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Pictures dated c. 1920, 1958, 2004, 2006
Click images to enlarge
123 81st Avenue
This magnificent house on 81st Avenue at the corner of Austin Street was one of the finest to go up here. However, by 2004, it was in terrible shape and badly in need of extensive repairs. It took new owners more than a year to restore it, but restore it they did, remaining true to its original character and the character of the neighborhood. A very grateful community says thank you.

[1958 photograph courtesy of Steven Horowitz, whose family lived in the house during the late 50's and early 60's.]

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.

[JPEG - 240kb]
[PDF - Hi Resolution, 379kb]
[PDF - Low Resolution, 97kb ]
September 2006 Guest Book

Tony Corrado has passed away (Updated)
September 28, 2006
Editor's Note:  Tony Corrado died after a long illness. His funeral was yesterday. For more than forty years, Tony ran the Fairchild Upholstery Shop on Austin Street across from the Mowbray Apartments. Tony was more than just a local proprietor, he was a member of the Kew Gardens family. For decades he was the neighborhood's most outspoken and passionate defender against what he saw as the grossly exaggerated and unfair accusations made against it after the Kitty Genovese murder. He was also known to all as a very good and very kind man. Not long after he first opened his shop here back in the early 1960's, a young woman who was moving into one of the apartments above his store managed to get her sofa bed stuck in the narrow stairway leading up to the front door of her apartment. Tony and one of his nephews got it unstuck and into the apartment for her, refusing any gratuity. The young woman's name was Kitty Genovese. Rest in peace Tony.

September 26, 2006
My name is fran and I live in Tipperary in Ireland. My Great Aunt Kit Connolly lived just off Leffert's Boulevard in Kew Gardens. She lived there for most of her life and died at the grand old age of 102. We used to visit her every year and I have to say that I really loved Kew Gardens. We had many a lovely meal and a chat with the locals in Austin's Ale House. Kit even at 100 loved their Chicken Wings!! I miss Kit and miss Kew Gardens. I hope someday to be able to visit again, although it won't be the same without Kit. What a lovely website. I really enjoyed browsing through it.
[To contact Fran, click here]

September 25, 2006
Greetings from Colorado. Does anyone know of a link to photos of the RHHS class of '70 reunion last year? I would like to pics of some of my old friends (and enemies) and see how they let themselves go!
Ben Roubin
[To contact Ben Roubin, click here]

Chatillon Scale Factory Update
September 24, 2006
Editor's Note:  I received an email today saying that it looks as if the exterior walls of the Chatillon Scale Factory are being torn down. I put the question to Murray Berger of the Kew Gardens Civic Association, whose reassuring reply is as follows: "Categorically untrue; the rear 2-story wall, facing the apt house, will be moved back about 20 feet and become a 1-story wall. The three walls facing the street stay put. The towers are being taken down for now, to be substantially restored (from the same bricks) on the three new, added setback stories."

The Kew Gardens Cinema
September 23, 2006
    Thanks to Al Linsky for pointing me in the direction of the Cinema Treasures web site which has an article and message board about the Kew Gardens Cinema, formerly the old Austin Theater.

    Click here to view the article and message board
    To view 1948 photographs of the old Austin theater taken by our own Jay Rogers:  Click here and Click here.
    To view a photograph of the Austin theater during its xxx-rated heyday, click here.

September 21, 2006
Greatly enjoyed the website. Found it by accident. My family lived on Park Lane South from about 1960 to 1978. Our house is in a couple of the pictures on the website. My grandfather, Leo Honig, lived next door. My siblings (David, Robert and Ellen) and I all went to Kew-Forest School (I was class of 1980) and we were members of Anshe Sholom. Have only been back to the neighborhood twice since my grandfather passed away in 1986. Would love to hear from anybody from that time and place.
Michael Siegel

September 20, 2006
Betty Schneir at the age of 92 entered Heaven on September 20th 2006,along with her husband Irving and their children Lenny and Renee the family moved to Kew Gardens in 1947 and lived in the Hampton apartment house located at 82nd road and Queens boulevard.
Lenny Schneir

A History of Rapid Transit on Lefferts Boulevard
by Al Linsky
September 16, 2006
Rapid transit service on Lefferts Boulevard has changed remarkably in the last hundred years and I thought you might like a glimpse of what it was once like. ...
[Click here to read the article.]
[To contact Al Linsky, click here]

