26 September 2011

Beautiful, Mysterious Rockaway Building

This is a building at 90-01 Rockaway Beach Boulevard that quickly captured my imagination. I think the mid-century architecture—part pragmatism, part stylish modernism—is fantastic. The oval, aquarium-like windows alone are amazing, particularly the one on the corner.

Something about the design tells me this was a dinner club or fancy restaurant once upon a time, though I can find no proof to back this up. Today it's the Seaside Senior Center.

I'm become somewhat fascinated with Rockaway lately, partly because so little of its past remains, partly because that past was so glorious, as interesting and bountiful as the more familiar story of its sister beach community, Coney Island. I have a friend down there who owns one of the few remaining bungalows. How this community must have looked when there were rows upon rows of these lovely huts.


Anonymous said...

Real estate listings still online from when the building was offered for sale or lease a couple of years ago say that it has a full commercial kitchen. That would seem to support the idea that it once was a restaurant or club.

It was built in 1960, according to these listings.


brianmack said...

The building housed one of the best bars in Rockaway, Gilroy's. It was
owned by Felix Gilroy who was there every single day it was opened. He served freshly cooked Roast Beef sandwiches that I've never tasted better anywhere. The tapped beer
and bottles, the coldest. Bar
was immaculate with, what was considered important, the greatest stacked juke box in the Rockaway's.
I worked as a bartender at Gilroy's and Felix, from Ireland, was a "gift!"