In The Continuing Series: I Remember The Rockaways -


It doesn't get any better than this! The Seagirt Avenue Shopping District in its infancy - in a rare picture taken by a professional photographer on September 20th of 1927. The summer season had ended some three weeks before and the storefronts were getting ready to close up for the rest of the year. What you are seeing is Seagirt Avenue facing eastbound. Originally known as Bay Avenue, this is what the area looked like some twenty plus years before the advent of the large Seagirt Boulevard. By 1947, plans would be underway to connect this tiny side street with a massive six-lane highway. But for the moment, this sleepy part of old Far Rockaway served as an inexpensive, dependable, and popular resort area. The large house rising above the group of corner store fronts was one of four similar abodes built shortly before the turn of the century. By this time, the other three homes had been demolished and this survivor was incorporated into the miniature strip mall. The address is Beach 26th Street and during the 1920s, the most popular commercial establishment was the corner drug store/luncheonette combination show in the photo. Louis Cantor's ice cream shop did not last past the war. The store changed hands several times during the war and by the early 1950s it was superfluous, replaced by a larger and more popular (but similar) store in the center of the strip - the Harry and Pearl Luncheonette - opposite a small grocery. Typical of the entire area, the streets were not paved and were pretty much a mass of mud after any rainstorm. In rural areas such as Far Rockaway, horses were probably in evidence more than automobiles - truly a slice of honest Americana. Photo Credit: NYC Historical Archives - Copyright/All rights reserved.
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