2012-02-24 / Columnists

Historical Views of the Rockaways

The Original Arverne Boardwalk – 1901 to 1926 – An All Wooden Structure
From The Rockaway Museum Commentary by Emil Lucev, Curator Dedicated To The Memory Of Leon S. Locke

The original all wood elevated Arverne Boardwalk was constructed in 1901 by local businessmen in the area. The new walk, high above the beach went from Beach 59 Street on the east, to Beach 74 Street as the west end.

The building of this walk spurred the building of the raised Holland walk that spanned the Beachfront from Beach 100 Street to Beach 90 Street. The intention was to connect the two walks later on.

Pictured today is a touched up postcard view of the old Arverne Walk, facing west at Beach 68 Street. This section of the walk was considerably wider than the rest of the walk, and contained many commercial establishments for those on the walk to browse through and purchase items of need, soda, ice cream, hot dogs, and a meal if need be! There were several bath houses for bathers, plus hotel and bachelor apartments. At Beach 67 Street, behind the camera, a large theatre (the Pier) featured theatrical plays and silent movies, plus a large platform for outdoor dancing and a bit of your favorite liquid libation! Shown in this view are the Inn Bach-elor Apartments on the surf side of the walk, Richter’s Baths and the Remington Baths, a dry goods store and a tailor shop. At the rear of what is shown are the baths of the giant Arverne (Prince) Hotel. The artist messed up the view by adding little people out of proportion in the fore-ground.

Over the years, many storms damaged this wooden walk, the worst being the storm of 1914. the entire Pier Theatre and its platform were destroyed and washed away, the Inn Bachelor Apartments in the background collapsed and were left on its side at Beach 73 Street. Three stores were undermined and fell to the beach, three more collapsed and were left hanging precariously, 50 feet of the walk was destroyed near the west end of the walk, 35 feet destroyed to the east of the stores, and 200 feet of the walk washed away near Beach 63 Street.

The following is a partial listing of the commercial establishments that were on the old Arverne Walk:

. Young’s Ice Cream Parlor
. Chubbuck’s Drugstore
. Madam Le Count’s Dress Shop.
. Jacobi’s Boardwalk Restau-rant
. Dave’s Sandwich Shop.
. Weiss’ Amusement Center.
. The Mini Golf Links.
. The Arverne Boardwalk Open Air
Theatre.
. Gimp’s Poolroom (Old Abe)
. Brouse’s Tailor Shop.
. Brodkin’s Boardwalk Bazaar.
. The Remington Notion Store.
. Hulyer’s Confectionary Store.
. Jay & Morris Hairdressers.
. Morris Simon’s Drugstore.
. The Dry Goods Emporium.
. Novelty and Souvenir Shops.

With the building of the new concrete, wood and steel board-walk in the 1920’s, only a few of the old establishments remained along the boards.

As time went by, and Arverne renewal came in, these disappeared. A new Arverne is now being built.

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