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Jim

General Foods Arch

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One of the last remaining General Foods Arches stood at the entrance to the Rocky Point Amusement Park in Rhode Island. The park closed a number of years ago. Much of the park has been demolished and what remains is in disrepair.

The site listed below will take you to the Rocky Point page. If you click on the 2000 photographs (as you scroll down) and then keep clicking until you hit the fourth page in that set, you will find a photograph of that General Foods Arch. Whether it still stands, I do not know. In any event, if it does stand today, its days are numbered. The entire area is scheduled for demolition and there is a proposal to build condominiums on the site. This could be the end of another legacy.

<a href="http://www.joenisil.com/rockypoint/index.htm" target="_blank">http://www.joenisil.com/rockypoint/index.htm</a>

[This message has been edited by Jim (edited 08-16-2003).]

[This message has been edited by Jim (edited 08-16-2003).]

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If one clicks on the Rocky Point news item entitled SBA Buys ex-Rocky Point Park for $8.5 Million (the same web site posted below), and then scroll down through that news story, there is an aerial view of what remains of the Park. The article is dated July 29, 2003. On the far lower left side of that photograph, I believe that is the General Foods Arch, exactly where I remember seeing it. Therefore, as of right now )8.16.03), that NYWF legacy still stands.

[This message has been edited by Jim (edited 08-16-2003).]

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I have many fond memories of Rocky Point.

There were the annual outings with my maternal grandmother (She'd want you to call her Nanny. She is also the grandmother who visited the fair.). We'd take a "big bus" from Fall River, MA to the Rocky Point grounds. She'd lead me to kiddy land once there. She never grew tired of standing by some attraction and watching me wave to her while I encircled or bumped along. Later we would have Rocky Point's famous chowder and clam cakes, walk by the salt water pool, and rest on the , indeed, Rocky shore line.

In the eighties I sometimes went to Rocky Point with friends. I often took my honorary nephew with me. Over a grease spotted cardboard box of clam cakes; I shared stories of my time at the park ground with Nanny.

I miss those imperfect places that seamed nothing but wondrous when. Places of bright paint, and battered surfaces. Rides made simple by terms of technology, but wondrous in the imagination. (where it only takes the wind and eyes closed to feel like flying.) I miss the smells of grease and popcorn and sounds of attractions all screaming at once.

Something about stereotypical sixties architecture, like the gateway arch, always symbolized the future to me. It's seams so ironic, now, that those types of architectural turns are being made obsolete in the future they helped project.

[This message has been edited by Rose (edited 08-16-2003).]

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I remember some Grand Union supermarkets that used some of these arches back east. Are there any of them still around? If I remember correctly, Grand Union no longer exists, but the bulidings/arches may still.

------------------

Peace

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It's still there I drove by it a few months ago when the parkway was backed up. I remember into the mid 70's it still had the "Peace Through Understanding" neon lights but they are now long gone.

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hey 'pal-ly'(Chairman)-

I spoke with the current owner of that West Hempstead, LI strip center and with the West Hempstead Historical Society.

The Arch was brought there by a man who had both demolition and development firms. He carted away much from the Fair and kept that goodie (wish we could find which # of the 11 total arches) to put in front of his newly built late 60's sports center (basketball, racqetball, rollerskating I recall)

The supermarket based shopping strip came later on the same spot.

The current strip mall owner cares well for the Arch painting bright enamel white every other year. Electric still runs to it.

The W. Hempstead Historical Society had nothing on the Arch's installation but did confirm what you and I know; PEACE THROUGH UNDERSTANDING did hang, LIT from it's top eyelets but after a short while the town or perhaps Nassau County officials complained the PTU sign swung too much in the wind and was a safety risk. Demands were made (and abided) to take it down. Noone remembers exactly when or if the PTU lettering exists still.

Ring-A-Ding-Ding!

'dat-coo coo-Bench

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60 foot high. I know that. If you want to know how wide I could pace it off tomorrow.

My girlfriend lives walking distance from it.

