Remember When, Chattanooga? This was North Chattanooga in 1960

Chattanooga News-Free Press photo by John Goforth via ChattanoogaHistory.com. This 1960 aerial photo shows the North Chattanooga area before its 21st century redevelopment.
Chattanooga News-Free Press photo by John Goforth via ChattanoogaHistory.com. This 1960 aerial photo shows the North Chattanooga area before its 21st century redevelopment.

This aerial view of the North Chattanooga area in 1960 recalls a time when landmarks there included the Hamilton National Bank, the Town & Country Restaurant and one of the city's original Ace Hardware stores.

The photo, taken by newspaper photographer John Goforth, is part of an archive of mid-20th century photos from the Chattanooga News-Free Press curated by ChattanoogaHistory.com.

The photo shows the convergence of Market Street (north of the Tennessee River), Frazier Avenue, Cherokee Boulevard and Manufacturer's Road. It's a location where part of the city's industrial base, represented by plant buildings in the upper left corner of the photo, intersected with a commercial district alongside single-family homes.

Today, this area is commonly called the North Shore and is home to the Coolidge and Renaissance public parks, numerous new apartment and condominium complexes, and retail shops that cater to residents and pedestrians from the adjacent tourist district south of the river.

Near the center of this 1960 photo are two banks, American National Bank and Hamilton National Bank, which bracketed Cherokee Boulevard at the time. The banks formed a gateway into the North Market Street business district that included the landmark Town & Country Restaurant and the vibrant Town & Country Shopping Center.

The restaurant opened in 1947 and closed in 2005, according to newspaper archives. The land later became home to a new Walgreens pharmacy which continues to anchor the North Shore business district.

The Town & Country Shopping center has been home to a host of businesses since 1960. In that year, one of its busiest stores was Hilton-Blair TV and Appliances where in 1960 one could buy a General Electric kitchen range for $137. Also that year, the shopping center hosted a square dance in the parking lot with country music artists Helen Carter and Bill Anderson providing the music.

The Ace Hardware Store near the shopping center was new in 1960 having recently merged operations with the more established Crisman Hardware Store. In 1960, you could buy a 25-foot garden hose for about $1 at the Ace Hardware on North Market Street.

The Town & Country Restaurant closed in 2005 to make way for the Walgreens pharmacy, which helped spur redevelopment of the North Shore. Some customer favorites at the restaurant included hamburger steak with au jus and house salads topped with blue cheese dressing, according to previous newspaper reports.

Shops along Frazier Avenue in this era included Northside Pharmacy, U.S. Five & Ten Stores, North Chattanooga Bakery, Lawson Electric Co. and Red Food Stores, among others, according to a 1959 Chattanooga city directory.

Also in 1960, Manufacturers Road was lined with manufacturing plants including American Lava Corp. (makers of electric insulation), Brown Brothers (asphalt plant), Jones Loyd Co. (steel fabricators) and Signal Knitting Mill (underwear makers). The art deco-style American Lava building is now home to the Incubator at the Hamilton County Business Development Center.

Follow the Remember When, Chattanooga? public group on Facebook and see previous articles in this series at ChattanoogaHistory.com.

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Launched by history enthusiast Sam Hall in 2014, ChattanoogaHistory.com is maintained to present historical images in the highest resolution available. If you have photo negatives, glass plate negatives or original nondigital prints taken in the Chattanooga area, contact Sam Hall for information on how they may qualify to be digitized and preserved at no charge.

"Remember When, Chattanooga?" publishes on Saturdays. Contact Mark Kennedy at mkennedy@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6645.