2007-11-16 / Community

Bungalow Movie Screening Brings Hundreds To NY Museum

By Miriam Rosenberg

It was standing room only at the Museum of the City of New York for the first Manhattan screening of "The Bungalows Of Rockaway" on Tuesday.

Stephanie Factor (standing) was one of more than 300 people who attended the event. Stephanie Factor (standing) was one of more than 300 people who attended the event. The November 13 event brought out current and former residents and others interested in historic preservation, as more than 300 people packed the museum's auditorium for a showing of a rough cut of the film, followed by discussion.

The film, to be shown eventually on public television, traces the history of the bungalow from the time when thousands covered the peninsula in the 1900s to today, when less than 500 remain; what they mean to the Rockaways and its residents; and their possible demise as a result of rezoning and associated development.

Commenting on the turnout, the museum's president and director Susan Henshaw Jones said, "This evening has struck a chord with people."

Echoing that feeling was Lila Factor who, as a child, spent summers in a Far Rockaway bungalow community in the 1940s and '50s.

The film's director, Jennifer Callahan, and co-producer, Elizabeth Logan Harris, answer questions following the screening. If you have any bungalow memories or photos, you can e-mail them to bungalowdoc@yahoo. com. The film's director, Jennifer Callahan, and co-producer, Elizabeth Logan Harris, answer questions following the screening. If you have any bungalow memories or photos, you can e-mail them to bungalowdoc@yahoo. com. "It was a place where you could escape the hot city to an environment that was fun, friendly and supportive," Factor told The Wave.

Andrew S. Dolkart, a professor at Columbia University, said people should contact the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission to support landmark status for the remaining bungalows on Beach 24, 25, 26 and 27 Street.

Also attending the event were New York City Parks and Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe and Councilman Joseph Addabbo Jr.Vivian Carter contributed to this article

A panel discussion followed the screening. Pictured are Andrew S. Dolkart, professor of historic preservation at Columbia University; Anthony D. King, professor emeritus of art history and sociology at SUNY/Binghamton; moderator Eve Kahn, writer; and Rockaway native and writer of "From Rockaway," Jill Eisenstadt. Photos by Miriam Rosenberg A panel discussion followed the screening. Pictured are Andrew S. Dolkart, professor of historic preservation at Columbia University; Anthony D. King, professor emeritus of art history and sociology at SUNY/Binghamton; moderator Eve Kahn, writer; and Rockaway native and writer of "From Rockaway," Jill Eisenstadt. Photos by Miriam Rosenberg

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My grandmother and her sisters and great aunt all had bungalows outside of the now Breezy Point Cooperative, I guess it was called East Market Street. When the cooperative formed, people had the option of moving their bungalows or losing them completely. Only a couple could afford to move them (or buy new ones within the cooperative area.) The others lost theirs. My grandparents and parents had many memorable summers with the great aunts and uncles in the remaining ones, such tiny spaces in a much more innocent and simple time.

My Father's family grew up during the summer months
in one of the Rockaway Bungalows. He fondly recalled his two brothers, sister, Mom and Dad
living in a single room that was a bit bigger than
a closet. We were fortunate to have seen this "home" in the early fifties. All in all, he loved
the transition from the Bronx to Rockaway as a boy.
Brian McManus


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