2010-10-15 / Community

Historical Views of the Rockaways

Far Rockaway Station, Far Rockaway, N.Y.- 1914
From The Rockaway Museum Commentary by Emil Lucev, Curator Dedicated To The Memory Of Leon S. Locke
Despite the fact that the Long Island Railroad electrified its lines before the first Great War to end all wars, steam locomotives were still in use to haul freight cars and some passenger trains. When the Diesel locomotive came in, steam was phased out.

Today’s view is of Far Rockaway Station in 1912. A steam locomotive is shown with a train of passenger cars being brought in to the station. The train is west or city bound.

The camera is near the Mott Avenue end of the station, Central Avenue is to the right of the station building, and Remsen/Redfern Avenue is to the left. The track with all the switch-offs is for the train and freight yard at Far Rockaway station. The Tower at left center, beyond the Far Rockaway station switchtower (at the rear of the train), which belongs to the water supply company on Central Avenue, is an Office Building that holds Teddy’s Restaurant or the courthouse café, across from the local courthouse on Central Avenue.

After Rapid Transit came to Far Rockaway, the LIRR moved the station to Nameoke Street. This was in 1956/57.

After this, the masterminds at Far Rockaway decided that Far Rockaway needed a Shopping Center, and chased the bus lines out of The Plaza Depot to use street corners as terminals. Parking space for autos was also eliminated, and Jamaica and Nassau Buses, as well as Long Beach Buses and Green Line Buses (plus parked cars) jammed up the retail streets. Then the planners decided that an additional bus terminal and parking lots were needed.

The controversy over the troubled shopping center continues to this day, with recent promises that something will finally be done to renovate the decaying shopping center.

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