There was no better trusted or well-known name in northern Queens real estate than that of the Halleran Agency of Flushing. Many saw John J. Halleran Sr. and his sons, John Jr. and Laurence, as not just brokers but trusty friends they could count on.
Their slogan on every billboard was “Ask Mr. Halleran.” Another they were known for was “So this is Flushing!”
Started in the later part of the 19th century by John Sr., the firm was active for more than 100 years, as Flushing went from farmland to full development by the 1960s. John Jr. and Laurence expanded what their father had started, with offices first at 162-01 Northern Blvd. and then at 137-44 Northern (which, in the 1970s, became the popular night spot Jimmy Byrnes).
The Hallerans’ advice was sought out by the man and woman on the street as well as by top-ranked politicians. Many that followed it became wealthy. It was said the firm had a hand in practically every major real estate sale in Downtown Flushing.
John Jr., who variously served as Queens commissioner for taxes and public works, lived at 35-20 156 St., and Laurence at 141-61 33 Ave. As they liquidated old estates they became passionate historians of Flushing and collectors of memorabilia, their office looking like a museum packed with rare, valuable items from the town’s past.
But upon the death of Laurence at age 75 in 1963, the driving force and energy of the business was gone. A few years later the area became dominated by Asian immigrants.
Sadly there is no plaque that remembers the Hallerans’ contributions to the community. Some of their descendents, however, still play a role in Queens and New York City affairs, including, despite the different spelling, City Councilman Dan Halloran.