Extraordinary Stories of Ordinary Life
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When Ground Zero was Radio Row


A century before the twin towers were built, the neighborhood that is now Ground Zero helped spark a radio revolution. It was the early 1920’s, and radio was considered a novelty. But within a few years, hundreds of radio stores popped up around Cortlandt Street in Lower Manhattan.

There was Leotone Radio, Cantor the Cabinet King, and Blan the Radio Man. The neighborhood became a bazaar of knobs, antenna kits, and radio tubes. It was the largest collection of radio and electronics stores in the world. But when developers planned the World Trade Center, it all had to go.

In this episode, we take a trip back to the neighborhood known as Radio Row. Our story was produced by Ben Shapiro and Joe Richman and originally aired as part of the Sonic Memorial Project by the Kitchen Sisters. We’ve also included a 1929 film by Fox Movietone of Cortlandt Street. Check it out below!

 

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