906 Fayette Street
It’s a Beautiful Building
By Jack Coll
Editor’s Note: (This is one in a series of short articles on random houses throughout the borough of Conshohocken, enjoy)
Houses up-and-down the avenues and streets of Conshohocken are, well, today, just houses, but back in the early part of last century, say a hundred years ago many of these houses provided needed services to the community. Many of them were corner stores or mid-block stores, the living rooms of some of these houses doubled as pool rooms, barber shops, cigar stores, candy stores and doctors’ offices. On occasion there was nothing special about the house but something special about the resident who may have lived in the house for a period of time.
I thought it might be fun and interesting to point out a of few of these houses, that today are occupied by residents or businesses who I’m sure had no idea that their house was at one time something more than just a house.
Dorothy Davis McBride
Dorothy Davis McBride was a one time resident of 906 Fayette Street and wife of Johnny McBride, nationally known football star. The building is now owned by Jeffrey Grogan who runs a very successful architectural firm. Dorothy was a groundbreaking radio executive at R. C. A. in New York City during the 1940’s.
The Victorian Italianate style two and a half story house at 906 Fayette Street was constructed in 1880, most of the houses along the 900 block of Fayette Street were built between 1880 and 1890. Members of the Davis family lived at 906 during the 1920’s thru the 1940’s.
Dorothy’s husband John McBride, formerly of East Eleventh Avenue was a football standout at Syracuse University from 1920-1924 where he set national records and went on to play professional football with the New York Giants from 1925-1935. McBride was a running back and punter for the Giants and in 1925 was part of a backfield with Jim Thorpe. In 1927 McBride earned the National Football League MVP Award. Following his football career McBride joined the Marines where he became a Captain.
Dorothy rose quickly thru the ranks at R. C. A. to become the head of programing for New York’s top broadcasting station in the 1940’s when females rarely held executive positions in the broadcasting industry. Who would have thought that when she married McBride and left Conshohocken for the Great White Way that she would have an office with gold letters on the door and hold such a responsible position for the nation’s leading broadcasting company.
Every time I walk or drive past 906 Fayette Street I think about Dorothy’s husband Johnny McBride, but I also remember Dorothy, who didn’t hang her hat on being married to a football star, she carved out a career all on her own, kinda reminds me of the many women living in Conshohocken today, strong, committed and determined, ya gotta love them Conshy Girls.