30. Asbury Park

From Kingsley Street to Main Street

A Few Blocks North of Cookman

Including Bond Street

Businesses and other non-residential places tended to congregate in the blocks just north of Cookman Avenue. Narrow Mattison Avenue, which leads from Main Street into Press Plaza, was home to the Asbury Park Press Building before the newspaper moved to its modern (and quite spectacular) headquarters in Neptune. Also on Mattison was the old police station and Walter Reade's Savoy Theater. Across from the Savoy was Rushton's, an old-fashioned stationary store. (Rushton's closed in 2001.)

Image 1.30.2. The old Asbury Park Press Building, just off Press Plaza. It was built
in 1916 after a fire destroyed the two-story building that stood in its place.

The Meistrich building is closed but is very much worth looking at. Built in 1917, it originally housed the First National Bank. It is on the NE corner of Mattison and Bond.

Image 3.30.2. The Meistrich Office Building, NE corner of Mattison and Bond.

On Bond Street (a block north of Mattison), there was Tustings piano and music store (now closed for years). Robert A. Tusting was the first person to open such an establishment on the Jersey Shore.

Image 2.30.2. Tustings, NW corner of Bangs Avenue and Bond.

The old Bond Street School (built 1885) educated generations of students. In 1926 the last senior class was graduated from here. It was Asbury Park's high school before the present high school was built, in 1927. The Bond Street School was demolished in 1993-94. The Thurgood Marshall School, just down the block, School has replaced it.

Image 4.30.2. The old Bond Street School boarded up (1980s).

My family's church is Our Lady of Mount Carmel, in the west side of town. The other, and older, Roman Catholic church is Holy Spirit, on Second Avenue and Bond. Completed in 1910, it is a beautiful stone church of Romanesque design.

Image 5.30.2. Holy Spirit Roman Catholic Church, Second Avenue and Bond Street.

It's interesting: Though I grew up in Asbury, my personal bicycle routes rarely took me onto certain streets. So it wasn't till later in life that I clearly knew where, for example, Bond Street School was (though I knew that my mother had attended that school). It's interesting how such a small city - otherwise intimately familiar - can remain "unprocessed", in various respects, in a young mind. As a child on a bike, I never looked at street signs; so certain names like Sewell or Mattison Avenues were names I knew very well but could not quickly pinpoint (though I had been on these streets many times in a car). As a child, I did not have business on these avenues. I simply aimed my bike toward the beach and rode there, in various ways. To this day, wherever I am, I have the habit of not looking at signs. I point my car in the direction of my destination. Perhaps I unconsciously hope that I'll arrive back down the beach in Asbury Park.

***

You've already seen lots of photos of Wesley Lake, Asbury's southern border. Now get ready for an examination of Deal Lake, and Deal Lake Drive, which is the northern border. As I write these words, holed up in Beverly Hills, California, the thought of Deal Lake brings a burning tear to the corners of my computer-ruined eyes. Some of the loveliest views in the area are still available on Deal Lake Drive. Wait for me, dear Lake! Oh, how I long to see your sparkling wavelets! Flow on, Deal Lake, flow on!

 

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