.font-ruler-content::after {content:"@#$%%^&*~IAO"}

Brownstone Street

Brownstone Street was the third street to be created on the Ranch back in 1935, with New York Street and Modern Street created before. The initial facades were only the corners on either side of the beginning of the street, at the intersection with New York Street, and consisted out of a corner store and a movie Theater.

In 1936 the street was expanded with storefronts on one the North side and residential apartments on the South side. At the start of the street, on the right side, there was a News stand/bookstore, a Theater/Hotel, a Police Station, shops and tenement buildings. On the left, the original Brownstone apartments, new apartments, the stately Vanderhoef home, and a set of shops with residence above, before intersecting with Skid Row.

Brownstone Street (Norththside)

The first time we get to see any of Brownstone Street is in the movie ' Mr. Deeds Goes to Town', although it is only the north side. Originally filmed between December of 1935 and February of 1936, it shows, albeit in a foggy haze, the first section of the street as seen in the (blurry) above photo. The second appearance is in the movie 'Shakedown' from the same year.

Brownstone Street was used extensively at the time, and can be clearly seen in such films as 'Mr. Deeds Goes To Town', You Can’t Take It With You, Here Comes Mr. Jordan', 'Talk Of The Town', 'My Sister Eileen' as well as many serials such as 'Batman', 'The Three Stooges, 'Superman' and 'Brenda Starr Reporter'.

North view of the corner Brownstone facades in 1940

A West view of the corner Brownstone facades from 1939

When Brownstone Street was constructed, Columbia spared no expense when it came to detail. Although they were facades, cornice pieces, fluted columns and intricate woodwork adorned the 'apartments', not to mention the ornate 'stone' Balustrade Posts and elegant iron fence work that separated them from the sidewalks.

In mid 1936, the street was extended to its known layout, gaining several new 'apartments' and the addition of the VandHoef home on the North side of the street, as well as numerous small shops and tenement buildings on the South side.

Below is a compilation shot of the end of Brownstone street intersecting with Tenement/Skid Row Street, where a short segment of fake elevated Tracks separated the two. It shows how wide the street actually was. 6 to 7 cars could have past each other easily. Originally there was a median in the middle, however, this was removed sometime in 1938 making the street even wider.

A panoramic view of Brownstone Street from the 'Can't Take it With You' 1938

A stitched together view of the North side of Brownstone Street. To the left would be New York Street, to the right the Fire Station and Tenement Street/Skid Row.

An aerial view of Brownstone Street from 1938.  New York street on the left and showing the fake Elevated at the intersection of Tenement Street on the right.

The detailed wood work as seen on the VanderHoef home.

Although barely first seen in the movie 'Can't take it with you', the Vandhoef home had a drive through car port and you can see glimpses of it in the Three Stooges shorts, the Batman serials and some of the movies from that time.

The original drive through carport on the Vanderhoef home.

A publicity photo of the Stooges in front of the Vanderhoef home.

The Vanderhoef home after the incorporation of the carport, showcasing a new two story Baywindow, circa 1952.

In 1945, the Elevated Track was removed, allowing Tenement Street to be more open and accessable to film, and at the same time make way for the addition of the Fire Station. This was not just a facade, but it was an actual Fire Station, housing actual equipment, and served as safety precaution for mishaps at the Ranch. Since by this time, the Ranch was in full swing with many productions filming and needing either small explosions or blasting cars, there was need for a full time Fire Squad. Thus the Fire Station served both as a great backdrop as well as a real time solution.

The Firestation as seen circa 1960's.

The last time we really get to see the Firestation in all its glory, is during the first season episode of the Partridge Family, 'Soul Club'. Not only does it show the outside of the Station, but we get to see actual parts of the interior as well.

With the exception of the addition of the Fire Station and some alterations to the Vanderhoef home, this side, along with the south side, of Brownstone street, stayed pretty much the same all the way till it was lost in the fire of Sept 1974.

Brownstone Street (Southside)

Part two of Brownstone Street coming soon!