Historical Views of the Rockaways
The Ostend Beach complex was located on the beachfront in Far Rockaway. Ostend Beach was spread out along the oceanfront from Beach 14 Street to about Beach 9 Street, with the development of streets and homes to the north. The name was derived from the beach in Ostend, Belgium over in old Europe.
Ostend contained excellent bathing facilities, restaurants and a casino, plus a large hotel at what is today Beach 14 Street and Seagirt Boulevard, then known as South Street. Opening in 1908, Ostend became a stiff competitor to Roche’s Beach just to the west in Far Rockaway. The beach scene is from the early ’30s, and at this time the City of New York took title to Roche’s Beach, as the owner died intestate, and in the early ’40s took Ostend on tax liens. The city tried to run/rent out both places, but …. both sites became O’Donohue Park, complete with a concrete promenade several decades ago.