Pictures dated c. 1919 and 2004
Click images to enlarge
LIRR Jamaica Bound Waiting Room
If you lived in Kew Gardens before the mid-1970's, you'll recognize the building in the black and white photograph as the old Long Island Railroad waiting room on the Jamaica bound platform. That's the Lefferts Boulevard overpass in the background before construction of the stores. This vintage picture postcard
shows where the waiting room was located in relation to the main station house. In the 1970's, the waiting room became a target for vandals. It was closed and eventually torn down.
Viewer, Al Linsky writes:
"Some interesting facts about the eastbound Long Island Railroad station house featured in this month's slide show.
While it was principally built as a waiting room, it was never intended for commuters but was designed to accommodate vacationers heading for the east end (the Hamptons and Montauk).
The double doors on the platform side allowed a baggage clerk to wheel luggage in and out.
I am uncertain as to whether tickets were ever vended inside but the right one third of the structure (looking at it from the main entry) was divided off as an office and eventually became the home of the Kew Gardens Auto Rental (a local limousine company).
The building was heated by a real old fashioned potbellied stove the fuel for which being supplied by the railroad and delivered to a bunker behind the office.
Starting the furnace was no automatic operation and the first task each winter morning was to load coal and light the fire (this chore was left to the drivers).
In later years, and after the taxi business shut down, the building began to deteriorate and became both a hangout for local hooligans and a late night lover's lane.
The rest, of course, is history and is depicted in the second slide show picture showing what is now a vacant lot."
Thanks to Michael Jovishoff for the 2004 photograph.
If you have pictures of yourself showing any Kew Gardens locale in the background, email me high resolution jpegs and I will post them here as space permits.
To download a copy of the Queens Courier's
Sept. 2003 article about Old Kew Gardens.com, click on one of the following links. Turn off your browser's auto-resize if the JPEG text appears too small to read.
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- Low Resolution, 97kb