The Sunday porch: Rockaway, N.Y.

Bungalow, Rockaway NY, via LoC“Porches and front lawns of row of bungalows, Rockaway, N.Y.,” between 1908 and 1911, by Bain News Service, via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Bungalow front, Rockaway NY, via LoC

Rockaway (or The Rockaways) is a peninsula of Long Island within the New York City borough of Queens. It became a popular beach resort in the 1880s, when a commuter rail line from Manhattan opened a stop there.

Small summer bungalows were prolific in Rockaway during the first half of the 20th century — there were over 7,000 in the area by 1933. Most were torn down, however, during 1960s urban development. The preservation of those that remain is the subject of a 2010 documentary, The Bungalows of Rockaway. You can see the trailer here — and more pictures of Rockaway bungalow life here.

Life in gardens: Little Duck Key

Out of the cradle endlessly rocking. . .

Little Duck Keys, 1975, via Natl. Archives“American dreams at Little Duck Key [– part of the Florida Keys]. Commercial camping sites and travel trailer courts have sprung up throughout the Keys. Even on the smaller Keys like Little Duck, where no facilities have yet been constructed, camping is permitted by local authorities,” ca. 1975.

Little Duck Keys, 1975, via Natl. Archives“Campers on Little Duck Key sleep in their own hammocks,” ca. 1975.

Little Duck Key, Fla., 1975, via National Archives“Beach at Little Duck Key. Little Duck, in the lower Florida Keys, is a tiny island which has not been commercially developed[;] the beach is open to visitors, who are not always careful to preserve its unspoiled appearance,” ca. 1975.

All three photos here were taken by Flip Schulke for DOCUMERICA, a 1970’s photography program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  They are shown with the original captions.

The EPA hired over 100 photographers to “document subjects of environmental concern.”  The work continued until 1977 and left behind an archive of about 20,000 images.

In addition to recording damage to the nation’s landscapes, the project captured “the era’s trends, fashions, problems, and achievements,” according to the U.S. National Archives, which held an exhibit of the photos, “Searching for the Seventies,” in 2013. 

There are more pictures from DOCUMERICA here.

Over the sterile sands and the fields beyond, where the child leaving his bed wander’d alone, bareheaded, barefoot . . . .

Borne hither, ere all eludes me, hurriedly,
A man, yet by these tears a little boy again,
Throwing myself on the sand, confronting the waves,
I, chanter of pains and joys, uniter of here and hereafter,
Taking all hints to use them, but swiftly leaping beyond them,
A reminiscence sing.

— Walt Whitman, from “Out of the Cradle. . .

The Sunday porch: South Beach

South Beach porch, 1973, via Natl. Archives“Inexpensive retirement hotels are a hallmark of the South Beach area [of Miami Beach, Florida]. A favored place is the front porch, where residents sit and chat or watch the activities on the beach.”

South Beach, c. 1975, via Natl. Archives

These c. 1975  pictures* (shown here with their original captions) were taken by Flip Schulke for DOCUMERICA — a photography program created in late 1971 by the brand new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The EPA hired over 100 photographers to “document subjects of environmental concern.”  The work continued until 1977 and left behind an archive of about 20,000 images.

In addition to recording damage to the nation’s landscapes, the project captured “the era’s trends, fashions, problems, and achievements,” according to the U.S. National Archives, which held an exhibit of the photos, “Searching for the Seventies,” in 2013. 

South Beach, c. 1975, via Natl. Archives“One of the many residential hotels for retired people living on small incomes. . . . The front porch is a favorite retreat.”

South Beach, c. 1975, via Natl. Archives“Income of the retirees in this area is not high, and most live in residential hotels such as the one pictured here.”

There are more pictures from DOCUMERICA here.


*Via the U.S. National Archives Commons on flickr.