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 -