Bear Road Plaza
These next few pictures are of the Bear Road Plaza (corner of Bear Road and Route 11) in 1988 and 1989, when it included City Mattress, Rosa & Sullivan, Warehouse Wine & Spirit and Fotomat (in the parking lot). These photos come from my old video tapes, so please excuse their quality.
Oasis, Old Mexico & The Orange House
In the first photo below we have Oasis Tavern, which used to be on the corner of Chestnut Street and Route 11 (across from Wilson Farms). Next is Old Mexico Restaurant, which used to be on the corner of Gertrude Street and Route 11. This location was the "Bermuda Triangle" for retailers. It seems like there is a new business in that building every year. Anyway, the last photo is the infamous "Orange House", which used to be on Route 11 across from Bowling Green. This house seemed really huge, strange and (of course) orange while I was growing up. There never seemed to be anyone living there, and there was this strange little statue of an orange attired man in the front lawn. The house was demolished in the early 2000s. The first two photos are from a 1988 video tape, and the last is from 1995. The last picture is courtesy of Janice Smith and features the infamous "Orange House" in the background of a picture of Senator Nancy Larraine Hoffmann (taken in May of 1986).
Oscars Restaurant on Route 11 is now called "Just 1 Bite". My father worked there when he was a teenager in the 1950s. I'm ashamed to say I've never eaten there, but I'm sure their Pork Snitzel was just fabulous. These photos were taken in 2006.
North Syracuse Post Office
These pictures of the North Syracuse Post Office were taken in 1988. The first is the view when you walk in the main doors, the second is the postal service counter, and the last is the frame shop to the right after walking in the main doors.
Pudgies Pizza & Vecchios Grocery
If you couldn't make it to Penn Can Mall, Pudgies Pizza was the next best place to hang out in North Syracuse in the 1980s. Pudgies has long since been gone from the area - first replaced by a Pizza Hut, and then a Chinese Restaurant, now another pizza place. Vecchios Grocery was everything a small, corner store should be - locally owned by friendly (loud) people and full of magazines, chips, beverages, cigarettes, and lottery tickets. Both of these pictures are from 1989.
The VFW on Maxwell Avenue, just down the road from Pudgies Pizza, has been a long standing North Syracuse landmark. I remember going to a Halloween costume party there in the late 1970s, dressed as C-3PO. There has been an addition made to the front of the building since these photos were taken in the late 1980s.
Angelos, Bersanis, The Big Bible & Bowling Green
The following photos are taken from some of my video tapes from the 1980s and 1990s. Angelo's Cornucopia used to be a favorite dining spot for my childhood neighbor Mrs. Davis (I'm sorry, that's all I really remember about the place). Bersani's Hardware Store had already gone out of business by the time this picture was taken in 1999, and the building would be torn down only a few short months later. Bersani's always reminded me of Cunningham Hardware (yes, from Happy Days). The "Big Bible" has stood in front of North Syracuse Baptist Church on Route 11 for decades now. They have recently "turned the page" in the book. It now shows a different Bible verse. Bowling Green has long been a favorite stop for North Syracuse residents that like to drink and (you guessed it!) bowl.
Centerville Park & Christian Book Store
Centerville Park on South Bay Road used to be a great place to go sledding in the 1970s and 1980s. I don't know how much fun it is now, since a new parking lot has been built right at the bottom of the sledding hill. Jeffer's Christian Book Store & Shoe Repair (also on South Bay Road) has never been open, as far as I can remember. Jeffer does sound like someone who would own a Christian Book & Shoe Repair Store, though. I usually would never notice this store, because it's always been hidden by a couple of large trees that surround the place. The building has since been torn down.
John F. Kennedy Park
Kennedy Park and, more importantly, Kennedy Park Pool used to be a popular summer time hang out for "the kids". I took swimming lessons at Kennedy Pool for several years in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Kennedy Park had some of the best old-style playground equipment in town. These photos are from a 1995 video tape.
Millbrook, My Uncles Place & North Syracuse Drugs
Millbrook Bakery on South Bay Road used to be a great place to go if you were a kid. There were rows and rows of bakery treats on every shelf (well, if you skip the bread aisle, that is) and pictures of The Peanuts Gang all over the walls. Millbrook had closed and turned into Stroehmann Bakery by the time these pictures were taken in 1995. My Uncle's Place, also on South Bay Road, always seemed to be closed. It was finally torn down in the late 1990s. North Syracuse Drugs, on Route 11 next to the Post Office, has had several different owners since this photo was taken in 1988.
North Syracuse Library
North Syracuse Library was located on Route 11 across from Main Street School. It was a small building, but seemed huge when I went there as a child. Their Children's Section was a great place for me to spend a lot of time while my mother browsed thru the "big people" books. They also had strange little statues, decorations and children's artwork scattered throughout the building. These photos are from 1999, only a few months before this library closed and was moved to a larger location.
The following photo and information were sent in by Fred Fergerson:
Here's the original N.Syr. library which was directly across the street from our house. It was originally the Palmer home. The next one built was the current NSEA building built directly behind it. I was part of a scout troop that moved all the books.
Club 37 was located on Route 11, in the southern end of North Syracuse. I've been there a couple of times, and found it less than memorable. It's well known for being the place that WWF wrestler Shawn Michaels got assaulted in 1995. A group of about five men, including at least one Fort Drum soldier, severely injured Shawn in the parking lot. Click here to listen to an episode of the Syracuse Nostalgia Podcast where this incident is discussed. The first picture below is from 1999, a few years after the club had closed. The second was taken in 2007, and the club was still closed. I think that sign has read, "ENING SOON CLUB N" for over 5 years now.
Both videos below are from 2017. In the first one, Brett Hall interviewed me about Club 37 in the "Tear It Down or Fix It Up" segment.. The second video features footage taped inside the club that I set to the tune of an appropriate song by The Kinks.
Royal Motel Sign
The Royal Motel sign, located near Club 37, was on the side of the road near Club 37 for as long as I can remember. I would guess that the motel opened some time in the 1960s. The sign was finally taken down in 2018. The sign itself is classic, but I've never traveled down the long driveway to get to the actual motel. Photo taken in 2007.
The following photos are courtesy of the North Syracuse Historian and were taken around 1960. The first photo shows Route 11 and South Bay Road looking north. Switz's in North Plaza can be seen as well as the original McDonalds. The second photo shows South Bay Road looking west. Big Dip can be seen on the right side of the picture.
North Syracuse High School 1981 Yearbook
Keith Kobland, formerly of CBS 5 News in Syracuse, was nice enough to let me scan some photos from his high school yearbook. The first photo below is the front cover, and the second is the front page of the book. The last two are the now-famous photos of Keith that were shown on CBS 5 News during a segment in 2008 about this site (click here to see that segment). He took some teasing from his fellow newscasters about his hair in these photos, but I give Keith a lot of credit for being courageous enough to show these photos on the air. Actually, I think some of the other newscasters in the Syracuse area should follow Keith's lead and share their high school photos with the public. I'd be more than willing to post them on this site!
Click here to listen to an episode of the Syracuse Nostalgia Podcast featuring an interview with Keith Kobland.