by Kevin Walsh

Queens Boulevard in 1937, long before it would be known as the Boulevard of Death for its screaming traffic and pedestrian fatalities. Queens Blvd. would hold onto its Twinlamp collection until 1969.


SK May 29, 2012 - 3:16 pm

Where did you find this photograph? It’s important to attribute your sources.

somebody June 1, 2012 - 7:34 pm

Don’t be fresh and go on rambling about some small technicalities next time. Please, just enjoy the article.

Bob Andersen May 29, 2012 - 3:41 pm

I think I found the location – the firehouse at 75th Ave.

Bill Fleming May 29, 2012 - 4:12 pm

I think this is around 75th Ave, Firehose is still there

PegLegGuy May 29, 2012 - 6:28 pm

Building on the left is the Quarters of Engine 395/Ladder151.


PegLegGuy May 29, 2012 - 6:29 pm

Make that Engine 305.

Eric May 29, 2012 - 9:49 pm

Name that car?

Eric May 29, 2012 - 9:54 pm

Is that a church or a firehouse with all the cars parked on the side?

Forest Hilliard May 30, 2012 - 5:23 am

Are you sure? The car making a left mid-photo looks like they just ran someone/thing over!

chris May 30, 2012 - 8:12 am

And today (using bing)

Mark May 30, 2012 - 8:22 am

Parking was certainly easier. Assume that is 75th Ave? The firehouse is still there.

Bill May 30, 2012 - 9:46 am

It’s interesting to see that two cars appear to be parked where they shouldn’t be: the one on the lawn (?) at the side of the firehouse (or is it a church?), and the one at the far right, cut off by the frame, which appears to be on the sidewalk. I thought that that kind of boorish entitled driver behavior was of more recent vintage.

LI Ray June 1, 2012 - 8:55 pm

The second car at the far right is exiting the Texaco gas station – I think you can almost make out painted curb-cut lines, although that may be an optical illusion.

And as for Ten Reni’s statement about horrid car accidents back in the day, am I allowed to post a link to a relevant Retronaut page?

Chris June 3, 2012 - 10:27 am

Uncommon? Not for cops and firemen.
One often sees their personal cars parked on the sidewalks around their stations today.

Tal Barzilai May 30, 2012 - 2:34 pm

It would be interesting to have an almost present day shot of that image for a comparison to how much it changed.

Pete F May 31, 2012 - 5:40 pm

See Chris’s bing link, just a bit above you.

Ten Reni May 30, 2012 - 4:01 pm

the car accidents back then were horrible. i’m sure it was still the blvd of death.

somebody June 1, 2012 - 7:33 pm

There was no automobile traffic, so there was no Blvd. Of Death. Of course, it could have been Park Avenue back then, with huge amounts of congestion even during the 30’s.

Mitch May 31, 2012 - 5:06 pm

Well, this part of Queens Boulevard is not really in the danger zone. You have to go further west into Forest Hills, where the roadway gets wider. The intersection of Queens and Yellowstone Boulevards is a real hazard for pedestrians.

somebody June 1, 2012 - 7:29 pm

Or, you can go further east at its intersection with Union Turnpike, which is a very dangerous intersection.

Ken B June 1, 2012 - 8:36 am

The car in mid-photo has not run anyone over, what is trailing the car is exhaust from the tail pipe. (It is December in the photo and the car is idling while waiting for a break in the traffic. The other cars in the photo are either parked or in motion.) The cars adjacent to the firehouse are not parked on anyone’s lawn, the open space is an unfenced vacant lot. (There were lots of them around in those days and folks assumed they could just walk across or park on them. Nobody was really bothered by this kind of temporary “trespassing”.) The car on the right is not parked on the sidewalk, it is exiting the gas station. (Note the Texaco sign.)

What is most significant, and very frightening, is that there is no traffic control of any type anywhere in the photo. Forget that there are no traffic lights, there are not even any stop signs. That fellow whose car is idling has made it across the west-bound service lanes and is waiting for one more car so he can cross the west-bound main roadway. There is nobody coming on the east-bound main roadway, but there is one car in the east-bound service lanes he needs to avoid. Make it worse – these cars all have standard transmissions (and very primitive ones by today’s standards) that need to be shifted! You don’t just hit the gas pedal and leap forward! This type of driving was not for the faint-hearted.

steve June 1, 2012 - 4:05 pm

Notice, there are no traffic lights at the intersection!

somebody June 1, 2012 - 7:31 pm

That’s a firehouse? I seriously thought that it was a church.

S.D. June 3, 2012 - 7:27 am

WOW, great find. I can’t believe how clean looking it is vs. today.

steven June 5, 2012 - 8:34 am

Wow , thats one picture I’ve never seen before. It looks a lot different than the Queens Blvd of today. All that open space is worth millions of dollars today.

Ron August 12, 2019 - 10:04 pm

Is that the 75th Ave. subway entrance on the upper left hand side just west of the firehouse on the north side of Queens Blvd? It is a very small image within the photo. Not sure if the stop is there, or on the other side of the firehouse outside of the picture’s frame.

Ron August 12, 2019 - 10:10 pm

Sorry, I meant the south side of Queens Blvd (regarding my question above).


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