The above detail from that aerial drawing shows the western end of the 200 blocks of Allen, Partition, and Union streets, viewed from the south. In the foreground are the backs of the houses on the south side of Allen Street. The house that appears at almost the center of the image is 221 Union Street, and 217 Union is to the left. The detail below hones in on 217 Union Street.
Gail Grandinetti, who lived on the 200 block of Union Street for most of her life, told Gossips that when she was growing up, 217 Union Street was divided into four apartments occupied by four families. The building at the back of the lot, facing Partition Street, was also a residence. She recalled that the side and back yards of the house were filled with lilac bushes.
Tom D'Onofrio, who grew up in the 200 block of Warren Street, recalled that the front of 217 Union Street was covered with asphalt brick siding, popular in the 1950s. Both he and Grandinetti thought that it might have been Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church that bought the houses in the 1960s and demolished them, possibly to create a parking lot for the church.
Related to these recollections, an anonymous commenter on Gossips a while back provided the information that the barns where the horses of guests at the General Worth House were stabled, which were across the street from 217 Union, evolved into or were replaced by garages. According that source, those garages were purchased by the church and demolished to create a parking lot. That source couldn't recall how the lot on the south side of the street had come to be vacant.
At some point, Mt. Carmel Church also purchased an early Federal house that stood next to the church and demolished it to build a rectory. The church building itself, constructed in 1928, replaced a house that in 1867 belonged to Sherman Van Ness. It was one of the houses mentioned in an article that appeared in the Evening Register entitled "Private Residences": "This house is considered very desirable, as it has the appearance of a very stylish and aristocratic mansion."
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