DR. ABRAM EMORY STREET was born around 1848 to Rev. Abram Keyser Street and his wife, the former Elizabeth Roberson. He was one of at least nine children. His father was a Methodist minister and at one time was the pastor of Broadway Methodist Episcopal Church. Rev. Street and his family were living in Woolwich Township, Gloucester County NJ at the time of the 1850 Census.
A.E. Street married Joanna Dilks Sickler in Glassboro NJ on November 26, 1868. His father-in-law lived in Camden, and was in the real estate business. When the census was taken in 1870, A.E. Street was working as a clerk in a railroad office. He would take up dentistry during the 1870s.
By 1880 the Streets were living in Camden, at 331 Stevens Street. By this time they had five children, Christopher Marvin, Elizabeth, Dora, and Annie. Son Emory and daughter Josie came shortly afterwards By 1887 the family had moved to 430 Stevens Street. Dr. Street arranged to have a large house built the following year at 300 Broadway, the southeast corner of Broadway and Stevens Street.
The Street family lived at 300 Broadway through 1900. By 1910 Dr. Street had retired, and moved to 306 Broadway. His son, Dr. Marvin Street, also a dentist, was living with his wife and children at 300 Broadway. Dr. Street passed away around 1919. Among the many church and civic activities engaged in during his lifetime, Dr. Street had been one of the original trustees of The Home for the Aged and Infirm of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
When the census was taken in January of 1920, Dr. Marvin Street had moved near Moorestown, to Chester Township (present-day Maple Shade), and the widowed Mrs. Joanna Street had also left Camden for Chester Township by then. The house at 300 Broadway was torn down April of 1928 to make way for the Stevens Building, a 12-story office edifice.
February 13, 1890
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"Wonder if they're going to take down the spite wall?"
I have heard this query repeated half a dozen times since announcement has been made the old "mansion" of the late Dr. A.E. Street, southeast corner of Broadway and Stevens Street, is to be demolished to make way for a 12 story office structure. This razing is to be scheduled to begin within two weeks. The "spite wall" is on the extreme eastern boundary of the property plumb up against a 3 story apartment house built by the late George Holl.
Dr. Street, who died less than a decade ago, was one of Camden's leading dentists. Son of "Father" Street, venerable superannuate of the New Jersey M.E. Conference. When the mansion was constructed, nearly two score years ago, it was indeed one of the show places along Broadway, for Dr. Street took particular pride in the architectural embellishments in the floral surroundings.
At the other end of the square, Broadway and Benson Streets, Holl had erected his home. It was and is for that matter, a two-story brick with mansard roof and setting back from Benson Street. That side yard Holl likewise embellished with flowers of the season. It was the delight of anyone with half an eye to beauty from early spring to late fall. It started with great beds of tulips. It closed with chrysanthemums with alluring blossoms throughout the summer.
Street and Holl were regarded as among Camden's most substantial citizens, one in the art of dentistry, the other as the builder of homes. They were fairly good friends until Holl built the block from Mickle Street to Stevens Street, since known under his name as the Holl Block. When Street built his then pretentious home, Charlie Curry informs me, he had an agreement with Holl that in the event of the then old circus lot being built up, it would not encroach on his view.
But when the building operation was about to begin Street saw that the dwellings and stores were going out to the usual building line. That would have cut off his view. He refused to permit that plan to go through and held Holl to his agreement, thus accounting for that block standing so far back from the curb line.
In the intervening years there was something of a truce, but warfare broke out anew when Holl in 1901 concluded to construct an apartment house just east of Street's rear boundary. Apartment houses then in Camden were something of an innovation. Street didn't like the idea and when he learned it was surely going up he took action.
He ordered the spite wall built.
There were expostulation, appeals, court action and other efforts to stay that wall, but Street, though a devout churchman and widely known for his charities, refuse to be, what he asserted, a victim of encroachment on his rights.'
Thus he awarded the contract and one brought day a force of masons started the work. It created a local sensation, but the work went on apace and eventually the was finished as was the apartment house. Thus through all these years that solid bit if brickwork has stood within a couple of feet of the west side of the apartment, giving the lower part a prison-like effect. But as time went on it was quite forgotten and those who have resided in the apartment have taken the wall philosophically.
Those who knew Dr. Street were not surprised he took such drastic action. Though he was one of the pillars of the Broadway church, in fact I recall how he started the fund to rebuild the present great edifice at Broadway and Berkley Street by a $1,000 subscription, he was peppy as they make 'em and refused to permit anyone to "walk over him". He felt perfectly justified in building that wall.
So naturally the demolition of the "mansion" brings up that query
Wonder if they're going to take down the spite wall?"
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