September 11, 2006
    I was born in 1974 and lived in Kew Gardens until 1993. My oldest friend still lives there. Our moms met in 1975 at the park on Austin street, between the post office and Lefferts Blvd. He sent me to this site. It's a great find... sort of KEW-GARDENSIPEDIA! Nice work! Recently I spent a good part of my work-day scouring the pages of this site, searching it for friends, familiar faces and places. I found great historical facts but also that the generations best represented here are earlier than my own. Let me bring some perspective from the mid 70's to early 90's.
    We were (family of four) 20 year residents of apt #3M at the "Roger Williams". My sister and I also played in the "triangle park" like Jerry Springer apparently did before us. However, in the 80's, in response to complaints of noise and balls hitting the windows of the Talbot street apartments, steel drums were scattered all over and filled with cement. The small park was like a giant pinball machine and wiffel-ball was over. We'd play on the sidewalks and in the basement, daring each other to run into the dark boiler rooms and compactor rooms. During summer months, before alarms were installed, we threw water balloons from the rooftops at our friends. Stanley was the doorman, Basillio in maintenance, John Powers was the Super and his son had a killer, bright red Dodge Charger SS that he'd pull out of the garage and warm-up, (loudly) parked at the hydrant by the lobby. Walking along the brick wall and jumping across at the basement entrances was an impressive skill. Being allowed to go "around the block" was a rite of passage. My sister and I walked up Lefferts to school at P.S. 99 during the 80's but before a sidewalk was finished along the cemetery wall, the kids who lived down Kew Gardens Road would walk along the dirt path, ducking tree limbs, opting to navigate this urban-safari rather than walk on the sidewalk across the street by the scale factory. I'd sometimes walk "the long way" to be a part of that adventure.... so many memories, I'll save 'em for another post.
    I remember and wish all-the-best to Nando, Diego, Ari, Edith & JasonM., Sasha & John & Ali, Chris, Biagio, Tom, Ryan, Neil, Johnathan (upstairs), Patrick & his younger brother, Jimmy, EricS., Andrew, Andy, JasonV., Christian, Soren, Eliseth, Melissa, Chrissy, Pedro, Vicky, Lucious, Ian, Gerald, Gerard, Vito, Sherry, Elsa, Emily, Peter, Leonard, Johnathan, EricC., Billy, June & Heather, Jeff, Robert, Asif, Jennifer, MaryAnn, Shiva, and also Jessica and Francesca who I noticed have posted here, I will try to email them both. So many others just don't come to mind at the moment but these kids were all about my age.
    PS99 teachers included (pardon bad spelling, please): K Benoliel, 1 Lozito, 2 Wolosoff, 3 Gwertz, 4 Hirshon, 5 Hurtz, and all-time favorite teacher ever, Roberta Nelson in her first year as a full- time teacher at 99. Mrs. Nelson came to us as a substitute after our original 6th grade teacher suffered health issues or perhaps (as rumored) a nervous breakdown due to our unruly behavior. Nelson set us straight and I know, enriched my life forever. Your the best, RN!
    Growing up in a rented apartment in Queens, son of european emigrants and then having lived on my own in Forest Hills and Astoria and Kew Gardens Hills and now in Maine, I have lacked a sense of home or origin. I am enjoying the "roots" that I feel here and share with this unique Queens neigborhood called Kew Gardens.
    Keep this going everyone! There are many more stories to tell and lots of input from other generations yet to add!
Best regards,
Marcus Jurgensen
Lived in Kew Gardens 1974-1993
Graduated P.S. 99 in 1986
[To contact Marcus Jurgensen, click here]

September 9, 2006
    Al Linsky's great article about the Green Bus Lines really struck a chord with me, especially concerning the two accidents. When I was about 5 (1949), my mother and I were involved in a similar situation as Mrs. Rogers. We were getting off the bus at Lefferts Blvd. and Austin St., and Mom's coat got caught in the door. Fortunately, the immediate commotion made the driver stop, and no injuries resulted.
    The second accident, crane vs. bus, I witnessed, as a AAA crossing guard in front of PS 99. I distinctly remember looking up just as the crane swung, and the bus crunched into it. That was the sound, a crunch. All of us started to run over there, but our captain, Alan Israel, had the presence of mind to tell us "hold your posts!"
    One more ramble. If I remember it right (not a given), Al Linsky was the one who hiked up to our house on 80th Rd. from Kew Gardens Rd. one fine day. Seems one of the busses needes a drink of water, and he knew my sister Ethlynn lived right up the block. Am I right?
    Keep up the great work, all of you.
Jeff Trevas
Born and raised in KG, 1944-1961, now in Arizona
Grad PS 99 1956, Russell Sage 1958, Forest Hills HS 1961

September 6, 2006
    It's great to see all the photos of this house at 123 81st Avenue, one of which was sent in by my brother, Steve. I lived in this house from the date I was born, in 1953, until 5th grade (1964?), when we moved across the street to 122 81st Avenue. I went off to college in 1971, but our family lived there until 1973, when we moved to California.
    My father had his medical practice in both these houses. His name is Samuel Horowitz and he had an old fashioned family practice, with most of his patients in Kew Gardens, Forest Hills and Rego Park . His is still alive, although wheelchair bound, at 98.
    My brother Steve and I both attended P.S 99. I think that I graduated in 1965, and my brother in 1969. I continued on to Russell Sage Junior High and then the Kew Forest School, where I graduated in 1971.
    I would love to hear from anyone that remembers us. I will be glad to pass along greetings and messages to my parents as well.
Bud Horowitz
Lived in Kew Gardens from 1953-1973
[To contact Bud Horowitz, click here]

