When Valerie Evans recently remodeled The Grapevine, the property owner gave her a few old pictures of the building to hang on the wall. They are the coolest historical pictures of Willow Glen that I’ve ever seen and if you’re into the historic side of Willow Glen you really need to go see them for yourself. Until then click the pics to zoom in, and enjoy the WhatWasThere sliders that let you compare the old pic with what’s there today.
I figure this picture is from the late ’20s based on the cars and presence of a drugstore that I think is Lawrence’s. More on that in a second. There’s a gas station called “Violet Ray’s” on the corner where the left half of Domus sits now. The right half of Domus today was it’s own building. It had a very cool decorative facade and at the time this picture was taken was the home of SBS or S&S Grocery. The tiny building that now houses Three Sisters looks as petite and charming as ever — in fact it’s so tiny you can’t make out the name of the business that was there.
The bigger building that today houses The Grapevine, Elaine’s and Goosetown Mercantile, with apartments above, looks like something straight out of an old western! And note the drugstore — I think might be the initial incarnation of Lawrence’s drugstore which was at 1383 Lincoln from 1928 to 1930 before moving a few doors down to 1395 Lincoln (now the Domus building) where they served Willow Glen until 1993!
The house that you can see through the gas station is still there, today it is the consignment store called Our Secret and you can just see the one gable over the top of the now expanded Domus building.
Here’s a “What Was There” slider that lets you view the picture in comparison with a Google Streetview picture from today. (here’s more of those, by the way)
Here’s another shot looking the other way, toward Lincoln Avenue. It’s even older! The gas station seems smaller/simpler and is called Associated Gasoline & Motor Oils, which seems like it might have been an Exxon or Shell of the era. Unfortunately you can’t tell what business made its home in what’s now the Domus building. In the background across Minnesota you can see the school that was where Willow Glen Elementary is today. What’s weird is it doesn’t look like pictures of the school, neither the original school from the mid-1800s nor the “new” one built in 1897. The coolest part of the picture to me is what’s NOT there — no Three Sisters building! I wish it was a little wider of a shot so you could see if the big building was there at the time or not.
I couldn’t get the perspective matched very well, but here’s a WhatWasThere slider of the second picture: