by Sandy Rachmiel

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A man wrote in "The Ledger" recently about a trolley tunnel which ran from Washington Street underground to the Public Service building on Park Place. When I was a very young child, my uncle owned a lady's undergarment shop on Halsey Street across the street from Kresge and near the YMCA building. In order to keep me out of mischief, I was always sent to the back yard which faced Washington Street and was high above the entrance to that tunnel. Being fascinated with trolleys at that tender age of about 3 or 4, I used to stand there for hours watching the trolley traffic going into and out of the tunnel below from my advantage point. Later on when the trolleys were taken off the streets, the tracked roadway in the tunnel was tarred over the tracks in order to allow buses to utilize the passage directly to the basement to the Public Service building. If a person was in the Public Service building and wished to take a trolley in the subway, he went down to the cellar where he first crossed this Washington Street tunnel roadway with the buses and then on to the trolley subway.

I also remember a trolley ramp that went into the rear of the Public Service building's second or third floor from Mulberry Street. The ramp went high above Pine Street right into the building. I have no idea if it was the terminus of the trolley line and the trolleys were turned around in the building and exited down the ramp or went to another destination first. Each side of the ramp which was in an open lot, was used for automobile parking.

My father owned a tavern during Prohibition on Center Street just east of Park Place during the late 20's and 30's. This was close to where the original Hudson Tube trains began their run to New York before they were rerouted to the Pennsylvania station.

I am enclosing a photo taken (above) of my mother carrying me east on the north side Market Street between Halsey Street and Broad Street near what was A. S. Beck Shoe Store at the time. Notice the Orbach's sign in the rear of the photo. If you look closely behind the H in the sign, you can also see part of the famous Bamberger Clock.

In those days of the depression, a man would stand on the street and snap every passerby's picture. He gave you a card with a number and when you mailed it in with a quarter, your photo was mailed to you.


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