2006-08-17 / Little Old Canarsie

Little Old Canarsie

Construction Here In The 1920s
John Denton


Just after the first World War, which ended in 1918, a great building boom started here. All over Canarsie, new homes sprang up, constructed by various builders.

On Rockaway Parkway between avenues K and M on the east side, rows of bungalows were built by the Brownsville-South Realty Co. and a lot of two-family homes on East 98th Street between avenues L and M, and East 99th Street between avenues K and L.

On the west side of the arkway were twohouses owned by Jarek, a man who was on the New York Fire Department with a title of lieutenant. He also owned a few houses on Avenue K. There also were many two family homes built on East 93rd Street between avenues K and J and on Avenue K between East 92nd Street and Remsen Avenue.

Most of these homes being built in these locations were put up by Henry J. Maurer and Gus Kern, who were partners at the time. The hardware and supplies for all these homes were supplied by two merchants on Avenue L: Ernest Schacht, who had his store on the L near East 94th Street and Morris Kevelson on the corner of East 96th Street, who had a son, Al, and his brother running around with kegs of nails on a truck to supply the builders' needs.

At this time, a large building that was to be one of Canarsie's synagogues, was built on East 96th Street. The other one was on Glenwood Road and East 95th Street.

As Canarsie's population started to grow, there were rumors going around about a new movie theater coming up. One place on Rockaway Parkway alongside the old Flatlands Fire House was started by a man named Sam Lesselbaum., but the story told at the time was that he had passed away and so it never was built.

At East 93rd Street and Avenue L, however, a large movie theater was built by Field & Mag-giolic, a team of theater builders who sold the building to the movie theater chain called the S & S circuit - the late Samuel Strausber and Morris Bleendes - who named it the Canarsie Theatre.

The first feature picture shown on the opening day-October 11, 1927, was The Blood Ship, with Noah Beery, who starred in it.

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