Barren Island

From the (1939) WPA Guide to New York City:

Barren Island, a small community immediately south of Floyd Bennett Field, and an island in name only, resembles an isolated village in some remote countryside. A cluster of patchwork houses, whose occupants earn their livelihood as housewreckers, huddle around a dirt path leading from Flatbush Avenue. To the south, on Dead Horse Inlet, are the ruins of a fertilizer factory where the families of Barren Island once found employment.

The notorious pirate Gibbs, who met death on the gallows in the early nineteenth century, was said to have buried a portion of his booty on Barren Island, and legend has it that the treasure is still hidden there.

Marine Parkway Bridge, a toll bridge spanning Rockaway Inlet, links Brooklyn at Flatbush Avenue with Jacob Riis Park on the Rockaway peninsula (far Passenger automobile toll 15¢.) It also connects with Rockaway Beach Boulevard and Beach Channel Drive, which run through the seashore resorts. A bridge of three spans, each providing a channel 500 feet wide. the structure has an overall length of 4,022 feet. At the center is a 540-foot lift span, with a clearance of 55 feet when lowered and 150 feet when raised. The two flanking spans provide a clearance of 50 feet above mean high water. The bridge was built by the Marine Parkway Authority in 1936-7 at a cost of six million dollars (including the parkway). Consulting engineers were Madigan-Hyland, Wadell and Hardesty, and Robinson and Steinman. The consulting architect was Aymar Embury II.


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