By Frances Robert and Richard Levine
In the 1960′s New York City’s master builder Robert Moses proposed a parkway along the southern waterfront stretch of Staten Island. Moses really evokes a lot of different feelings in people. On the one hand he was responsible for many of the city’s pools and infrastructure used by the public today. On the other hand he was enamored of the car culture, destroying neighborhoods and displacing people building highways and bridges in the process.
In the way of the proposed parkway was a summer beach community called Cedar Grove Beach. Originally there were around 70 bungalows, which were handed down in the same families for generations and enjoyed during the summer months. In order to build the parkway the property was seized by eminent domain in 1962 but the parkway was never built. So the city leased back the land to the previous owners with the stipulation that it was only to be used in the summer and that the city could have the property back at any time.
In 2010 that time came and the families were removed and the land reverted back to the city. Plans were afoot and the area is now the city’s eighth public beach. The bungalows have not been torn down yet and a few will be renovated for park use.
The area was probably the last summer beach community in the city. Other communities in Rockaway such as Breezy Point and Gerritsen Beach in Brooklyn have long been winterized.
But on the other hand, this is a really nice beach. Clean and small and at this time sparsely used. This summer the interactive art exhibit “MistWave” is installed which will spray a cooling mist over the beachgoers during the hot summer.
Richard Levine and Frances Roberts, of Levine Roberts Photography, are a husband and wife team of photographers covering politics, environmental issues, the economy, business, and social and cultural issues in the Big Apple. See more photos from their collection on Newscom.
You may be interested in these other posts from Levine Roberts photography on FocalPoint:
This entry was posted on Wednesday, June 6th, 2012 at 1:21 pm and is filed under Guest Blog. You can follow any comments to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a comment, or trackback from your own site.