2010-02-05 / Columnists

Historical Views of the Rockaways

South Street at the Beach, Far Rockaway, About 1921
From The Rockaway Museum Commentary by Emil Lucev, Curator Dedicated To The Memory Of Leon S. Locke
T oday’s View takes us back to the beach at Far Rockaway in 1918, and we have just gotten off the trolley to the beach, from the LIRR station at Mott and Central Avenues. The track for the trolley is behind the camera on Beach 19 Street. We are looking east towards Nassau County and the wide portion of Old South Street from Beach 19 Street to Beach 16 Street.

On the west side, South Street only went as far as Beach 20 Street, and to about Beach 12 Street on the eastern side, but these extensions were only half as wide. The beach is to the right (Roche’s Beach) and Ostend Beach and the Hotel Traymore at Beach 17 Street are next, followed by bath houses and the cottages at Simmis/Coronada Beach to the Nassau line.

On the left are two of the Roche cottages and two more are out of the camera’s peripheral range at the left.

Next is the Dolphin Road Houses at Beach 17 Street, followed by Roche’s Tackapousha Hotel and a few cottages.

To get to Nassau and Long Island Points, one had to go North on Beach 17 Street to Beach 9 Street, and then to Cornaga Avenue, where a right turn puts you on the Rockaway Turnpike to Points North, or Broadway to Points East.

By the late 1920s South Street was improved to the east and led to the bridge to Long Beach over the East Rockaway inlet. To the west, South Street was extended to Edgemere Avenue near Beach 35 Street for points to the west. The name of the new improved road was changed to Seagirt Avenue, from Edgemere to the Atlantic Beach Bridge.

This all changed in the 1950s when the present Seagirt Boulevard was constructed. With literally all east, west roads coming together near Beach 35 Street, this new road added to the confusion and mayhem created by this junction of roads.

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