Rocky The Builder
ŠTed Schaar 2016


Parking "take" grows

By the time Creston Park opened, parking in the downtown district had become a major revenue generator.  As of late November, 1958, there were 1,000 parking meters in Janesville, and all those Buffalo and Jefferson nickels added up.  Receipts for 1958 through November 19, were $57,840
211—$475,000 in today's dollars.212 

Beverly demolition

A few weeks later, a photograph and caption
on page 13 in the December 18, 1958, Gazette announced the "Beverly theater block" had been purchased by Rock County Savings and Trust Company and the building would be torn down in "February and March as the first step toward construction of the new Rock County bank building..."213   Its canopy already sheared off, the Beverly looks forlorn in the grainy image.

Then on New Year's Eve 1958, a Gazette ad featuring "Rocky The Builder"
214 appeared.  It narrowed the demolition of the theater to February 1959.

Work injury

Howard's proprietor Richard Took recalled that a worker named Tom McDonnell was injured tearing down the Beverly.  I visited the Newspaper Archive website through BadgerLink and did keyword searches on "Beverly Theater," "demolition," and related terms in Gazettes from January, February, and March, 1959, but didn't find any stories about an accident.  I also scanned the opening three pages of the paper for most days in those same three months without finding any news involving the Beverly. 

Finally, it struck me that the project might have been behind schedule (some things never change!) and I decided, randomly, to check April 15, 1959, and there was the story on the front page.
215 

Turns out the injury occurred during the tear-down of the Milner Hotel, formerly the Hotel Myers, which was on the southeast corner of Main and Milwaukee, a building or two south of the Beverly but among the structures removed to make way for the bank.

Beverly Theater to be razed
Line drawing of Rock County National Bank 1961
Part of an ad sponsored by Central Piping
Division, 8 North Pearl Street, Janesville.



Meter take Janesville 1958
Click for full story.
Rocky the Builder ad for Rock County Bank















Prior

29. McDonald's and Creston Park


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31.
Interstate Cloverleafs Arrive, Myers, Reopens, Kingston Trio at the Jeffris


Footnotes