Photograph 62

With only 4 days left in the 90s, we stand at the door to the new millennium looking back at our past. As far as I'm concerned, the 90s will be remembered as the "decade of the pharmacy." It seems that everywhere you look a Walgreens, Eckert, or Rite Aid is popping up somewhere. If you've got some property in your neck of the woods that doesn't seem to be used by anything or anyone - for that matter, even if it IS used by something or someone- wait 5 minutes and Walgreens will throw out the occupants, demolish the buildings and plop another one of their trademarks down on top of us. Like we need another big name pharmacy. I mean, isn't there one less than a mile away from the one they're constructing now?

The beauty of looking at photographs of our past is that we can see how untouched the landscape was. Take this image from the early 1940s of the intersection of Kenmore Avenue and Main Street; right near what would eventually become but is now also extinct - the University Plaza. The photograph shows the Number 8 trolley and what would eventually become the trolley's nemesis - the Number 8 bus. Kenmore is the street on the left in this photograph while Main is in the foreground and eventually heads east toward Williamsville in the upper right. On either the trolley or bus line, this area was known as the "city limits."

Here was the Frontier Oil Filling Station (on the left) as well as the small shack that served as the station for both the trolley and the bus line (look for the 7-Up sign). The University Plaza would eventually be constructed right where the trolley shack is. Where the photographer is standing would be consumed by - you guessed it - a Walgreens. In fact, when the construction crews were tearing up the land to make way for the new building they unearthed a lot of the old trolley rails still buried in the layers of dirt and asphalt. But you can't stop progress, right?

Photograph courtesy of the Albert D. Kerr Collection, Niagara Chapter, National Railway Historical Society