The Lives That Changed Forever

The unfortunate fate of Radio Row was a huge blow to the merchants as well as to the loyal customers. Radio Row was a part of all these people’s lives since 1920 and suddenly it was all gone.

According to one merchant, “The WTC did more than just destroy a neighborhood, it destroyed a small village.”

Hundreds of customers poured into Radio Row each day to buy electrical supplies. It was one area where everything related to technology could be found. After the shops at Radio Row were evacuated, there was no more an electronic hub for New York City.

Morton Brody

Brody was one of the merchants who owned a shop named, “Morel Electronics” at 185 Washington St. since 1950. He relocated his shop at West Broadway and remained there till 1982 until he retired. Even now at the age of 80, he is bitter about the Port Authority. “They threw out private enterprise,” he said.

Irving Jaffe

Jaffe first moved to Radio Row in 1933, with his shop “East Radio,” which was located at 74 Cortlandt St. He did not relocate his shop after the construction of WTC but instead went to work with another electronics retailer. According to his daughter, he remained depressed all his life and was never really able to recover the loss of his store at Radio Row.

David MacInnes

MacInnes ran a family restaurant at Radio Row since 1919. His father died in 1938 but MacInnes continued with the family restaurant with his mother, Sarah. When the Port Authority came to evict him in 1967, he relocated his restaurant to 33 Cortlandt St. The new restaurant, however, closed after a year. His daughter Janet Webb said “We were all getting to be about college age, and they took his livelihood away.”


Many other merchants never relocated after the eviction, but instead closed their business for good. The WTC took away from them their life and many of these merchants could not come to terms with that reality. It is reported that a lot of these merchants died soon after the eviction. Oscar Nadel was one of those people who died a broken man.