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Everyday Life of Staten Island in the 1960s Through These Captivating Photos

Step back in time to the 1960s on Staten Island, and you’ll find yourself amidst a blend of classic Americana and the dawn of new possibilities. The decade that brought us The Beatles, the Civil Rights Movement, and the Space Race also shaped the daily lives of Staten Islanders in ways both ordinary and extraordinary.

The Opening of the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge

In 1964, the opening of the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge was more than just a feat of engineering. It was a transformative moment that connected Staten Island to Brooklyn and the rest of New York City. People could now easily cross over, and suddenly the island was no longer an isolated community. This new access led to a surge in housing developments and a shift in local demographics.

Drive-ins and Diners

The ’60s were golden years for drive-ins and diners on Staten Island. Families would load into their classic cars and head to spots like the Hillside Swim Club for a refreshing dip or go to the local drive-in to catch the latest film. Diners with neon signs and chrome accents were the epitome of cool, where teenagers would meet for milkshakes, burgers, and jukebox tunes.

The Dawn of Shopping Centers

Before online shopping or megamalls, the 1960s brought forth the dawn of shopping centers on Staten Island. Locations like the Mid-Island Plaza, later known as the Staten Island Mall, became more than just places to shop; they were community gathering points. Moms would chat over coffee while kids ogled the newest comic books or toys.

The Flower Children

The counterculture movement of the 1960s made its way to Staten Island as well. Young people began to question traditional norms and values. People protested against the Vietnam war, and the rise of folk music could be heard in local parks and cafes. Local colleges became hotbeds for activism, and discussions on civil rights and freedom became part of the island’s social fabric.

Ranch Houses and Lawns

Residential areas in Staten Island reflected the mid-century modern architectural styles popular in the ’60s. Ranch-style homes with ample yards became increasingly common, especially in neighborhoods like Eltingville and Great Kills. Homeownership was a symbol of prosperity, and many families took great pride in their well-manicured lawns and gardens.

Boating and Beach Days

With its scenic coastline, Staten Island was a haven for water activities. Weekends were spent sailing, fishing, or simply lounging on the beach. Places like South Beach and Midland Beach were local favorites, offering a sense of vacation without having to leave the island.

#1 Children gather in a rowboat on a flooded street in Midland Beach, September 4, 1969.

#2 Lifeguard Lenny Kolstad helps a lost youngster on the beach, July 6, 1967.

#3 The old New Dorp SIRT Station building seems out of place on Center Street in Richmond, circa 1968.

#4 Miss JoAnn Galasso practices barrel racing in Bulls Head, circa 1969.

#5 Fascinating Stios, accordionists, perform at the New York World’s Fair, 1965.

#6 Children Running Behind Mosquito Fogging Machine on Holden Blvd., 1967.

#7 Students at Junior High School 27, West Brighton, During Lunch Period, 1963.

#8 Workers Pull Cable Lines at the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge Construction, 1964.

#9 Frances Bush, Junior High Jumper, Qualifies for the U.S. Olympic Trials, 1968.

#10 No-Speeding Zone with School Crossing Guard Arlene Carboni at Hylan Boulevard and Bay Street, 1969.

#11 Charles Chorman Photographs His Home Borough on the World’s Largest Map at the New York World’s Fair, 1965.

#12 Nearly-completed Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge; construction briefly interrupted by a strike, 1963.

#13 Students at JHS 2, Midland Beach, make their way along Midland Ave., 1963.

#14 Students at Egbert JHS Prepare for Annual Industrial Arts Exhibit, 1967.

#15 Pupils Leaving St. Charles School, Oakwood, After a Half-Day Session, Showing Less Tension and Apprehension for Return to School, 1969.

#16 Five Staten Island Rapid Transit trains arriving at the St. George ferry terminal at the same time, circa 1966.

#17 Peanuts Float in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, circa 1960.

#19 Back to School! Students at PS 21, Elm Park, Lunch Break on the First Day, 1969.

