Queens children were in for a treat when Max Gruberg, a well-known Philadelphia carnival operator, purchased a piece of land abutting what was then Horace Harding Boulevard at 174th Street, close to Saint Mary’s Cemetery. The plan was to build an amusement park. Gruberg had successfully opened a similar fun spot in Long Beach, LI a few years earlier and saw the need for the expanding population of Fresh Meadows to be entertained.
On March 15, 1950 he opened Kiddie Park at 174-15 Horace Harding Blvd., offering free admission, nine great rides, a clown, refreshments and souvenirs. Six rides cost 50 cents. With a special postcard you got three more for free. Kiddie Park was a big hit with the little baby boomers of the area.
After a few years Gruberg sold the park to Frank Sadowski and Albert Seyman, who operated the Dreamland fun park on Hillside Avenue in Brooklyn.
Business continued to grow. Then suddenly bad news came when the government announced it was taking the property under the eminent domain law to build the Long Island Expressway. Sadowski and Seyman had a deadline to vacate the property by July 3, 1955 and favorite rides like their Roto Whip, Jet Rocket and merry-go-round were quickly sold at discount prices.
After the expressway was completed the property was excessed and resold. Philips Medical Systems occupied the site for several years. More recently a rival newspaper, the Queens Tribune, was there, but it has since moved to Whitestone.