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

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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.

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