In 1830 Lewis F. Allen bought five acres of land situated on the southwest corner of Delaware and North Street, which was, at the time, a cemetery. A number of lots were sold, but due to the smallness of the plot, and the fact that the southern part was full of springs, development was harder than expected, thus most of the bodies interred on the grounds were moved to Forest Lawn.
Eventually, a mansion was built (lead image) at that same corner for Robert K. Root in 1896 (650 Delaware Avenue). The colonial revival house was modeled after the George Eastman House in Rochester, NY. In 1923 Root died, and the property was sold to William A. Morgan who stayed on briefly.
Unfortunately, the property laid vacant until it was demolished in 1935. In 1941 Howard Johnson’s began operating out of a colonial styled restaurant, right on the same spot where the mansion was razed. By the late 1950’s it was determined that the HoJos was obsolete, and the aging decor needed upgrading.
The building was gutted from the basement up, and reopened as an modern Howard Johnson’s for the 1960’s. Ultimately, that building was demolished in 2001, to make way for the Walgreens that stands today (pardon us if we skip the photo).