Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

This is the front and rear cover of a Cord Meyer booklet extolling the virtues of Elmhurst. I will be posting the rest in 2008, but wanted one final post in 2007.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

More cops for Elmhurst!

The NYPD is sending 1,800 rookies to patrol high-crime pockets that have resisted the overall crime drop, officials said Wednesday as they announced the city is poised to have the fewest murders in 44 years.

One third of the officers - some 600 cops - will be deployed in hot spots in six Brooklyn precincts starting tomorrow.

The remaining 1,200 cops will be distributed in nine high-crime zones in the Bronx, Queens and Manhattan in an attempt to give all sections of the city a similar decline in crime.

Full article from the Daily News

To stay on theme: The 110th Precinct has been on 43rd Avenue since 1940. Prior to that they shared space in a town hall/court house that stood on Broadway and Justice avenue (where the traffic island is now). It is pictured on the cover of the book below.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Ebay alert

A copy of Vincent F.Seyfried's book is up for sale on Ebay

Elmhurst: from town seat to mega suburb

Although I shouldn't be encouraging anyone to take up a new hobby with all the Holiday bills rolling in, the seller - "Bob S." deals exclusively in NYC postcards, so check out his other auctions. There are two other books in the "Queens Community series" Corona and Flushing. Both are great reading, but not as hard to find as the Elmhurst volume.

Monday, December 24, 2007

From 1929-33 the subway came to Elmhurst. The city used a cut and cover technique to dig a tunnel down Broadway. This destroyed many colonial era buildings that still stood along the route. Why do I mention this? Well,the city took a series of survey photos of the area before work began and copies are for sale at Here is a selection of the Moore/Perry estate. I have found the service from Queenspix fast and professional and he can even crop and zoom into certain scenes to bring out hidden details of locations.

Merry Christmas part 2

Why all the cutting and pasting? Just a little background for the scans of the postcards of the Moore Homestead which stood in the park (roughly opposite the phone building) until 1933.

Clement Clarke Moore / Moore Homestead Park

Clement Clarke Moore (1779-1863) was the great-great-great grandson of Reverend Moore. Born in New York City, Clement spent much of his boyhood and youth at the family estate in Newtown. He was tutored at home by his father and graduated from Columbia College with a B.A. in 1798, an M.A. in 1801, and an honorary LL.D.

Moore is best known as the inspired author of the delightful children’s poem, "A Visit from St. Nicholas." He composed the poem for his wife Catherine Elizabeth Taylor Moore and their children in 1822. A family friend had the poem published anonymously in the Troy Sentinel the following year. With subsequent publication in newspapers, magazines, and illustrated editions, the poem became a classic popularly known as "The Night before Christmas." Moore died in Newport, Rhode Island in 1863.

Around the turn of the century, most of the Moore estate was divided into building lots and sold at auction. The site of the homestead, however, remained in the family until the Board of Transportation acquired it during the construction of the Independent Subway in 1930. The buildings were razed in 1933. Soon after Parks acquired this property from Transportation in 1954, plans were drawn up for a new playground, with play equipment and athletic facilities for children.

Merry Christmas

by Clement Clarke Moore

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;

And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,

Had just settled down for a long winter's nap,

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,

Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow

Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,

I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,

And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

"Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!

On, Comet! on Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen!

To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!

Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,

When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,

So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,

With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof

The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,

Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,

And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;

A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,

And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His eyes -- how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!

His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,

And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,

And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;

He had a broad face and a little round belly,

That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,

And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,

Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,

And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,

And laying his finger aside of his nose,

And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,

And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.

But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,

"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night."

