Longfellow for 7th grade (an annex of Cooke Jr. High). My uncle Morton Berger was an Orthodox Jew who taught Spanish at Cooke. He wore the black garb and hat. Very conspicuous.

  14. Thank you, Adrienne. I remember him well. Morton H. Berger, and he always enunciated the “H” with a flourish. I attended services at the Orthodox synagogue B’Nai Israel, where your uncle was a fixture in the front row, left side.

  15. Terri Spiegle says:

    I enjoyed the pictures. I used to live on N. 12th street in one of the “sinking home” which is no longer standing. I attended Birney Elementary and seeing the pictures brings back good memories. Thanks!

  16. Brian K Mitchell says:

    Wasnt the PAL gymnasium (boxing, basketball, etc.) somewhere near your synagogue. Went there a few times.

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