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The offices and buildings of the Railway Express Agency (an early competitor of United Parcel Service) sit immediately north of the Far Rockaway Railroad Station. Back in year 1936 when this picture was snapped, RE A Express was the leading carrier of commercial parcel post shipping. This was an active sub-station which handled thousands of valuable parcels each and every day. Although many packages were indeed sent via surface mail (United States Post Office) - Railway Express Agency handled larger materials and they generally delivered with a greater speed at a much lower cost. The agency went out of business in the 1970s — losing out to a much stronger competitor — United Parcel Service. UPS never had an agency drop-off at the Far Rockaway Station. The large John Winkler storage building can be seen in the background. Photo Credit: This image is copyright by the State of New York — use of this image by this specific website is granted under compensated contract. Permission to download and transpose to any/all other internet websites/blogsites/Facebook/Twitter is expressly denied by outright purchase of said privilege from Queens Borough Public Library, Long Island Division, Public Service Commission.

 

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By the 23rd of May, 1914 - the new commercial building at the northwest corner of Central and Mott Avenues was well established. Within only a few additional weeks, the entire structure would be completed and shortly thereafter, fully rented. In the short period of the next decade, this building would be enlarged - granting it a second story ~ a level eventually utilized by professionals such as doctors, dentists and those who practiced law. This building would be fashioned in an English Tutor design and would exist until the mid 60s when it would be razed to make way for the flow of traffic onto Mott Avenue (westbound). Today, a small island with a 'Welcome To The Rockaways" sign sits about where this structure was once located. In our photo taken facing northwest, we can see the Far Rockaway Train Station, the Railway Express Agency building and the large granite National Bank of Far Rockaway. Photo Credit: This image is copyright by the State of New York - use of this image by this specific website is granted under compensated contract Permission to download and transpose to any/all other internet websites/blogsites/Facebook/Twitter is expressly denied by outright purchase of said privilege from Queens Borough Public Library, Long Island Division, Public Service Commission.

Upon considering the current status of Far Rockaway, I suppose George C. Tilyou put it best to words after his first Coney Island Steeplechase Amusement Park burned to the ground some 105 years ago. After he lost all he had invested, he posted a sign which read: "Yesterday I had problems I don't have today. Today, I have problems I didn't have yesterday. Price of admission to see the ruins — 5 cents."

Stevie S. Stevens

steviesstevens@cs.com

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