Postwar Homes in Niles
Ward — Thomas
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Baby-Boomer Years and Postwar Housing
At the end of World War Two, soldiers
returning from the battlefield found their sweetheart, got married,
and began to raise a family. Due to the birthrate explosion, this
time period would become known as the 'Baby-Boom'.
These new Niles' families needed
new homes and builders added new homes in various areas: Off North
Main Street, Wade and Rose Construction erected homes on Wade
and Wilson Avenue. Below Vienna Avenue, homes were developed on
Frederick Street and along North Road new homes were being built.
The Niles City School Board and
Administration began planning the addition of several new schools
to accomodate the flood of the Baby-Boom students. A bond Levy
was passed in 1953 and building plans were developed with construction
starting in 1955. The old Lincoln School on Cedar Street was to
be replaced with the new Lincoln Elementary School on Frederick
Street, S.J. Bonham Elementary School on East Margaret was to
provide classrooms for the North Road students and a new Niles
McKinley High School on Trumbull Drive for grades 10-12 would
allow the old high school on Church Street (Edison Jr.) to house
grades 7-9. By combining all students in grades 7-9 at Edison,
Washington Junior High School would become the last elementary
school to be enlarged.
The new Lincoln and S.J. Bonham
schools opened in 1956 and 1957 respectively with the new Niles
McKinley High School being dedicated in the Fall of 1957. Later
in 1965, a new Jackson Elementary School would be built on Smith
Street to replace the 1893 Jackson Building on Warren Avenue.
Harrison School in McKinley Heights was closed in 1956 and the
elementary students were bussed to Washington Elementary.
The former Niles High School on
Church and Arlington streets became Edison Junior High School
in the Fall of 1958 and all junior high students attended grades
A new street, yet unnamed,being developed
in Niles North Side by the Wade Construcion Company.
New homes being erected in Wade Avenue in a new
North Side addition being built by the Rose Construction Company.
A new group of homes on Frederick Avenue just
off Vienna Avenue.
New homes on Arden Boulevard built
by Custom Built Homes.
The earliest houses were on Niles' South Side,
West Park Avenue, Warren Avenue Area and the East End. Also,
along the main streets such as Robbins Avenue and Vienna Avenue
homes were built. Side streets were developed such as Cedar,
Bentley, Lincoln, and Hartzell as Niles expanded in the 1880s-1900s.
a Block Party for our
new neighborhood in 1949.
This is the new East Wilson Avenue
of Niles, "Our Street" to 37 families living in new
"They're off" and another
foot race over
newly-paved Wilson Avenue gets under way.
The 'Nuclear Family', so named
due to the atomic age, was a mother and father with two children.
Dad worked and most Moms stayed at home while the kids walked
to their neighborhood school.
There were the Boy Scouts and
Girl Scouts, neighborhood friends to play with in various games
such a tag, hide-and-seek.
Everyone played outside, weather
permitting, sat at a table for a home-cooked dinner and came
home when the porch light came on or perhaps a whistle to remind
Good manners and respect were
expected or discipline was administered quickly.
A street dance, with music climaxed
the evening for Mom
and Pop. Ray Sanfrey is in the front row with white
A blanket-swathed two-week old baby was the
youngest party-goer and attracted quite a crowd t
the side of his temporary custodian, Mrs. John Cassidy.
Tricycles brought out all kinds of velocipedes
and youthful drivers. Skinned knees and elbows were treated
with mercurochrome to remind you to avoid falls.
Avenue as it appears in 2019 taken from the same vantage point as the