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Mystery Picture: August 20, 2010

Gary and Tony Know Oyster Bay

Gary DePasquale called to identify the Aug. 12 mystery picture in the Enterprise Pilot. He said, “It’s the ceiling of the new library at the Oyster Bay High School.”

Tony Pilla of Anniston, Alabama emailed the answer saying, “The picture looks like the ceiling in the gym at Oyster Bay High School”

Of course they are both correct. The ceiling of the old gym at Oyster Bay High School is now the ceiling of the library!

Bob McEvoy, Sr., Knows OB!

“This is a house on Hamilton Avenue,” said Bob McEvoy, senior. “The background gave it away. The tall building behind the house is the Lyrick Theater. That’s what became Town Hall East.”

Mr. McEvoy remembered the house about a year ago when the porch didn’t exist. He said then it looked like a boarding house.

He said another thing that gave the photo away was the car, “Which is older than you or I. I’ve been here for 81 years.”

He added that a friend of his died and had a lot of old pictures and wanted to give them away, but didn’t find a taker. “Things have changed since I was a boy in Oyster Bay.” [A good thing to know is that the Oyster Bay Historical Society welcomes old photographs to add to their collection. You never know when a photo reveals an important part of history. If you remember, the Oyster Bay Railroad Museum is looking for photographs of the interior of the station to know what the fireplace looked like originally. You can reach them at 922-5032.]

Theodore J. Amotobozo called to identify the Aug. 5 photograph as, “A rooming house on Hamilton Avenue. It’s an older picture. If you look closer you can see the top of the old movie theater in the background.”

Mike Rich too, identified the Aug. 5 mystery picture. He said, “I know it’s an old photo but if one were to go down Hamilton Avenue to number 37 on the left hand side they can see that it is completely restored to what is was in the picture – the porch railings have been replaced. It is a multi family house. In the background you can see the elevated tower from town hall in the background.

“And, for six months of my life I lived at number 14 Hamilton Avenue, which was Mr. Otto’s house across the street. It was a three story apartment house. It was the first house on the right as you go down the block. So, the picture brings back old memories - I don’t recall anything from six months old, but from later on as I grew up in the area.

“The house at 37 Hamilton Avenue is completely restored and people should drive down and see it because they did a great job on it. Everyone should see it,” said Mr. Rich.

We agree, Walter Imperatore and Island Properties deserve a great deal of credit for the beautiful restoration of “a great Victorian lady” as the houses are sometimes called. A few more and we can go for the title of the Cape May of Long Island!

Steve Minicozzi called too, to add to the story. He said, “That is 37 Hamilton Avenue. I know because I used to own it and sold it to Island Properties and they recently have done a beautiful job renovating. They did a wonderful job and spruced it up wonderfully,” he added.

At one time Hamilton Avenue was the place to live in Oyster Bay. With the help of Island Properties and the other homeowners on that block, it is returning to its former glory.

We received an email from The Feldman Family. They wrote: “Our family immediately recognized the mystery picture from the Aug. 5 edition of the paper, but thought many people would respond! We walk by this house several times a week on our way to the park with our children. It is a house on Hamilton Avenue that has recently been renovated. Prior to the renovation the house was in such poor condition, but now is such a beautiful addition to Oyster Bay.”

John Walsh too added his name to the list of responders who know the Hamilton Avenue building. “It is 37 Hamilton Avenue and it was just re-done by Island Properties. It came out great!

“The Aug. 12 photo is the old Oyster Bay High School gym. I’m pretty good at this,” he added cheerfully.

It was a nice note on which to end the column for which we are happy and actually grateful. We just love long answers that give more of the history of Oyster Bay. Keep calling and we will keep typing.