Stuyvesant Avenue was practically a character in and of itself. Production designer Wynn Thomas transformed a block of the street, between Lexington and Quincy, into the lived-in setting for the film.
think you'd be shocked at how much work went into it to make it look
like a normal block - half the block looked like it had been devastated,
like it was Dresden or something, and on the other half people lived
and they took care of their homes," Thomas told CBS News' David Morgan in 1989.
"The street only had one tree, which became very important, because I as
a designer didn't want there to be a sense of anywhere on the block
where you could hide from the heat."
A facade for Sal's Pizzeria was built on a vacant lot, and then burned
down; the Korean deli was created opposite. The production company also
hired members of the Fruit of Islam to help empty out a crackhouse that
served as the WE-LOVE radio station (upper far left).
It did not take long for the film's famed "red wall" to be covered in
graffiti following the shoot. And today, the vacant lot still exists at
the corner of Stuyvesant and Lexington (bottom right).