The Lorelei fountain, covered in grafitti in the 1970s.(New York Times, courtesy of NYU Press)

The Grand Concourse, a major thoroughfare in the Bronx loosely modeled after the Champs Elysee, turns 100 this year. Back in the 1920s and 30s, the Concourse was considered among the best addresses to have, particularly if you were an upwardly mobile Jew. Several decades later, though, things changed radically; the Bronx became an emblem of urban decay and violence. In Boulevard of Dreams: Heady Times, Heartbreak, and Hope Along the Grand Concourse in the Bronx, out later this month from NYU Press, Constance Rosenblum traces the rise and fall and rise again of this historic artery. She speaks with Vox Tablet host Sara Ivry about the art deco monuments that characterized the Grand Concourse, Jews’ affinity for apartment living, and the forces that contributed to its mid-century decline.

The exterior of Loew's Paradise The exterior of Loew’s Paradise. Photo: Theatre Historical Society of America. The Lorelei fountain in the 1970s, covered in grafitti The Lorelei fountain in the 1970s, covered in grafitti. Photo: New York Times.
The lobby of the Fish Building The lobby of the Fish Building. Photo: Carl Rosenstein.