OK, here it is, the “Places That Are No More” Top 20 Places list. I’m basing this on several different factors including how many people went to the place, how important it was to those who went there, and if it offered something that could not be replaced. Thanks for viewing and I hope you enjoy the list.
The Oak Beach Inn, 1969-1999
Young people went to the OBI to party, politicians went out of their way to shut it down. Owner Robert Matheson is remembered for his feuds with Nassau County, but he was also a brilliant club promoter. He started out in the 60’s renting existing clubs and within a few years had four of his own. It was at the OBI that the Long Island Iced Tea originated. Local leaders probably think they triumphed in getting the place shut down, but we are now without one of the most festive clubs we ever had.
WLIR Radio, 1970-2004, and Malibu Night Club, 1979-1996
Malibu was the club everyone danced to, and WLIR was the station everyone played … new music. Depeche Mode, Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Cure, Nine Inch Nails, pick your favorite. If you really wanted to be cool, this was the station to listen to, with the volume on high. Malibu was shut down when the town of Oyster Bay refused to renew the clubs lease in 1996.
The Red Apple Rest, 1931-2006
The Red Apple Rest has been closed for five years now, and it is not likely to reopen. The volume it once thrived on heading to and from Catskill hotels is gone a lot longer than five years. Ironically, traffic has recently picked up on that stretch of road, due to the popularity of the Woodbury Commons outlet stores just north of it, but it is probably too late to resurrect The Rest.
Worlds Fair, Flushing Meadow NY, 1939-1940
This is a photo from the fair’s controversial World of Tomorrow by GM, in which the car and bus seem to be the only methods of transportation still around. In the real world of 1939, a subway spur was built for the fair, as well as bridges and parkways, but only the bridges and parkways seem to still be around.
Broadway’s West Side, Downtown Hicksville, Demolished 1967
The buildings on the right side of the street in the photo below were once part of a thriving downtown, and are now gone. They were intentionally destroyed by a New York State agency that decided a four lane highway was more important than a flourishing downtown. The trade-off has not turned out well for the town, and I think the ensuing years have only borne that out.
* 1989 NY Times Article on Downtown Hicksville which mentions problems caused by the widening.