New Book Highlights History of Queens

BY LUIS GRONDA
Staff Writer

A recently-released book gives Queens residents and potential visitors a glimpse into what the Borough used to be like.

The book features photos of the Borough’s development, including an aerial view of the Steinway Piano Factory.

The book features photos of the Borough’s development, including an aerial view of the Steinway Piano Factory.

In a continuation of the Images of America series, the Greater Astoria Historical Society and Kevin Walsh, author of the Forgotten New York blog, co-wrote a book called “Forgotten Queens.”

The book takes readers through every part of the Borough, showing several pictures of what life was like in Queens between 1920 and 1950.

It is divided into five sections, or wards as it is called in the book, showing old photos of each area and giving readers a tour of Queens through each chapter.

It starts off with Long Island City, beginning at the Queensborough Bridge and finishing at the Grand Central Parkway in Astoria. It continues with Newtown, now known as Elmhurst, starting on Astoria Boulevard near the LIC border and going down to Forest Hills.

The other three chapters examine the town of Flushing, which includes Whitestone, Bayside and Douglaston, the town of Jamaica and the Rockaways.

Bob Singleton, the director of the Greater Astoria Historical Society, said the book shows how Queens developed during those four decades, including the opening of the Queensborough Bridge, which vastly improved the Borough’s economy and foot traffic.

“Forgotten Queens” highlights the history of the Borough from the 1920s to the 1950s.

“Forgotten Queens” highlights the history of the Borough from the 1920s to the 1950s.

“It is a collection of images that show the Borough during a critical time of its development,” he said.

Singleton also said the book is, in essence, a celebration of the Borough, as it looks back to what it used to be like, and also a guide to how Queens could develop in the future.

“Being from Queens, we have every reason to be proud to live in this Borough as any other in the City,” Singleton said, adding that it can go “toe-to-toe” with any other Borough in terms of what it has to offer, including entertainment.

The photos from the book come mostly from the historical society’s archives, Singleton said.

You can get the book on the historical society’s website, astorialic.org. Singleton has embarked on a tour for the book. If you would like more information on the tour, email info@astorialic.org.

Reach Luis Gronda at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 127, lgronda@queenstribune.com or @luisgronda.