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Modern Street

Modern Street was created around 1935, the same time as many of the other streets and structures. The original street housed some famous names like the Max Factor building, Chevrolet and Goodrich. 

One of the first aerials showing Modern Street in its inception in 1936. Only the upper North side is completed.

       6. Corner Drug Store

       5. Max Factor

       4. Remington Rand

       3. Bigelow

       2. Chevrolet

  125. Church


    64. Gas & Electric Bldg

    96. Madison Square Garden

B 28. Warehouse on Modern St.

Legend

Above: A late 1940's Plot Plan or Blueprint showing the street with facade numbers corresponding to the Legend next to it.

Below: One of the first Still photos of Modern Street from around 1937.

The kind of "L"shaped street mainly consisted out of a 'shopping strip', (Star Drug, Max Factor, Remington Rand, Bigelow Rugs and Chevrolet), and rarely showed the end of the street.

The first few years there were no facades at the end of the street actually, which just became a dirt path. It was not until late in 1940, when it received a remodel of the facades, that the street was slightly extended, gained the original Corner Church at the end in 1942, (which later moved to Blondie Street in 1953) and got connected with Skid Row/Tenement street. The other side of Modern Street was seldom seen as well, due to the fact there was nothing there past the Madison Square Garden facade which was also was constructed in 1941.

A screenshot collage from The 3 Stooges short 'The Sitter Downers' from 1937, showing Modern Street in its original configuration.

One of the most recognizable and often used buildings was the corner store facade (often called the Star Drug Co.) It was on the corner of Modern Street and New York Street, and with its Art Deco style, curved front and store windows, made it a commonly recognized building in many of the Serials and movies filmed there. 

Opposite of it, on the other side of the street was the Gas & Electric building. This structure, along with many others, were frequently seen in the weekly serials of the time, such as 'Superman', 'The 3 Stooges' and 'Brenda Starr, Reporter'.

In late 1940 a few minor alterations were made to some facades. Most notably was that of the Remington Rand (where the overhang was removed as well as the porthole windows) and the Bigelow facades (where the entire front was redone and the second floor window was replaced with 4 individual ones). Plus the removal of the names of the buildings.

Remington Rand and Bigelow facades in 1939.

Same facades in 1941.

Although not seen very often, the south side of Modern Street did have some facades as well. On Blueprints from the 40's, it is listed as having a Madison Square Garden Facade and a Warehouse, while still connected with the Gas & Electric Building that stood at the corner.

The Madison Square Garden Facade around 1940. To the left is the Gas & Electric Building.

Sometime during mid 1953, the Star Drug facade underwent a major make-over, and its Post Modern-Art Deco style was changed to reflect a more Mid Century urban feel. The Gas & Electric building underwent a semi transformation on the New York Street side around the same time, to the first and second story, to look more like a downtown apartment complex.

In this revised view of a 1955 Plot Plan showing the new facades and Sound Stages.


The Star Drug store, along with the Max Factor and Remington facades were turned in to a single facade with 'Red Brick' facing. The New York Street side became pretty much a fake front. The side on Modern Street was turned in to 4 new and separate 'stores' with entrances, with each of them capable of being a practical set.  

The new corner of Modern Street and New York Street with a more Mid Century design.

The Goodrich building was replaced by a generic store facade, with a truck delivery entrance now well established.  A new movie Theater facade was built next to it along with a stately store and office building, replacing the old Corner Church spot.  The other major change was the enclosing of the empty space behind these facades with the backs of the Brownstone Street facades. Thus creating two new Sound Stages, numbers 33 & 34 respectively.

The Corner Church as it stood originally at the corner of Modern Street and Skid Row.

Another aerial from 1953 with the remodeling clearly visible to the former Chevrolet/Goodrich section and the Corner Church still in its original location.

With the new addition of  Sound Stages 33 & 34, the Ranch also became host to more productions. Especially with the onset of the new medium of Television.  Shows like Father Knows Best and The Donna Reed Show were some of the first to make use of the new facades and many other TV shows followed in abundance. 'Dennis the Menace', 'Hazel', 'Grindl', 'The Farmers Daughter', 'Bewitched', 'Gidget', 'The Monkees', 'I dream of Jeanie', 'The Partridge Family' and 'The Girl with Something Extra' all utilized the Street in many of their episodes.

From 1953 till 1974, Modern Street pretty much went untouched with only a few small alterations to some of the fronts and a couple of door and window replacements. 

Two views of Modern Street from The Partridge Family.

The Sally Field sitcom 'The Girl With Something Extra' , was the last TV show to utilize this great street before it found its demise in the catastrophic fire of 1974.

Below the unfortunate remains of what once was Modern Street. The massive fire of Sep 8th 1974, took out this once glorious street and  laid half of what remained of the Ranch in ashes.

An overhead view of what once was Remington Rand and Bigelow Rugs. The street behind is Brownstone Street and what was the Vanderhoef Home.

Above: A ghostly photo of what the Theater, flanked by storefronts on either side.