New Haven’s colonial founders established a 9-square plan, dating to 1638, with each square occupying about 16 acres. The original squares were subdivided starting in the late 18th century, but this process still left large, square-shaped blocks. The result is that we see a lot of action in the “Mid-Block.” Consider this image from the 1954 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map of New Haven. (I snapped the Crown Street sections at the Yale Maps Collection.) The Palace Theater–in brown, designating fireproof construction–jockeys for space in the middle of the block with the Loew’s Poli College Theater. The Palace Theater is now dormant, but the attached Roger Sherman block still hosts a handful of businesses. A bowling alley adjacent to the theater has since been removed. The Poli is gone, but the building that housed its entrance foyer and lobby is still there.