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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • EAT MORE FISH, 1917

No Left Turn: 1948

No Left Turn: 1948

April 20, 1948. "E.R. Squibb & Son, Northern Boulevard, Long Island City, New York. Harold Burson, client." Note the abundance of antique traffic signals and signage. Large-format acetate negative by Gottscho-Schleisner. View full size.

 

32-04 Northern Blvd.

the building to the right, was bought by food wholesaler John Sexton and Company in 1946. Now doing duty as a Public Storage location. As some of the other posters mentioned, will more than likely become high-end condos.

Cars

1946 Chevrolet "Stylemaster" Town sedan in front of the Chrysler.
The Chevy next to the '48 Pontiac Streamliner looks to be a 1947 Stylemaster town sedan.

That Triangular Tract

is a gore.

Van Iderstine

I currently work around 15 blocks from this location, it is amazing how LIC has and is still changing. Most of the industrial base is now gone and is being replaced with high end residences. I still remember Eagle Electric, where perfection is not an accident as per their enormous skeleton sign. Swingline stapler under the El that shook the entire block when their punch press came down. As far as Van Iderstines as mentioned by another poster their plant was on Newtown Creek ,their stack was under the Kosciusco bridge and if you were unlucky enough to be stuck in traffic on a hot summer day on the bridge you were in for quite a treat as the malaria yellow smoke that emanated from their plant enveloped your car. After close to 100 years of complaints the city finally managed to shut them down in the late 70's. But not to worry they have reopened in Newark under the Jersey Turnpike near the airport.

The former Squibb building

It's now known as the Center Building and will be 100 years old in a couple of years. It recently sold for $85 million, which may seem like a low price for a half-million square feet of Class A office space, but much of it is leased to city agencies at relatively low rents.

The building to the right doesn't quite merit a name, and is known simply as 32-04* Northern Boulevard. It was built in 1931. Today it houses a self-storage warehouse, a rather low-value-added usage that is increasingly out of place as Long Island City becomes ever trendier. If present trends continue it'll probably be redeveloped into something else before long, such as expensive condominiums or a boutique hotel. Come to think of it, when the city agency leases in the Center Building expire they're not likely to be renewed.

* = the 32 in the 32-04 address indicates the nearest cross street. To facilitate this address scheme the names of most Queens streets were changed to numbers in the 1920's. The old street names live on in some of the older subway stations, for example a nearby station on the 7 train, known as 33rd Street-Rawson.

Left to Right

1946 Chevrolet Fleetwood Town Sedan, maybe a '46 Mercury in background, '46 Chrysler 4 door sedan, '41 Chevrolet Special Deluxe Sports Sedan (at center island), ?? Chevy 2 door, '48 Pontiac Deluxe Streamliner 4-Door Sedan.

And if it wasnt sunny,

one could still find their way around because Sunnyside Yard had floodlight towers, similar to the Detroit moonlight towers, and that might be one of them down Honeywell Street on the left. At one time Sunnyside Yard was the largest coach yard in the world.

It's Always Sunny

The two big buildings on the right are still there. Not so the small building on the left. Looks like the Transit Authority replaced the below ground electrical works with an above ground facility on the triangle.

The Honeywell Avenue bridge crosses over the Sunnyside Rail Yards, used today extensively by Long Island Railroad, NJ Transit and Amtrak (including a car washing station). A few hundred feet to the west are the Pennsylvania RR (now Amtrak) tunnels under the East River to Manhattan's Penn Station. The East Side Access Project is adding a direct link from Sunnyside Yards to Grand Central Terminal.


View Larger Map

Also In Long Island City

The Van Iderstine Rendering Company, founded in 1855 and at the time of this photo at 37-30 Review Ave, was the factory that rendered the fat and bones of the slaughter houses into tallow and grease. The worst by-product was an odor that infested not only Queens but the East Side of Manhattan as well.

Cross-streets

To the left, 39th Avenue. To the right, Honeywell Street. Behind the photographer, 32nd Street.

Benches

I have seen many of those benches around and about. I think the WPA built quite a few of them. A really good idea because there was no need to replace the whole thing when one board was bad but I believe nowadays they have to bolt the boards down.

Nice Chrysler

I dig the black Chrysler parked on the corner in front of the American Tire & Battery Co.

 
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Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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