It has taken me 20 years to find pictures of our houses on Beach 38th street and Beach 34th street I can finally rest. I hope you enjoy my little film. In memory of a place that is only in our minds.
The Rockways You’re seeing my grandfather Nathan Baumwoll in 1927 having fun on top of the Roxy Movie Palace in New York City that he helped put the sound in. My grandfather comes to America from Warsaw Poland in 1912. My family was there for more than 200 years. By 1915 he’s working for Jacob Fabian, an early silent film theater owner who built some of the great Movie Palaces. At 15, Nathan was one of his projectionists when they still turned the film. He would go on to do his own little Reels. He would be written about in the newspapers’ and be compare to Georges Méliès. He would be a projectionist his whole life. Fabian sells his circuit of theaters and all the Reels to Warner Brothers in 1927. They in turn begin Warner Brothers Studios
Eva Smilowitz Baumwoll My grandmother was the person who played the piano in the silent movie houses. They would marry in 1920 when they were around 20 years old. My grandmother’s family, The Smilowitz, lived in the Rockaways as early as 1915. My grandparents, Nathan and Eva Baumwoll, would go on to own three houses in the Rockaways. One was on Beach 38th Street that I used to go to. The other was on Beach 34th Street. They were family gathering homes for the summers and they ran them as summer lodgings for people getting away from the city. There were two other houses, one on Reads Lane and an earlier one in Baldwin Long Island. In later years, they ran the Commodore Hotel and the Euclid Hotel on South Beach in Miami Beach Florida.
Photograph of Jack and Roslyn Baumwoll
How was all that losted
Robert Moses is blamed for having destroyed more than a score of neighborhoods by building 13 expressways across New York City and by building large urban renewal projects with little regard for the urban fabric or for human scale. Robert Moses (December 18, 1888 – July 29, 1981) was an American urban planner and public official who worked in the New York metropolitan area during the early to mid 20th century. Despite never being elected to any office, Moses is regarded as one of the most powerful and influential individuals in the history of New York City and New York State. The grand scale of his infrastructural projects and his philosophy of urban development influenced a generation of engineers, architects, and urban planners across the United States.