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 destination in ten minutes. The hydrofoil was said to be a “craft which rockets across water or land on a cushion of air… As the vessel picks up speed, it rises from the water on two steel pontoons.” All of this from a Staten Island Ferry!

Central SIRR Never Built South of Richmond 1874 Beers nypl

Railroad that only exists on paper. Beers’ Atlas of Richmond County, 1874. New York Public Library.

Per Beers’ Atlas of Richmond County in 1874, a railroad ran through central Staten Island. Commencing at the Kill Van Kull in the vicinity of West New Brighton, it was to travel through what is now the Greenbelt and end east of Marshland (the historic name for Greenridge). Since it is depicted on the map many people believe that it really existed. In fact, it never did.

Charles W. Leng and William T. Davis note that Charles A. Hamilton called for a bridge to run from the heights of York Avenue in New Brighton to New Jersey. It was suggested that it would provide an easier route to lower Manhattan. (Wishful thinking even in the nineteenth century.)

Locating and arresting the killer(s) of Dr. Melvin Nimer and his wife Lou Jean. Murdered in their Vanderbilt Avenue home in Clifton on September 2, 1958, no one was ever held accountable for the double homicide.

A roadway loop around Historic Richmond Town was first proposed in the 1950’s. Its purpose was to protect and circumvent traffic around this historic village. Community opposition stalled the project although it is not quite a “dead deal.” Suggestions that it be removed from maps or implemented still resurface.

VNB 2016 P Salmon

The mighty Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, tolls and all. Photo by Patricia M. Salmon.

Removal of tolls on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. (You can hear the LOLs on that emanating from Bulls Head to Bay Ridge!)

Elimination of Shooter’s Island was proposed in the 1960’s in order to improve navigational issues for over-sized ships in the Kill Van Kull. Fortunately, the Army Corp of Engineer’s plan never came to fruition, especially since the isolated landscape would later serve as a breeding ground for wading birds. Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, Glossy Ibis and a host of other avian species have visited the site in the last forty years.

Establishment of a movie studio at the former Stapleton Homeport. To be named Stapleton Studios, one of the principals involved was actor Danny Aiello. Another studio proposal was suggested in 2013. This time a working movie studio would operate at the former Arthur Kill Correctional facility in Charleston.

Aerial VIew SH PC

Sailors’ Snug Harbor, linen postcard. Courtesy of the estate of Mary Alice McGuire.

In the early 1970’s, the trustees of Sailors’ Snug Harbor in Livingston sold sixty-five acres of land to a developer. He planned to build a 2,500-unit apartment building. According to the Staten Island Advance this would have added an astounding 10,000 more residents to the north shore!

New plans, proposals, projects and events are constantly announced. Some are thought to be time savers or money savers. Some would harm the environment; some might benefit the environment… Whether they are completed or not is now, more than ever, up to the public. In either case it is encouraging to see that people are thinking and/or vigilant. It is a positive development that projects and proposals of a negative nature are no longer rammed into reality without citizen consent—if citizens take the time to coalesce and speak out against destructive schemes. If indeed they are destructive…

Special thanks to Cheryl Criaris-Bontales

Copyright 2016 by Patricia M. Salmon


Works Cited

Beers, J.B. Atlas of Richmond County, Staten Island, New York. 1874.

Choate, Roger. Staten Island Advance. “Hydrofoil Plan: Zip Commuting.” October 7, 1966.

Leng, Charles W. and William T. Davis. Staten Island and Its People. Volume II. New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1930.

  1. Dean Curry
    Jun 22, 2016


    I believe the son, Melvin Dean Nimer, was considered a suspect in the parents murder. Do you know whatever happened to him?

    • Patricia Salmon
      Jun 23, 2016

      Hello Dean. Interesting that you should ask about Melvin Nimer Jr. I came across an interview with him on silive.com It was posted in 2007. It looks like he has had a difficult life. The whole event is so very sad and there seems to be little information about the night of the murders. People always ask me about them, but I only document murders before 1939. Since this one was so disturbing I have researched it on occassion. Here is the silive link Dean. Thank you for writing. – Pat


  2. Patricia Salmon
    Jun 29, 2016

    From blog reader Mary Lou:

    Resources should not be spent on “the Wheel” and shopping outlets but on improving and reviving what we already have. Snug Harbor has languished for years. It has recently received funds, but are those funds going to be spent wisely and are they enough? Capital improvements are of course important, yet maintenance of the complex is not mentioned and always seems to be the last thought. The sidewalks, for example, are a lawsuit waiting to happen.

    I worked in the rose garden as a volunteer (I’m a qualified Master Gardener from the University of Connecticut) for about 6 years. During that time I saw a garden maintenance crew shrink from about 15 to 2 or three. Some structural improvements have been made, however, the valuable, historic rose bushes are sadly neglected. This is a prime example of “so called” capital improvements without maintenance funding. The director of volunteers was let go. She directed about 30 active volunteers at the time. Visitors coming over on the ferry couldn’t get food or drink for several years until Cafe Botanica opened. It brought hundreds of people to the garden. Something like that needs to be revived.

  3. Patricia Salmon
    Jun 29, 2016

    Thank you Mary Lou for your first hand observations on the Snug Harbor Cultural Center and also on “The Wheel.” I have been speaking to Saint George residents about the changes in the neighborhood. Some are dismayed and do not believe “The Wheel” and the outlets will benefit the island. It will just be tourists getting off the boat, riding “The Wheel,” passing through the outlets and then getting back on the ferryboats. What can be done to keep these tourists on the island? This question has been bandied about for years. Any ideas?

  4. Dean Curry
    Jun 29, 2016

    Thank you Pat,

    Such an unusual & sad story. I trust the mystery of it will be unravelled someday.

    PS I am still looking for a literary type to assist Jim Romano to correlate his memories and splendid photographs into book form. You mentioned that you may know someone who could help.

    Do let me know.

    • Patricia Salmon
      Jun 30, 2016

      The person I was thinking about is not available Dean. Perhaps a history graduate student? I will contact Wagner and CSI to see if they know a student who could undertake the project. Would it be possible to give me two or three sentences to present to them? Years he was active? Before freelance who did he work for? Approximate number of photos? I wish I had the time to do this. It would be fascinating I am sure.

  5. Dean Curry
    Jun 30, 2016

    Hello Pat,

    Quick note from memory:

    Jim Romano lives in Sunnyside SI for over 50 years; worked at West point in late 40’s; then at Farm Colony with Joe Keeney in early 50’s; not sure when he took up photography, but he worked for the Daily News as freelance photographer for decades; then with various other local newspapers, again for a number of years.

    He has “known” and photographed a multitude of mainly political personalities back at least to the 1950’s – before and after Fame set in eg. JFK.

    literally Thousands of high quality photos of personalities and events and a “story” to go with each one.

    It is a fascinating project for ALL & particularly the writer, and should be done NOW!

    Hope you can help.


    • Patricia Salmon
      Jul 1, 2016

      Great description Dean. I will get the word out. I have thought of a few more individuals to contact. It really would be a wonderful opportunity for a graduate student. Thanks and have a fabulous weekend! Pat

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