(I only date women near WF legacies - truth be told rolleyes.gif )

I took Bill Young, Marc Williams and Mike Kraus out to see it once and they all remarked that even though tthey knew it was 60' high - you just don't get the sense of scale 'til you see it.

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Don't know exactly when this Google Earth satellite image was taken (they're usually fairly recent)-- but it's nice to see this PTU arch casting it's long shadow over the site of the former Rocky Point Amusement Park:

post-4235-1232235478_thumb.jpg

Tried to find the one near Belmont Park which Bench mentioned in his original post-- but couldn't. Someone else may have a more precise idea of its location, assuming it's still there.

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Here's the picture from the Rocky Point site (see original post above) circa 2000.

00.RP_018.JPG

And here's the closest I can get in with Google Earth without complete image breakdown. It's a weird angle-- but wouldn't that be the white hump of the arch (circled in red?)

post-4235-1232235493_thumb.jpg

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Here's a view from Microsoft's service, which often has better shots that Google Earth:

rocky-point-1.jpg

On both of these, I have seen images that are several years old, so unfortunately just because something is in a picture there it doesn't mean things haven't changed for the worse.

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Wow... you're SO right, Bill! What am I doing messing around with Google Earth? That MS picture is ten times better! Do you have any idea where the arch in Hempstead, LI is so we could use the same viewer to hopefully snap a shot of it too?

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Ah yes... now I know why I haven't used Microsoft's Virtual Earth service... it's not compatible with Mac. Would you mind doing a screen capture when you have a moment Bill-- like you did for the first arch? Thanks.

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Here's an enlarged screen capture of Bill's Hempstead Turnpike location-

Arch-Hempstead.jpg

It would be almost impossible to notice it from this angle unless you knew it was there.

Arch-Hempstead2.jpg

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Thanks Bill & Randy. Do you have any idea how many more of these things are left?

This page lists three of the original eleven that have been "found"....

<a href="http://www.nywf64.com/genfoo05.shtml" target="_blank">http://www.nywf64.com/genfoo05.shtml</a>

The page also includes closeups of the same arch that we see in Bill's Microsoft Virtual Earth overhead shots.

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Thanks Bill & Randy. Do you have any idea how many more of these things are left?

Hey Trey,

Here's another thread about the arches (not the Archies though ) that discusses them in some detail.

<a href="http://www.peacethroughunderstanding.org/index.php?showtopic=4200" target="_blank">http://www.peacethroughunderstanding.org/i...?showtopic=4200</a>

If I'm counting correctly, five of the original eleven arches are still around (two at Duff Quarry in Ohio, one in West Hempstead, LI, one at Enchanted Forest in Old Forge, NY, and the forlorn one at Rocky Point Park). Five out of eleven is a pretty good ratio (nearly half of the arches have been accounted for). Of course it is questionable if the Rocky Point one will be around much longer. I wonder if there are (or were) any more of the archesthat are still around that we just aren't aware of yet.

Oh and speaking of Rocky Point, it is so sad to see the horrible condition it is in now. It almost makes the NYSP look presentable in comparison. I remember visiting the park when I was a kid in the 70's and 80's. My father worked for Tupperware and they would have company outings at Rocky Point. I'm sure I saw the arch on many occassions, but didn't have any interest in (or knowledge of) the NYWF at the time. The last time I visited was in 1995 and it was quite a mess at that point. Unfortunately I still was a couple of years away from becoming a Fair fan, so the arch still meant nothing special to me (little did I know). Also, little did I know that that would be the last time I would ever be able to go to Rocky Point (at least without risking being arrested for trespassing). As much as I'm against tearing down all the great old stuff that I remember from my youth, it would probably be best to finally demolish the remains of this once great park, if only to put it out of its misery and allow it to keep some sense of dignity . Of course, if they do tear it down I hope the arch can be saved.

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OK, here's a zoomed and cropped shot of the arch at the interesection of Hempstead Turnpike and Cherry Valley Avenue, