Brownstone Street was your typical type mid 1930 New York style Brownstone Street, but contained a variety of structures. Most commonly though was the typical brownstone home.
Brownstone Street, as other streets on the Ranch, was used extensively in many films and TV shows during the time it existed. It was used for all of the early Columbia Pictures serials, and can be clearly seen in such films as “Mr. Deeds Goes To Town”, “You Can’t Take It With You”, “Here Comes Mr. Jordan”, “The Three Stooges”, “Talk Of The Town”, “My Sister Eileen” and many others.
Below is a compilation shot of Brownstone street and Skid Row. The median in the middle was removed between 1938 and 1940. It shows how wide the street actually was. 6 to 7 cars could have past each other easily.
In "Can't take it with you" a Matte painting was used to extend the background.
Because Brownstone Street had facades on both sides, with many store fronts on one and residential homes on the other, it was easy to make it look like a different street in a different town, even for the same movie or serial. At the beginning of the street, on the right side at the New York intersection, there was a News stand/bookstore, a Theater/Hotel, a Police Station and a row of small shops and tenement buildings. On the left hand side were the Brownstones, then a stately home, and a section of shops, before intersecting with Skid Row. At this corner the Fire station was build in the early 40's.
When the "L" was removed in the mid 40's to allow better use of Skid Row and also for a fully functional Fire Station build at the corner of Brownstone and Skid Row. It was attached to right of the small shop strip and litteraly on the Skid Row street next to it.
A compilation of what the fire station looked like in late 1970
Brownstone street stayed the same pretty much all the way till it was lost in the fire of Sept 1974. The many structures that made up this one of a kind street, which was the background for so many movies and facades that were used in so many of the early serials and many tv shows there after, was forever lost.
It was said that after the investigation as to the cause of the fire, the studio would rebuild the sets as quickly as possible. Unfortunately that never happend and the area was cleared and deserted for a few years until a show named 'Code R" came along and a new Berm was created , spanning all the way from the Skeffington house to the end of what used to be the Kirby building, to make it appear as if it was the coast line of an island, complete with facades and a beach front.