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Elmhurst: a nice place to live

This ad comes from a Cord Meyer pamphlet I picked up on Ebay of all places. It is probably from around 1910. I think we have lost the "uncrowded" and "well ventilated" selling points, but the R,F and 7 still get us into Manhattan pretty quickly even if the LIRR has given up on us.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Public School 89

Here is another Elmhurst landmark PS 89.
This postcard is dated Jan 9, 1917, but could easily pass for a photo from the early 70's before the mini-school was built. I understand there are 3 schools in the building now - which seems like a scheme to pay three captains to steer the same ship, but that is a discussion for a different sort of blog :)
Current photo

Newtown High School Aerial view

Newtown was built around 1900 and the tower, along with the auditorium was added around 1920. The majority of the postcards fall in between these two dates. There were two more additions in 1931 and 1956-58. I assume the 56/58 addition is the part with the cafeteria on the 50th Avenue side of the building. It is anybody's guess how much of, if any of the original building survives today.

Newtown High School mega post part 2

Newtown High School mega post

Queens Crap mentioned the site!
So in honor of that I'm posting my collection of Newtown High School postcards.
Postcards were a big deal from roughly 1898 to 1940. Mail was actually delivered TWICE a day. The public's desire for "real photo postcards(rppc)" led to a market that produced many interesting views of Elmhurst.

For more on the history of postcards try -

Friday, November 30, 2007

This is a test

Lion dancing in Elmhurst. Justice Avenue to be exact.
I just wanted to see how inserting videos worked.
I guess I can hit the street with my video camera now.

Looks like I'm not the only one interested in the Durkee plant

An Elmhurst/Corona blog has posted a story about the school being built.
As they say - more to follow....

Monday, November 26, 2007


A washed out shot from 11/25/05 showing the front entrance.

Durkee today

More shots from 11/25/07

Railroad Siding

The factory had it's own siding off the Port Washington branch of the LIRR. Hampton street bridge in distance


The virtues of the building

More Durkee

Built in 1917 and opened in October of that year.

Newtown High School

I'm posting this for free hosting, but don't worry I'll post my photos of Newtown with and without it's tower in the coming weeks.

Solar power

While it has nothing to do with Elmhurst's past, I'm posting this photo of a solar power system a homeowner has set up on 92 street near the mall because do-it-yourself projects have always fascinated me.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Two links to "Queens Crap" from Elmhurst
Shows two grand old homes

Shows what is often built to replace them.

The more things change......

Mustard warms Elmhurst

Wealthy residents rise in protest against a factory in their midst.

Wealthy residents of the Elmhurst section of Queens have risen in protest against the location of a mustard and spice factory of the Durkee Company on Corona Avenue and Card Place, in the very midst of their homes. The proposed site is almost bounded by property belonging to St.Bartholomew's Roman Catholic Church, St. Jame's Episcopal Church, the Elmhurst Methodist Church and the Newtown Dutch Reformed Church. Within a stone's throw are homes of well-known members of the theatrical profession. All the property was originally sold under restriction.
With the information that the Cord Meyer Company had sold the property to the Durkee Company came the statement that the factory would be surrounded by lawns and flower beds, and it would be an ornament to the community. But this did not satisfy the residents, and last evening William Boyes announced that he had been engaged as counsel by several of them to oppose in court the establishment of the factory.

Published in the New York Times March 16, 1917

Two subjects I will touch upon as this blog grows are:

1. Cord Meyer - the developer of Elmhurst
2. at the turn of the century Elmhurst was a wealthy neighborhood, with large homes lining Whitney avenue. Most were plowed under to meet the post World War One housing boom.

Durkee aerial photo

This is a few years old because the K of C is still standing on 43 avenue.

Durkee today

The site as it looks today. A high school is in the works.
There is a thriving market for old Durkee containers on Ebay, check your pantry.
and Durkee today

Scan of a Durkee factory postcard

Printed by the Commercial Art Post Card Co. Brooklyn, NY #311 in a series

E.R. Durkee & Co.

45-10 94th Street, Elmhurst, NY 11373
I had been thinking of starting a blog for quite some time as a way of sharing some of the Elmhurst postcards I have been collecting over the years. Today as I was crossing the Hampton Hill bridge I noticed that the Durkee factory was being gutted, so I decided to walk over and take a few photos thinking the building was not long for this world. The sign pictured tells a different tale, but it was enough to finally get me in gear.


I have created this blog to share my photos of Elmhurst's past