No street, inch for inch and brick by brick, represents what has happened to many NYC communities more than what has happened to Summit Court, a dead end on Sanford Avenue just east of College Point Boulevard. I took a photo of it in the early 2000s and you can see that it was lined on both sides (trust me about the right side) with detached two story private homes, and there was even a conifer toward the rear. It was a private lane with a fence.

Sometime around 2010, the private homes were sold off to a developer, who built objects more in line with what is going up in many parts of town these days…


… Fedders Specials, with exposed meters, air conditioners and metal doors, pretty much the accepted model for “affordable” homes in certain parts of NYC.


Looking north on the alley provides a gimpse of what it used to look like, if you use your imagination.


Politicians and demographers will cite Flushing’s increasing population, sociologists will cite different perceptions of esthetics, while developers will say they’re building for necessity.

I just lament the whole situation.


The pine tree is gone, of course.


One constant must be mentioned: the presence of a curved-mast lamppost. The city hasn’t installed these regularly since the early 1950s, and this one has gone through a variety of lamp fixtures.


Summit Court was likely named for a rise, or small hill, that has since been leveled. The apartment building next door is likely named for the alley, and not the reverse, but it has two antique signs on the Sanford Avenue side.


Categorized in: Alleys Forgotten Slices Tagged with:

4 Responses to SUMMIT COURT, Flushing

  1. Kiwiwriter says:

    The Fallout Shelter signs were part of Governor Nelson Rockefeller’s 1961 program to create such shelters across the city in basements, full of water barrels, ration packs, medicine kits, and manifests on clipboards, which would shelter residents in case of Soviet nuclear attack. The ration packs had minimum 450-calorie food — just enough to keep shelterers alive.

    In 1975, the City dug out the ration packs to give to victims of the Nicaragua earthquake. Everyone who ate them got sick. After that, the City realized the medical kits were full of phenobarbital, and it became a race between the City and the junkies to remove the kits and flush the drugs. The junkies won a lot of the races. Now all that’s left are the signs.

  2. Barry Rivadue says:

    You would hope ugly cheap ass architecture would be illegal.

  3. NY2AZ says:

    In this digital era I wonder why Con Ed bothers with on site meters. They can read a digital meter at central office. When I owned a house on 63rd Avenue in Queensborough Hill I had a exterior meter & an interior meter in the basement. I was grateful for the exterior because the technician could read the exterior at any time; I didn’t have to be home. I vaguely recall speaking to Con Ed about a statement that was estimated, not actual & being told that they could read it from central office as we spoke & then being told what I really owed for the month. Regardless, would you rather have to wait for a meter reader every month? Exterior meters are a convenience. It’s also interesting to see how many tenants forgo the a/c, leaving the Feders sleeve plate in place. As a young adult, my first major appliance purchase was an AirTemp (Chrysler) a/c unit for my first apartment (144-25 Roosevelt Ave: The Wilshire). It was very reassuring to have a foot in the middle class at age 23).

  4. Anon says:

    So why don’t they build fallout shelters any more? The risk of nukes aimed at NYC is as great as ever.

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