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Queens Chronicle

Looking back in time at a hot Forest Hills corner

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Posted: Thursday, April 12, 2018 10:30 am

One of the most vital, but congested, intersections of Forest Hills is at Continental Avenue and Austin Street. On three of the intersection’s four corners once stood banks all jockeying for neighborhood residents’ money.

Two of the corners still have banks at them, while the third one — which used to a host a Corn Exchange Bank branch — is where a Boston Market sits today. Wedged in between The Corn Exchange and a Woolworth’s was Louis P. McGahie’s Real Estate at 106-22 Continental Ave.

McGahie had been the assistant sales manager of the firm that developed Forest Hills Gardens, the Sage Foundation Homes Co., when it opened in 1910. He kept his fingers in many real estate deals in the gardens until his 1962 death.

The corner without a bank was occupied by Cushman’s Bakery at 107-02 Continental Ave. for many years. Once a big player in the bakery business, it had 20 locations in Queens alone in the 1950s.

King George Restaurant took the bakery’s place and kept it for several decades. Cohen’s Fashion Optical, which sells contact lenses and glasses, now sits at the corner.

Traffic was thought to be almost as bad a problem nearly 70 years ago as it is today, with no certain solutions in sight.

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