2008-09-26 / Columnists

Historical Views of the Rockaways

The Building With The Only Cellar On The Boulevard - 1907
From The Rockaway Museum Commentary by Emil Lucev, Curator Dedicated To The Memory Of Leon S. Locke

In the summer of 1907 John Moehn opened his new building on the south side of Rockaway Beach Boulevard, on the southeast corner of Beach 81 Street. The building was a three story brick structure with stone trim, containing four apartments and two spacious business places.

The great surprise was that the building had an underground cellar that was unheard of in the Rockaways. We all know that if we dig down a few feet we get water.

But Moehn stated that he had solved the problem of the basement by constructing re-enforced concrete walls and floor (solid) and well holes to control or eliminate water problems. There was no further elaboration, but I did look for follow-up articles on this milestone project, and none were found, other than the fact that the local library was once housed in the Moehn building in later years.

This building was demolished, as were many others, for high-rise Title I apartment buildings in the 1960s. The woodwork for storefronts, windows and doorways was a dark green, excepting the decorative roof fascia which was parchment-like.

If You have Any Old Photos or Historical Information About The Rockaways Please Send It To: HISTORICAL ROCKAWAY C/O THE WAVE P.O. BOX 930097 ROCKAWAY BEACH, N.Y. 11693

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