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A Brief History on Normal Heights

Smithy’s Service, now “Smitty’s”, August 1st, 1956 (Provided by Mike Magers)

In the late 1800s the area that would become Normal Heights was sparsely populated farmland with only a sprinkling of houses. It was formally organized and platted in 1906 by the University Heights Syndicate under the direction of D.C. Collier and named Normal Heights for the State Normal School in University Heights.

In 1907 trolley tracks for Line #11 were laid to the western edge of Ward Canyon with a spur line up today’s 35th Street to a gravel quarry. In 1910 Bonnie Brae was platted by Collier east of the gravel quarry to the canyon rim overlooking Ward Road.

Transportation brought population and development to Normal Heights. The man responsible for the main business development of the Normal Heights portion of Adams Avenue was a carpenter named Bertram J. Carteri. He moved to the area in 1916 and began buying, fixing up and selling houses. He bought his first commercial lot, Adams Avenue between Felton and 33rd Streets in c.1922 and, in partnership with noted local architect Louis J. Gill (nephew of Irving Gill), began building what would be known as Carteri Center.

— Provided by Jessica McGee of SOHO