In 1960, Genesee Street was vibrant and whole, but not perfect. In this scene of Genesee Street looking east from Spruce Street, commercial buildings are cheek by jowl well into the horizon. Signs are visible for the Club 291 restaurant, Hawthone Company paint, Budget Boys furniture and appliances, and many others. The tower of St. Peter’s Evangelical Reformed Church, still standing at Genesee and Hickory streets, is visible in the photograph to the upper left. The day the Kensington Expressway opened, diverting traffic and commerce from the city’s radials, Genesee Street nearly went quiet.
Here’s the view from the same intersection in September 2017: