by Kevin Walsh

Dipping into the archives for some images from late 2011:

The small green and white signs here on Jamaica Avenue where it meets Myrtle Avenue and Lefferts Boulevard were placed in the 1980s and had to be considered an experiment of sorts; perhaps regulation street signs, placed on lampposts, were hard to see, so small square ones went on the elevated train pillars. In any case, this style was not used anywhere else in the city, and when the pillars received a paint job a couple of decades later, the signs vanished.

Here’s another one at Lefferts Boulevard.

Almost as long as there’s been a Richmond Hill, the Triangle Hotel building 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. The hotel began lodging weary travelers going east on the turnpike from New York City or coming west from points on Long Island and has been known under various names through the years: the Mullins Hotel, Doyle’s Triangle Hotel, Waldeier’s Triangle Hotel, Triangle Hofbrau, and Four Brothers. Its mahogany bar was imported from Honduras, and a brass bell rang every time a round of drinks was purchased.

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; Miss West was routinely ejected for smoking (shocking!) and causing a “general commotion.” Vaudeville pianist/composer Ernest Ball  (1878-1927) wrote the now-standard “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling” in one of the hotel’s guest rooms in 1912. A restaurant operated continuously in the Triangle building from 1893 to 1999.

Though it’s 2020 now, the Triangle building remains in place.

Check out the ForgottenBook, take a look at the gift shop, and as always, “comment…as you see fit.”


1 comment

redstaterefugee January 29, 2020 - 11:15 am

In the mid ’80’s I worked in the Gertz Plaza office complex. There was lots of Saturday overtime to be had so “I seen my chances & I took ’em”. A few of us would drive over to the Triangle Hofbrau for lunch. What an elegant place it was. Between the dim lighting, the well dressed, always polite waiters,the mahogany paneling & tables, the dining experience was beyond what you’d expect on an O/T Saturday. Coincidentally, as the triangle’s restaurant era was ending in 1999 so did my O/T gravy train. I retired in 2004 & moved to AZ a year later. Guess what? Life goes on &, as good as life looked to me then, it’s even better today.


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