2011-10-21 / Columnists

Historical Views of the Rockaways

Schilling’s Atlas Hotel And Roadhouse, Beach 102 Street/Henry Avenue, 1903
From The Rockaway Museum Commentary by Emil Lucev, Curator Dedicated To The Memory Of Leon S. Locke

In 1892, the whole seaside section of the Rockaway Beach peninsula was reduced to ashes by a great conflagration. From Beach 102 Street to Beach 106 Street, only a few seared buildings survived. In Far Rockaway during the same time, Charles A. Schilling lost his hotel complex to fire and decided to move down the peninsula to Seaside.

He bought the Atlas Hotel on Henry Street (Beach 102 Street) from Mrs. Albertina Harper, which had survived the great fire in Seaside. At the boulevard on Beach 102 Street, Schilling built a roadhouse in 1893, which survives as the Irish Circle Restaurant and Pub and Sports Bar. The old hotel near the beach (last known as Dinghy Dan’s) and the middle house of the hotel burned up in 1985. Rockaway Beach’s first police station was built in 1898, behind the roadhouse, and survives today as the Crystal Hotel on Beach 102 Street.

Appearing in Historical Views this week is an old advertising/mailing card that was sold to Schilling patrons and mailed out to old customers. On the back is the date 1898, but this artist’s rendition first appeared in the 1896 editions of The Wave, Rockaway’s newspaper since 1893.

The artists took extreme license and put the beachfront and surf on the Beach 102 Street side of the hotel. In real life, the beach is on the right and the Boulevard is on the left. On the Boulevard is the Schilling Roadhouse, next comes the barber shop and middle house, followed by the hotel (with the cupola).

The Schilling Bathing Pavilion is on the beach end, in between the pavilion and the peaked roof hotel is the Old Seaside Midway or Ocean Avenue (the Shorefront Parkway of today).

The old police station had not been built when this ad came out.

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