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Queens Chronicle

A footbridge over the boulevard

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Posted: Thursday, April 3, 2014 10:30 am

Originally 67th Avenue in Forest Hills was called Roxton Street on the south side of Queens Boulevard and Ruskin Street on the north side. All the streets were alphabetically arranged and named Atom to Zuni by the Cord Meyer Development Co. in 1906.

When the city changed the street names to numbers in 1913, the move was met with resistance by homeowners and full compliance was not enforced until 1931.

During construction of the great IND (Independent) subway line along Queens Boulevard, people needed a wooden bridge to cross the thoroughfare while the subway was being dug out and built underneath.

The wooden footbridge at 67th Avenue, which is now part of Rego Park, was in place from 1929 to 1932. It may have been the pedestrian traffic that prompted development of the beautiful Tudor all-brick homes with slate roofs built on the south side when neighboring blocks were still empty.

The price was only $950 down, and the homes drew buyers from Manhattan wanting to flee the congestion of the big city for a suburban lifestyle. But the peace and quiet of suburban life was short lived, as the area was engulfed by apartment buildings when the subway was finally completed in 1936.

The attached Tudors look generally the same after over 80 years with the exception of a few cracks due to vibrations of the nearby subway. Big, beautiful trees help give them much-needed privacy.

Lastly, note the original fire alarm box on the left side of 67th Avenue in the photograph. It is still in place today, after more than 80 years.

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