Click on thumbnail to enlarge.
CLICK TO ENLARGE.P.S.This is the house we lived in from 1964 to 1973. The door to the left was the entrance to my father's medical office. For a great many years, he was one of the attendings at Kew Gardens Hospital, where both my brother and I were born. I feel very privileged to have grown up in a wonderful part of the city. The house to the left of 122 81st Avenue, as you probably know, belonged to Saul Marantz. I remember going into his basement to see his audio workshop, long before he sold to Sony.
Bud Horowitz

The Green Bus Line
September 4, 2006
    The following links show the Green Line bus #716 standing at its Q37 terminus at Queens Boulevard and Union Turnpike in Kew Gardens preparing to shuttle another load of subway passengers to Richmond Hill and Ozone Park.   [Click here] and [click here.]
    These may be among the last photographs under the Green Line flag before completion of the company’s acquisition by MTA Bus earlier this year. The company served south Queens for nearly eighty five years.
A. Linsky
[To contact Al Linsky, click here]

Thank you, Linda.
September 4, 2006
After reading the information that is on the page devoted to Kitty I am now sending an apology. I never thought that so many people would use this information for college and different reasons. I guess it is something that will stay with us for years to come. I now understand the importance of this information.
Linda Wiesner
[To contact Linda Wiesner, click here]

Spirits Alive! - September 30th
September 2, 2006
    HIYA! Kew Gardens Fans! This is Nancy Cataldi, President of the Richmond Hill Historical Society and historian for Maple Grove Cemetery, Kew Gardens. On September 30th at the entrance gate of the cemetery at Lefferts and Kew Gardens Road, we will be presenting the third annual "Spirits Alive!" event from 2-5 pm. The raindate is October 1st , same time.
    We will be honoring the lives of some of the people buried at Maple Grove, some of them from over one hundred years ago. There will be costumed people portraying these lives and telling you their story. It is an interactive walking tour, with locations in the old section of the cemetery. You will be given a map (the tour is local and not too far to walk, but wear comfortable shoes. The event is only $5.00 which goes to the Richmond Hill Historical Society and benefits their work for the community to cover costs of postage, printing and so forth. This event is well attended, and a very educational way to learn the history of our area. It is done in very good taste and very respectful to the serene surroundings.
    I hope to see you there. Please call 718-847-7878 for more info. The last tour will kick off at 4.00. so get there early!
    You will meet actors, doctors, nurses, musicians, pioneers and learn some really incredible history. We even have a pirate!By the way, your own Joseph DeMay, OKG webmaster has quite a following of his portrayal of composer, Vincent Youmans.
    Hope to see you there! email me at
Nancy Cataldi

Bigger Images
September 1, 2006
Editor's Note: Since more people now have broadband connections and higher resolution screens, I am beginning to bump up the size and resolution of the images I display here. So, instead of averaging 20 - 35 KB, images will start to average 60 - 80 KB. If enough dial up users find these file sizes make viewing the web pages too slow, let me know and I will reduce the file sizes.

Get a Gmail Account Free
September 1, 2006
    Editor's Note: As of February 1, 2005, Old Kew Gardens [.com] got a new email address with Gmail, which is the Google web based email service. You've probably heard that Gmail offers two gigabytes [2,000 MB] of free storage. It's free, but available by invitation only. Invitations are so sought after that they are being offered for sale on eBay. I have invitations I can distribute to friends. I'm not selling them, I'm giving them away. They are available on a first come first serve basis. Just send me an email telling me you'd like one.
    Update: Unless I know you, your request must come from a bona fide working ISP email address. To prevent abuse, email requests coming from free web based email services like Yahoo or Hotmail will not be honored.
    Update: I will remove this post when I run out of invitations. If you're reading this, then there are still invitations left to give out.

Posting Messages Here
September 1, 2006
[Ed.'s Note: The reason each guest book posting does not appear here immediately is that I review each message individually before posting to eliminate spam or unwanted adult content. Email me if you want to make a correction to a message you have already posted or if you would like a message removed.]

How to contact Guestbook signers

Some Guestbook signers choose not to publish their email addresses. If you wish to contact one of them, send me an email identifying the guestbook signer you wish to contact and giving me the date his or her message was posted. Your email to me must contain your full name, and may also include anything else you wish to tell the signer. I will forward your email to the Guestbook signer you wish to contact, but with no cc or bcc to you. It will be the signer's decision whether or not to make contact with you. Any emails which contain spam, adult content, or appear suspect for any other reason will not be forwarded. ~The Editor.

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