of the Rockaways
Mystery Photo of Broad Channel-1935
From The Rockaway Museum
by Emil Lucev, Curator
Dedicated To The Memory Of Leon S. Locke
Every chance Robert Moses (The Great Pharaoh) got, he insulted, downgraded and belittled the works and ideas of others-not only in the Rockaways, but the rest of the city and the Bay Community of Broad Channel. Oh! How he did want the Rockaway Peninsula and Jamaica Bay area for his much denied Jones Beach II and Beach & Bay Resort area, respectively. He always knocked Ft. Tilden, Floyd Bennett Field as a municipal airport, LaGuardia Airport, Roxbury and the point colony saying that they should never have been built in the first place! The last thing he bargained for was a bird sanctuary (built next to his JFK Airport). Now that was smart, wasn’t it! Old Mo! was for the birds, but not around his airport! His thoughts were probably to get rid of all the seagulls, Terns and other ocean birds in the area, and Jamaica Bay was a hell of a nesting area at one time.
Today’s historical view is of an unknown area on the east side of old Broad Channel in 1935. We have one of two choices; North of the railroad station or South of the railroad station.
This is what Robert Moses called old dilapidated shanties and crumbling wooden walkways. But what did he know about living and enjoying, and also making a living in and around the beautiful Jamaica Bay? This view was taken before Moses rebuilt and widened Cross Bay Boulevard a few years after 1934.
Does anyone in the channel at present recall this site? A sign notes the Imperial Restaurant (on the right) and the few other signs cannot be read. The LIRR trestle is in the background, and a vast hunk of Marsh is between. Usually, pictures were taken of what was to be demolished, and Mo’ did move and demolish structures in the way of (his) road.