#20 69th Street Ferry between Brooklyn and Staten Island, Closed in 1964.

#21 Staten Island Little Leaguers Beat Monterrey, Mexico to Win the Little League World Series, 1964.

#22 A Flooded Robinson Avenue Made a Perfect Place to Swim and Play, 1969.

#23 Patriotic Costumes at Dance Fetes by Vacation Day Schools at PS 50, Oakwood, 1964.

#24 New Building for St. Christopher’s School in Grant City, 1967.

#25 Fisherman Watches Sailboats Offshore on Beautiful Summer Day in Great Kills, 1969.

#26 Cooling off at PS 14’s Pool in Stapleton, Staten Island, 1960s

#27 Mid-Island World Champion Little League Team Signing Autographs, 1964.

#28 Moore High School Basketball Team’s Uniforms, 1966.

#29 Staten Island Women Gather at New Dorp’s Tavern on the Green, 1966.

#30 Crew cuts, loafers, and cardigan sweaters at I.S. 49, 1962.

#31 Family Enjoys a Sunday Walk Along the South Beach Boardwalk, 1961.

#33 John F. Kennedy’s Campaign at St. George Ferry Terminal, 1960.

#34 Islanders Line up for Buses During Staten Island Ferry Strike, May 1965.

#35 Play in Sandy Ground, Oldest Continuously Inhabited Free Black Community in the U.S., 1967.

#37 Last-minute shoppers jam the Staten Island Mall, while children wait in line to visit Santa Claus and ride the train, 1960.

#38 Christmas sacks with over 50,000 letters to Staten Islanders are picked up for the New York Tuberculosis and Health Association sale, circa 1963.

#39 Ice Skaters on Brady’s Pond in Grasmere, December 1960.

#40 Mother and daughter pie eating contest at Staten Island Family Day in Wolfe’s Pond Park, 1969.

#41 Don Larsen delivers a pitch in Game 5 of the World Series, Oct 8, 1956.

#42 Ironworkers on the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge, Circa 1960s.

#43 Miss Barbara Ann Gloede of Great Kills, Miss New York State in the Miss America Pageant, at the Richmond Masonic Association Ball, 1963.

#44 Egbert I.S. 2, Setting Type in Class, May 27, 1967.

#45 Children Playing Tug-of-War at Operation Better Block Event, Staten Island, July 1969.

#46 Legendary Guitarists Jimi Hendrix and Jeff Beck Jammed in Prince’s Bay, 1968.

#47 More Than 400 Students March to Richmond College Chanting “Give Peace a Chance,” Merging with Women’s Strike for Peace Rally, 1969.

#48 “Fence Show,” an outdoor art exhibit by the Staten Island Institute of Arts and Sciences at Snug Harbor, circa 1969.

#49 Students from Prall Junior High School in Staten Island performing at the New York World’s Fair, 1965.

#50 Forms Are Nearly Ready to Receive the Concrete Filling Which Will Separate the Two Traffic Flows Along Hylan Blvd., Near Lincoln Avenue, 1964.

#51 Auto Owners Will Have to Dig Their Cars Out of Snowbanks on New Dorp Lane, 1964.

#52 Miss Anne Lesica hands diplomas to Head Start graduates in Mariners Harbor, Westerleigh, and West Brighton, 1966.

#53 Firemen battle flames at a former lumber yard in West Brighton, known as “Black Saturday,” April 1963.

#54 Striking Teachers, Parents, and Children Demonstrate in Front of P.S. 29, Castleton Corners, Protesting Non-local Children Attending Classes During Teachers Strike, 1968.

#55 Harvey Keitel and Zina Bethune Filmed a Movie Scene in “I Called First” at the Staten Island Ferry Terminal, 1967.

