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Queens Chronicle

Colonial Garage: last gas in FoHi

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Posted: Thursday, January 16, 2014 10:30 am

In the mid-1990s another unofficial landmark was demolished in Forest Hills, ending an era. Colonial Garage was the last gas station on Queens Boulevard in Forest Hills.

At one time not so long ago there were seven gas stations with garages operating on either Queens Boulevard or Austin Street in Forest Hills. Now there are none. Aside from the Colonial, located at the corner of 78th Avenue, two of the better known were the Seminole Garage at 112-17 Queens Blvd., replaced by The Pinnacle building, and the Continental Garage on Queens Boulevard at 70th Road, replaced by Lane Towers.

Colonial Garage was built in the early 1920s by the Malhurst Corp. Owners Phil Maltz and Mike Hurst, both Forest Hills residents, designed and decorated their garage with beautiful ivy vines and trellises that were used to thread and support them.

In the early 1940s, the business was sold and became a Gulf gas station. Keeping with the Gulf format, the building was covered over with white enamel block panels. All the plants, ivy and foliage were ripped out and covered over with concrete. The west wall, shown in the photo above, was torn down to allow more room for cars to pivot.

The station continued to operate well into the 1990s due to the money generated by renting out garage spaces in an overdeveloped neighborhood.

When the garage was being gutted, the original Colonial-style architecture was revealed one last time, for the first time in 60 years, before it was demolished.

Today a FedEx and CVS occupy the location, with no traces of Colonial Garage anywhere in sight.

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