Perhaps we might say that what this photograph doesn’t show or what is lacking in the view is exactly what actually stands out and is so striking about it. Looking northward and taken sometime in the mid-to-latter 1930s, this expansive scene was captured from the top of the Stone Harbor water tower at 96th Street. This view overlooks 95th Street and Second Avenue and encompasses the upper reaches of Stone Harbor along the beach and into the town of Avalon in the distant background.
Perhaps the most obvious feature is just how much vacant and undeveloped land exists in this particular area. In addition, it can be observed that the grassy area running down the center of Second Avenue is now void of any railroad train tracks. Traversing and running along the beach as shown in the far upper right of this image is the faintly visible but still intact boardwalk. The distinctive apartment building, known as the “Nautilus” that was actually located on the boardwalk, reveals its distinctive cupola. Featured along First Avenue and extending northward are several of the impressive and older large cottages.
In closing and for the sake of comparison with the photo presented earlier, permit me to share with you 5 more modern post cards showing basically the same view from the water tower and looking northward. Arranged in chronological order, the first is a linen or textured card with a late 1940 scene and the remaining 4 post card images depict views in all likelihood that were taken during the approximate time frame of 1950 to 1955, were mailed and all bear Stone Harbor postmarks dated 1956 to 1963. Look for the differences. Very few empty lots remain as you can readily see. The second image in this array of 5 post cards appears to have been taken during the Fall or Winter months judging from the lack of greenery and close examination of the age of the automobiles suggests they are all latter 1940s vintage.