#56 Sean Connery with Shirley Eaton during the filming of “Goldfinger”, April 20, 1964

#57 Children comparing costumes before the West Brighton Halloween Costume Parade, 1960s

#58 Annual Flag Burning Ceremony at Miller Field, New Dorp, with Arthur Comegys, Patrick Kennedy, and Andrew Procopio, 1966.

#59 Students Cross the Street in Front of the Former PS 12, a Building That Has Been Home to Concord High School Since 1977, Early 1960s.

#60 Staten Square Set, the oldest and largest square dancing group on Staten Island, presents western-style dancing at the New York State exhibit during Richmond County Day at the World’s Fair, 1965.

#61 Joseph Padovano and Robert Lisa, biking in water after the ‘Hurricane of 1962’ hit Staten Island, 1962.

#62 Staten Island tax protest marchers breaking through police line at City Hall, 1960.

#63 Eltingville Manor Civic Association demonstrates for a traffic signal on Richmond Avenue, 1969.

#64 The Mummers Band livens up the Travis July 4th Parade, 1960.

#65 Tercentenary Celebration of Staten Island’s First Permanent Settlement with Traditional Dutch Costume and Various Events, 1961

#66 Staten Island’s Tercentenary Parade Celebrating European Settlement, 1961

#67 Bethlehem Lutheran Children’s Home in Arrochar, Circa 1966

#68 The 1957 and 1968 Flu Pandemics: Lessons We Can Take Away, 1968

#69 Members of Naval Reserve Surface Division 3-97 Receive Training at Navy Training Center, 1969

#70 Two Young Cyclists View Construction of War Memorial Ice Skating Rink, Clove Lakes Park, 1967.

#71 Paratroopers Descend on Staten Island for Sky Show, Columbus Day, 1969.

#72 Dizzying View of the Narrows During Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge Construction, Circa 1963.

#73 Carriages for “Hello, Dolly!” Loaded at Clove Lakes Stables, West Brighton, 1968.

#74 Moviegoers at the Premiere Show at the Fox Plaza Theater, New Dorp, 1966

#75 Tourists Admire the Statue of Liberty from the Staten Island Ferry, 1965

#76 Staten Island Rapid Transit Trains Arrive at St. George Ferry Terminal at the Same Time, 1966.

#77 Dedication of Portico to Carriage House in Richmondtown, Collection of 22 Carriages, 1968.

#78 An honor guard from a Veterans of Foreign Wars post leads marchers along Amboy Road to Veterans Day service in Ocean View Cemetery, 1965.

#80 Policeman stands at the toll booth at the Outerbridge Crossing, Tottenville, circa 1961.

#81 The Ferry Line Between Tottenville and Perth Amboy Was Still Running When This Photo Was Made, 1962.

#82 Children Watch Blazing Disposal Barge at Oakwood Beach, 1966.

#83 Staten Island Expressway Construction, Circa 1962.

#84 Foggy Day at South Beach with Lifeguard Fred Willecke, 1966.

#85 People Shovel Snow off Cameron Pond, Grasmere, for Ice Skating, 1968.

#86 Welcome to the Working Week! Staten Island Ferry Commuters Sitting on Boat to Manhattan, December 1969.

#87 Homecoming Queen is Crowned at Monsignor Farrell High School, 1969.

#88 On January 5, 1965, the “Red Ball” Indicates Safe Ice Skating Conditions on Martlings Pond, Clove Lakes Park.

#89 School Nurse Checks Tonsils of First Grade Pupil at PS 31, New Brighton, 1968.

#90 Bus Stuck on Howard Avenue Near Campus Road, 1967.

#92 House on Clay Pit Road Swallowed by 1963 Brush Fire, Steps and Foundation Remain, 1963.

#93 Youngsters at PS 8 in Great Kills Devouring a Hot Lunch, 1966.

#94 Two Gallant Young Men Make Sure the Gals’ Feet Don’t Get Wet on Cedar Grove Avenue, 1966.

#95 Bread & Milk! Headed Home Along Giffords Lane, Great Kills, 1967.

