2016-02-26 / Community

A Window on the Past

Then and Now: 52 Ocean St.
By Kathryn Onos DiPhilippo
South Portland Historical Society


In these then-andnow photos, we see the building at 52 Ocean St. as it looked in 1938 and as it looks today. (Courtesy photos) In these then-andnow photos, we see the building at 52 Ocean St. as it looked in 1938 and as it looks today. (Courtesy photos) We’re taking a look a little farther down Ocean Street this week, at the building that stands at 52 Ocean St. While the building has been in residential use for most of its years, there was also a period of time when businesses operated out of retail storefronts on the first floor. Several different restaurants operated from the left side of the building in the 1930s, including Harmon’s Café, French’s Lunch and the Nite-Ville Café. In 1938 when the historic photo here was taken, the building had just been acquired by Harold Richards and we see the sign for Mack’s Café on the left side of the first floor. On the right side of the building we can see Alexander’s Barber Shop with the great old barber pole out front. Lloyd Alexander only operated from this location for a short time; by the early 1940s, he had moved down a few buildings to 62 Ocean St. where he barbered into the 1960s.

Kathryn Onos DiPhilippo is executive director of South Portland Historical Society.

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