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Queens Chronicle

The development of Union Tpke. for business

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Posted: Thursday, April 25, 2013 10:30 am

As late as 1937 the region of Union Turnpike from about 168th Street all the way east to 232th Street contained nothing except the Hillcrest Golf Course Hillcrest Riding Academy and The Hillside Park Riding Academy.

Suddenly all at once, starting in 1937, the neighborhood was developed by various builders such as Chevy Chase Homes at Union Turnpike and 188th Street, Paul Roth’s Holliswood Homes at Union and 188th, and the biggest player of all: Gross-Morton Homes, which practically covered the whole area from about 170th to 190th streets.

To serve the new communities, commercial stores were planned and laid out along Union Turnpike. On the north side at the corner of 179th Street, at 179-01 was Faye-Economy Pharmacy, owned by Sol Israel. The store was best known, for many decades, as Forman’s Pharmacy. As the community aged, the owners opened Forman’s Home Care Service and Forman’s Surgical Supplies.

Directly across the street at 179-02 Union Turnpike was a competitor called Surrey-Pike Pharmacy. Other original businesses along the strip were a hardware store, beauty parlor and bar and grill.

Sadly the mom-and-pop family-owned pharmacy and hardware stores are becoming part of the vanishing Queens landscape. Today the two pharmacies at the hot corner have become a fruit and vegetable store and a quick convenience deli.

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