2008-05-09 / Columnists

Historical Views of the Rockaways

Looking West On The 1901 Arverne Boardwalk From Beach 59 Street
From The Rockaway Museum Commentary by Emil Lucev,Curator Dedicated To The Memory Of Leon S. Locke

This rare view of the first Arverne elevated boardwalk was taken from the eastern end of the promenade at Beach 59 Street. The western terminus was at Beach 74 Street.

On the left in the distance is the Arverne Pier Theatre, which opened at Beach 67 Street on the walk in 1904, and was carried out to sea during the great storm of 1914. Said storm also took a section of the walk's east end, down to the giant Colonial Hall Hotel (just to the right of center in the view) at Beach 64 Street.

The storm of 1920 rang the death bell for the Arverne walk, and twothirds of the structure was closed and condemned by city inspectors. About five years or so later, the entire Peninsula had a new municipal beach and boardwalk, the latter with concrete piling as a foundation, and iron railings on the walk, stairs and ramps to same.

The hotel at right center remains unnamed to this day, and the architecture of the place is unusual. The roof overhang and angled supports do not appear on any other Arverne buildings or hotels, as do wrap-around first floor porches and columned front entrances. Could there be a glassed-in roof garden under that umbrella top? The building is on Beach 62 Street, and by 1907 it was surrounded by many other two and three story buildings.

Can any architect out there in Waveland enlighten readers as to what types of roof this was?

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