Bridge Board to Take 27 Properties as Safety Zone for Rail Underpass

Bridge Overpass - AI Stock Photo

Camden Courier-Post – February 4, 1933

Fourth Street Houses Between Main and Linden Considered

Valuation Last Year set at $133,875, But May Go to $110,000 For 1933

Landmarks Included

Twenty-seven properties, some of which are landmarks of generations past, are to be acquired by the Delaware River Joint Commission to make way for the proposed North Fourth Street underpass beneath tracks of the Camden bridge rapid transit line.

The properties extend along both sides of Fourth Street, from Linden to Main. Their 1932 valuation totaled $133.875 but recent general reductions in assessment for 1933 may cut this figure to $110,000.

Curtis’ Old Home

In explaining the condemnation proceedings to be taken, Joseph K. Costello, secretary to the joint commission, said that a commission, composed of Camden real estate men, will be appointed to value each parcel of property involved. The owners will be reimbursed at whatever figures the commission sets. The properties are occupied mostly two and three-story houses.

The most valuable piece of property affected is the Linden Apartments at Fourth and Linden streets, assessed at $10,525. Although the building, which once was the home of Cyrus H. K. Curtis, Philadelphia publisher, faces Linden street, it is listed as 401 North Fourth Street.

Largest of the parcels is the 25 by 95-foot property of Genevieve A. Toram, at 417 North Fourth Street assessed at $7750. The others range from $3225 to $6000. Two other properties in the neighborhood may be acquired at Fifth and Linden Streets, where the high-speed line subway will swing south on Fifth Street. Engineers have not however, decided whether they will be needed.

The properties in question are 430 and 432 Linden street, assessed respectively, at $5975 and $7800. 432, because it is on the southwest corner, is more likely to be taken, according to Costello. It is owned by Harry L. Warren. George W. and Lillie H. Tasch and C. Rolf and Eleanor T. Stanley own in equal shares the building at 439 Linden street.

According to plans of Ralph Modjeski, bridge engineer, the Fourth Street underpass will begin at Linden street and end at Main. A similar tube will be constructed in Philadelphia on Fifth street, from Cherry street to Callowhill at a total cost of $1,112,300. The Camden underpass would cost only $275,000, Modjeski estimates, including a separate tunnel for pedestrians.

The Camden underpass is necessary because under Modjeski’s plans the high-speed line will reach street level at the West side of Fourth Street and cross to enter the ground in a curve toward Fifth Street.

Underpass Seen Necessary

Unless the underpass is constructed, it would be necessary to block all traffic on Fourth Street. Fifth Street already is shut off because of the bridge and eliminating Fourth Street t would seriously interfere with vehicular travel between North Camden and the central section of the city.

Fourth Street will remain a two-way thoroughfare and because of the necessity of building four-foot walls topped with large railings to protect pedestrians and motorists against the danger of falling into the ramp, the Fourth Street properties will have to be tom down, it was explained by Costello.

This added width, Costello said, will permit the free flow of traffic to Pearl street. Fourth Street, from curh to curb, will measure 76 feet, with the underpass in the center measuring 28 feet from the insides of the walls and 36 feet overall. There will be 8 10-foot sidewalk on each side which will make the distance from building line to building line 96 feet.

The surface traffic lanes, northbound on the east side of the underpass and southbound on the west side, each will measure 20 feet.

These measurements will mean the destruction of 18 feet of the properties required.

Owners of other properties and their assessed valuations, are listed in the city tax office as follows:

401 Linden street- South Camden Trust Company, assessed at $6000 (property occupies all of east side of Fourth Street, running north to property owned by joint commission on Pearl street; all other addresses listed are on North Fourth Street ).

Fourth Street Properties

  • 403 – Joseph B. and Mary S. Lane, $4575.
  • 405 – Frank Dumbleton, Jr., $5325.
  • 407 – Harry B. and Esther J. Dodamead, $5325.
  • 409 – Margaret E. Senderling, $5325.
  • 411 – Harry H. Titelman, $4950.
  • 413 – Joseph C. and Evelyn Lee, $4950.
  • 415 – Charles M., and Louisa Clinger, $5800.
  • 507 – George B. Lagokos, $5200.
  • 509 – Maurice B. and Bernice Shaw. $3925.
  • 51l – Emerson P. and Ella Ogborn, $3625.
  • 513 – Atlie M. Ward, $4450.
  • 515 – G. Frank and Helen N. Bacon, $3925.
  • 517 – Walter L. and Alice Smith, $4300.
  • 519 – Lizzie J. Smith, $4300.
  • 521 – Michael Matthews estate, $4575.
  • 523 – Harry W. (deceased) and Pauline H. Roselle, $3625
  • 525 – George Aleck, $5125.
  • 504 – Morris Viner (two-thirds) and Rubin L. and Augusta Cutler (one-third), $5250.
  • 506 – Lewis M. Nelson estate, $4900.
  • 508 – City of Camden, $4500.
  • 510 – John B. Longshore, $3600.
  • 514 – Mary C. Schermerhorn, $3225.
  • 516 – William H. Dobbins, $4550.
  • 520 – Adolph, Pauline and Adolph Dippner, Jr., $4925.

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