Ten More Plans, Proposals and Projects That Just Never Happened on Staten Island!

Ten More Plans, Proposals and Projects That Just Never Happened on Staten Island!

Yes! Here is another set of plans, proposals, and projects that were called for or suggested, but never came to completion. They are presented in no specific order. Dwell on them and leave some observations of your own. Preserve and re-open the Victory Diner at Midland Beach. In 2012, Hurricane Sandy effectively demolished both a plan to re-use this antique eating establishment and this antique eating establishment itself. A hydrofoil ferry from Staten Island to Manhattan was announced in the Staten Island Advance of October 7, 1966. A “jet age hydrofoil and hover-craft vessels” would run between Great Kills and South Ferry by the close of that year. The hydrofoils would make the twelve-mile trip in only fifteen minutes, while the hovercraft would zip to its...

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Things That Just Did Not Happen…

Things That Just Did Not Happen…

I am intrigued by plans and proposals that do not come to fruition. For example, the useless sidewalks found in the woodlands of Blue Heron Park that harken back to the prosperity and real estate boom of 1920s Staten Island. Throughout the borough there are traces and clues of things that simply did not happen. Owing to this fact there are untold volumes of paper plans, proposals, and projects that never occurred weighing down the shelving of archives across the island. One of my favorite proposals that never happened, (I am being sarcastic of course) was the 1960s plan to landfill the bay between Swinburne Island, Hoffman Island, and South Beach. Granted it would have resulted in an abundance of parkland, this proposal was one of the strangest ever suggested. It...

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On the Waterfront with Staten Island’s Brewery Barons Part 2

In Part 2 we look at how Staten Island’s brewers shrewdly utilized the island’s ferries and beach front… Historically, Sunday was an important day of relaxation, since it was the only day of rest for a working man, who was very often a poor man. After morning religious services many working Germans spent the remainder of their day at a local beer garden. As many as 50,000 were said to have left the “bustle and heat of the metropolis” on Sunday, July 23, 1871. Some went for trips to Coney Island; Keyport, New Jersey, or to Staten Island. Ferry boats were said to be full of “decently dressed and decently conducted mechanics and their wives and families.”[i] In 1879, a freight company known as the People’s Line was proposed in response to the...

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On the Waterfront with Staten Island’s Brewery Barons Part 1

On the Waterfront with Staten Island’s Brewery Barons Part 1

I recently worked on a brief manuscript for musician Bob Wright regarding the Staten Island waterfront and how it was utilized by Staten Island’s brewery barons. For your interest I have split it into three blogs. Here is Part I of On the Waterfront with Staten Island’s Brewery Barons. All information was originally published in the book, Staten Island’s Brewery Barons. Please share your thoughts at the end of the blog. As always thank you! By 1889, a railroad bridge was operating between Old Place, Staten Island and Elizabethtown, New Jersey. It was the first bridge connecting Staten Island to another land mass and it was used mainly by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. Another bridge connection would not be completed until 1928, when both the Goethal’s...

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The Good Life

March 26, 2016 was one of the best days of my life. Friends, family, and fellow historians joined me for the release of my new book “Staten Island’s Brewery Barons.” Approximately ninety people were in attendance to celebrate this three-year endeavor. Plus, we gathered at one of my favorite historic sites, the Noble Maritime Collection, an amazing museum and research center located at 1000 Richmond Terrace in Livingston, or as some call it, Snug Harbor. Musician Bob Wright began the afternoon with two wonderful tunes. The first was “Stapleton Beer,” a song he wrote about the demise of the Stapleton based Rubsam and Horrmann Atlantic Brewery in 1954, and the subsequent use of the brewery by Brooklyn based Piels. Acquired by Drewery Limited, Piels departed with a...

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