2003-02-22 / Columnists

Historical Views of the Rockaways

From The Rockaway MuseumDedicated To The Memory Of Leon S. Locke
The Hotel Lorraine, Edgemere - 1910
by Emil Lucev, Curator

Historical Views
of the Rockaways
From The Rockaway Museum
Dedicated To The Memory Of Leon S. Locke
The Hotel Lorraine, Edgemere - 1910


The Hotel Lorraine, located at Beach 36 Street and the oceanfront, was built in the early 1900’s by Henry Hart. A first in Rockaway were the narrow, elevated wooden walks that ran from the hotel to other surrounding hotels in the area, to the train station and to the surf.

This made walking from place to place more pleasurable for those who used the hotels in the area and they did not have to hoof around in the beach sand.

Storms and heavy surf often wrecked or undermined Hart’s walks (an example is at bottom right), as well as the beach end of his hotel, shown above the damaged walk.

All were repaired as soon as spring weather hit Rockaway, however.

In later years, Hart built the first iron railed elevated boardwalk, high above the beach. That boardwalk ran from the Hotel Lorraine and the giant Edgemere Hotel at Beach 35 Street and also near the shore.

In 1910, the Lorraine Hotel boasted of electric service, electric elevators, long distance phone service, hot and cold running water and private baths in each room, something that not many other hotels had at the time.

The Lorraine was demolished by Robert Moses in 1941 for a parking lot. The hotel had been closed for a while and the city had a lien on the property, as it did on a number of empty hotels in the Edgemere section.


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