Places that Matter

Far Rockaway Bungalows

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Martha Cooper
Martha Cooper
Martha Cooper
Martha Cooper
White house with blue trim, Gordon Chou
House with green shades, Gordon Chou
Cream colored house, Gordon Chou
Richard George
Richard George
Richard George
Richard George
Martha Cooper
Important beachfront bungalows in the Rockaways
Place Details »

Place Matters Profile

Introduction by Richard George, President, Beachside Bungalow Preservation Association (BBPA)

The applicant to Place Matters was the Beachside Bungalow Preservation Association (BBPA), which was established in September 1984 and became a non-profit in December 1988. The BBPA is dedicated to the preservation of one of the last remaining bungalow colonies on the Rockaway Penninsula, built in the Rockaway heydays of the 1920s.

The bungalows are nestled along the blocks of Beach 24th Street through Beach 26th Street in Far Rockaway, Queens, between Seagirt Avenue and the boardwalk. Approximately one hundred summer bungalows remain. They were originally constructed around 1920 as an affordable getaway for Jewish immigrants residing in New York City. The bungalows consisted of three bedrooms, a small kitchen, living room (which at the time was the dining room), and a bathroom. Porches were clad in stucco or wood shingles, on twenty by forty foot lots sold to individual families. Just steps away from their homes lay the boardwalk and beach, where residents could swim in the ocean waves. 

The property of the bungalow development was originally the Dickerson Estates, owned in the 1860s by John Joseph Mott and his family. A map of the Dickerson Estates shows that it was part of Far Rockaway Inlet or Bay, which is public trust lands artificially infilled to build the bungalow development. The Dickerson Estates was subdivided into smaller lots, approximately twenty by forty feet. Other lots on the west side of Beach 25th Street and the east side of Beach 26th Street were approximately twenty feet by ninety-six feet deep to accomodate two bungalows, front and back. 

By Jennifer Callahan 
The bungalows of Rockaway are a living reminder of the early decades of the 20th century, when many affordable seaside resorts first lined the country’s coasts. New York City had several summer bungalow colonies: Orchard Beach, Staten Island, Coney Island, and Rockaway, with Rockaway being the city’s largest, attracting for over many decades numerous immigrant and first-generation immigrant families. By 1933, over 7000 bungalows stood on Rockaway, an 11-mile barrier island at the city's southeastern edge with a generous boardwalk stretching across it. Today, about 400 bungalows remain. In Far Rockaway, three intact blocks of bungalows, now on the National Register of Historic Places, stand.