2003-10-10 / Columnists

Historical Views of the Rockaways

From The Rockaway MuseumDedicated To The Memory Of Leon S. Locke
Central Avenue,
by Emil Lucev, Curator
Historical Views of the Rockaways From The Rockaway Museum by Emil Lucev, Curator Dedicated To The Memory Of Leon S. Locke Central Avenue,

Historical Views
of the Rockaways
From The Rockaway Museum
Dedicated To The Memory Of Leon S. Locke
Central Avenue,

Far Rockaway — 1919

The year 1919 brought two memorable events – one national and the other local. The Volstead Act spelled prohibition for the nation, and dollar days began for the 78 shops in Far Rockaway.

Central and Mott Avenue were the two major shopping streets in Far Rockaway, with other shops on Cornaga Avenue, New Haven Avenue and Brookhaven Avenue.

Historical Views presents this week a 1919 view of Central Avenue, with the camera in the middle of avenue, nearby J. Ezra and Charles Smith Brothers Plumbing Supply – Far Rockaway’s oldest business (since 1894). On the left (or west side are grocery stores, a barber shop featuring hot baths and, on the corner of Cornaga (the southwest corner), the Dunlop Sporting Goods store in the Wynn Building (also built in 1894).

Far Rockaway’s first real telephone exchange switchboard was in that building. Across the avenue was the Gotham Inn, Rosenstein’s Jewelry Nebrinzahl’s Department Store (they had three stores and were celebrating their 40th year), F.W. Woolworth’s Five and Dime Store, along with many grocery, confectionary, butcher, tailor and watch shops, with small eateries in between.

On the right (or the east side) are Feldman’s Dress Shop, Goetz’s Piano Store, the Strand Movie Theater, Mullen and Buckley (furnishings), an electrical shop, and, on the southeast corner, the Far Rockaway Bank. On the opposite corner is the Jennings Building (built in 1894), with the Lowe Brothers Drug Store and soda fountain (Harvey’s Children’s Shop was there later on, what seems to be a century ago), Then, there was Fannick’s Artist’s Supplies, Leek Furniture (with a dance hall upstairs), Neveloff’s Variety Store, Edsel’s Dairy, an A and P store, Queensborough Gas and Electric, A Wave office, A Rockaway News office, the Columbia Theater and a variety of other shops and stores.

The trolley track and the overhead wires are still up in this picture. They were removed by 1928.

In later years, came some of the stores that we can remember. If I missed your favorite, drop me a line through The Wave.

Young’s Women’s Shop, Meyer’s Men’s and Boy’s, Jack’s Men’s Shop, Phil’s Men’s Shop, W.T. Grant, Morton’s Army and Navy (Levi Jeans at $5.08), Neve Furniture, Skolnick and Kravitz Jewlers, Patsy Consaluo Shoe Repair, Albert Hyman Shoes, Palace Chinese Restaurant (upstairs from the central Deli), the Central Deli, Best Children’s Shop, Effenbein’s Bakery, Florence Market, Gold-Rich Clothing, Popular Cottons, Ligget Drugs, National Shoes, Red Cross Shoes, Mile’s Shoes, Thom McCann Shoes, Flag Brother’s Shoes, Vim Appliances, Kozy Children’s Shop, Columbia Camera, Cushman’s Bakery, Gem Theater, Cinderella Shop, Alice’s Gowns and Shoes, Albrecht’s Gowns and Dresses, Brody’s Music and Appliances, Harvey’s Children’s Shop, Darling’s Children’s Shop, Gino’s Pizza, Mel Chevrolet, Arcade Bowling, The Sweet Shop, and Central Stationery.

A shopping center was built in modern times on the northwest corner of Central and Mott Avenues. It did not do well over the years and is mostly empty now. Most of these shops and stores have been closed for many years.

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