By Nicholas Kalis
Sixteenth in a series of glimpses into industries or warehouses that made for interesting freight operations on the Long Island. Information presented has included, where available, a brief history of the firm, how it was served by the LIRR, and what commodities were received or shipped from this facility.
Maps of Freight Stations and Private Sidings, June 1966, page 2 identifies Astoria Lumber, located in Long Island City, as Spot 15 facing the Long Island Railroadís Yard A. Astoria Lumber had its own siding, which branched off a track common to Web Offset (Spot 17) and Louis Sherry (Spot 17A), just off of the Stink Track. Old local telephone directories locate Astoria Lumber at 29-70 Northern Boulevard with telephone number ST 6 2770. This firm last appears in the 1973-74 telephone directory. The Hyde Atlas, Queens Vol. 1, updated through 1955, finds this building, then known as "Astoria Lumber Co." situated on a 73 foot-wide lot fronting Northern Boulevard. Astoria Lumber, a 2-story building with large industrial windows, may be constructed of corrugated steel or stucco. Astoriaís roof may also be of corrugated steel. An aerial view in 1975 places three equally spaced vents along the roof peak, which roof appears dark. A Robert Emery map identifies a track passing alongside the "Astoria Lumber Co. Shed". Emery correctly places Astoria Lumber between Westinghouse Elec. Mfg. Co. (Spot 14) and National Casket (Spot 16). A track diagram Art Huneke sent me identifies the switch at Astoria Lumber as "VS2A", signifying Valuation Section Two, part or sub-section A.
Donít forget to model two ancillary buildings I assume are associated
with the main peaked roof structure. First, the one-story shed (corrugated
steel?) to the right (when facing Astoria Lumber from Yard A) with its
peaked roof (See Photo 2). Also a must for modeling is the two-story
add-on brick building to Astoria Lumberís left which a 1975 aerial photo
shows to have a flat roof and be square in footprint. Can anyone tell us
more about this brick building? Although our 1966 track map obscures this
point, bear in mind two additional buildings visible from Yard A, though not
served by the LIRR, separated Astoria Lumber from its western
neighbor, Westinghouse (Spot 14).
Commodities shipped by rail into this peaked-roof facility probably included plywood and other lumber carried in box cars. These commodities would have originated in mills whose names I have yet to uncover located in states I have yet to research. Astoria Lumber likely shipped out nothing by the Long Island Railroad as only empties left this facility by rail.
Can any reader venture to guess what was Astoria Lumber constructed of?
What color would it have been in the early 1960s?
Readers seeking to model Astoria Lumber would be well advised to simply scratch build it. I would suggest a foam core mockup be constructed first. I am still open to advice about parts to use to build this structure in HO scale.
Thanks to Art Huneke, Bob Miller, Carl Fabrizi, and Bill Myers
Author Unknown. Maps of Freight Stations and Private Sidings (Reprint) June 1966