2006-10-13 / Columnists

Historical Views of the Rockaways

Playland's Transportation Depot And Parking Lot On The Shore Of The Bay
From The Rockaway Museum by Emil Lucev, Curator Dedicated To The Memory Of Leon S. Locke

From The Rockaway Museum
by Emil Lucev, Curator
Dedicated To The Memory Of Leon S. Locke

During the late 1950s and early 1960s, Rockaway's Playland Amusement Park promoted the Rockaways, as well as its "Biggest Little Amusement Park in the World."

Other amusement proprietors, from restaurant owners to those who ran parking lots, gave very little to promotion programs, or nothing at all, but at the same time they did profit from what others did and contributed.

Playland's management arranged bus and water transportation to the Rockaways, as well as express rapid transit trips to the Beach 98 Street elevated station of the IND Line.

But on the Jamaica Bay front, between Beach 97 and Beach 98 Streets, there was a Playland dock, a bus parking area and a lot of room to park cars.

Today we see the Playland Transportation Depot; the old printed photograph is not of the best quality, but what is there can be seen clearly, if you will, and the name of the vessel is "State of Pennsylvania."

In the center of the picture is the gas station and convenience store on Beach 101 Street and Beach Channel Drive. The building to the left is one of the old Seaside Hotels.

In our time, the Bay Towers hi-rise is on the left (the site of the old Marsell Bungalow Colony) and on the right is Beach Channel High School.

When Robert Moses rebuilt the Crossbay Veterans Memorial Bridge in the late 1960s (opened 1970) this depot was destroyed, for a bridge that didn't have to be opened for bay traffic on Beach Channel.

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