#96 The 1968 Port Richmond High School Basketball Team Wins the Staten Island Championship, 1968.

#97 Jets Hall of Fame Quarterback Joe Namath Celebrates the 25th Anniversary of the 1969 Super Bowl III Team, 1993.

#98 First Wave of Prall Junior High School Students at Dismissal, Dec. 3, 1965.

#99 Sister Patrice Operates a Foreign Language Lab at St. Joseph Hill Academy in Arrochar, 1969.

#100 Bound from Princes Bay Railroad Station, Travel Is by Foot for Employees After Snowstorm, 1967.

#101 The St. George Ferry Terminal was mobbed during the 1966 transit strike, 1966.

#102 Workman laying corner pieces for the bridge’s giant roadway sections, circa 1963.

#103 A boy watches stuck buses on Broad Street, Stapleton, 1967.

#104 In 1969, James Malarkey patrolled Clove Lakes Park on a scooter, and Ernest Hicks on a horse, 1969.

#105 Heavy snowflakes cloud the vision of a passer-by near an overturned car on Arlo Road, Grymes Hill, 1967.

#106 Plane collision over Staten Island & Brooklyn kills 134, 1960.

#107 Tax Protest at Majors Discount Department Store, Mariners Harbor, 1963.

#108 Cold Commuters Head for St. George Ferry Terminal Before Storm, 1964.

#109 Parking Meters Outwitted by Mounting Snow Banks in Port Richmond, 1964.

#110 Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge, cable spinning operation in progress at top of Staten Island tower, 1963.

#111 Salute to Vietnam GIs; pupils of PS 44, Mariners Harbor, rehearse for their 10th annual school show, 1968.

#112 A lone commuter at the 69th Street ferry ramp in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn on a possible snow day, 1961.

#114 Donna Ippolito wins a pony in a coloring contest sponsored by Majors Discount Department Store, 1963.

#115 Majors Dept. Store in Mariner’s Harbor, circa 1962.

#116 Crowds at the world’s most famous hot dog stand, Nathan’s, at Coney Island, 1966.

#117 A wildcat Staten Island Ferry Strike stranded 30,000 commuters, 1964.

#118 President Lyndon B. Johnson’s Visit to Staten Island, Rally at Verrazano Memorial on Lily Pond Avenue, 1966.

#119 The St. Louis Academy Cheerleaders, Staten Island, 1966.

#120 Staten Island’s own World Champion Little League team honored with a parade in Manhattan, 1964.

#121 St. Louis Academy, the all-girls Catholic high school near Bloomingdale Rd., Pleasant Plains, 1968.

#122 Waning summer days at South Beach, crowded on September 18, 1967.

#123 “Staten Island Little Leaguers: The Best in the World,” Mid-Island Little League All-Stars win the Little League World Series, 1964.

#124 William Neher places sign on South Railroad Avenue approach to Redgrave Avenue, 1963.

#125 Ducks on Frozen Jack’s Pond in Great Kills, 1960.

#126 Campanella, One of the Greatest Catchers in History, Played for the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1940s and 1950s; Inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, 1969.

#127 Children in a Canoe on a Flooded Street in Midland Beach, 1969.

#128 Apollo 11 Mission Landed on the Moon; Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins Reached a New Frontier, 1969.

#129 The Queen Mary, then the tallest ocean liner, passed under the Verrazzano Narrows Bridge, clearing it by just 30 feet, 1966.

#130 Circa 1961: A photo of a girl participating in the Dutch Jubilee at Historic Richmond Town, 1961.

#131 Baby chimp Clyde placed on view at the Staten Island Zoo, coinciding with the Beatles’ first appearance on ‘The Ed Sullivan Show,’ 1964.

#132 Hockey players and ducks on frozen Jack’s Pond in Great Kills, December 1960.

Written by Dennis Saul

Content creator and Professional photographer who still uses Vintage film roll cameras. Not that I loved London less But that i Love New York City More.

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