70s Urban Renewal

See a much larger version of this photo by clicking here

The photo above and below were taken from city hall, overlooking the area of what would become the Town Center Mall and also the Kanawha County Courthouse Annex.  You can see the Henry Elden designed bank below, which would later be razed for a Bob Evans Restaurant.  That too was then removed for Brick Street Insurance.

See a much larger version of this photo by clicking here


Charleston WV


DeFranco Grocery

Defranco Grocery was on the corner of Truslow and Washington Street, opening in 1930 until the early 70s.

The photo above holds a lot of memories for me.  See that building in the center with the sign?  When I was a kid, that was Charleston's first Honda motorcycle shop.  It was owned by Les Parker and I visited almost every day to drool over this new Japanese bike called the "Honda Dream".  To me, there was nothing more beautiful in the world!  I went to bed every night dreaming of the Dream.....


The white Honda Dream was SO different than any other motorcycle of it's day.  To begin with, it was WHITE!  A most unusual color for a motorcycle. It had squared-off fenders and tank and headlight.  It was shaped different than every other motorcycle, and the size was perfect for young people like me to dream about.  ( unlike the big noisy, oily, LOUD Harley's of the day ). I never did own a Dream.  To begin with, I was much too poor to actually buy one.  Plus, I was also around 14.  By the time I was old enough to own one, it was long gone.  Today a nice Honda Dream costs more than a new one did back then.  To me, the Honda Dream is the 57 Chevy of it's day.  That is to say, it is an icon... THE icon in the world of motorcycles.


Honda was brilliant in its advertising. The company virtually helped the motorcycle industry survive back then because now ANYONE could ride a motorcycle, and not just street toughs and bad boys.  The rest as they say... is history.

Charleston WV




Back To Seventies Index