Neponsit Beach Children’s Hospital Murals (Missing) – Far Rockaway NY

Project type: Art, Murals
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“While a supervisor, Louis Schanker did several murals for the WPA. A series of 11 murals was done for the TB wards’ dining room […] at the Neponsit Beach Children’s Hospital in Rockaway Queens. The official pictures, taken for the WPA, are available on line from the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C. Some show him working on the murals while others must have been taken at the dedication ceremonies because he is shown wearing uncharacteristically formal attire. In the late 1970’s Schanker checked with the Hospital to see if the murals were still there. The Hospital had been converted into a senior citizens home. The administrator did not know of any pictures, but initiated a search that proved fruitless. In a 1970 interview Schanker said that he was pretty sure that they were removed when the Army used the building for returning servicemen in the late 40’s and early 50’s. When the building was taken over by the HHC in 1983 the images were listed as “missing.””

An image of the project’s WPA label states that the mural series’ title is “The Circus.”

Originally built as a tuberculosis hospital for children in 1918, Neponsit Beach Hospital was expanded in 1938. It was used by the army during WWII, then resumed treating children until 1955. After nearly a decade vacant, it became a nursing home for the next 34 years. After being severely damaged in a storm in 1998, the hospital was evacuated. It has been abandoned ever since.

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Location Info

Rockaway Beach Boulevard
Far Rockaway, NY 11695

Coordinates: 40.568185, -73.864784

One comment on “Neponsit Beach Children’s Hospital Murals (Missing) – Far Rockaway NY

  1. Wilfred Thoms

    I was a patient at Neponsit between 1932 and 1939 because I had an open sore on my neck that would not heal.
    Every morning my bed would be covered in blood from my scratching the sore (which itched). I was released in 1939 at the age of 9 because the newly discovered sulfer drug was used.
    I have many happy memories of Neponsit – spent all day on the beach. The nurses were wonderful.
    You can contact me at 714-964-4074 or [email protected]

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