Almost as long as there’s been a Richmond Hill, the Triangle Hotel building (seen here in 2006) has marked the triangle where Myrtle Avenue meets Jamaica Avenue. It was built by Charles Paulson in 1868 and was originally rented out as a grocery and post office. By 1893 the building, now owned by John Kerz and operating as a hotel, included an eatery named the Wheelman’s Restaurant in honor of the new bicycling craze.
According to the Richmond Hill Historical Society, Babe Ruth (who was a golf enthusiast in nearby St. Albans) and Mae West were patrons of the Triangle Hofbrau in the 1920s. Vaudeville-era pianist/composer Ernest Ball (1878-1927) wrote the music for the now-standard “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling” in one of the hotel’s guest rooms in 1912.
The Triangle likely looked like this when Ball was creating the music for the song sung universally on March 17th.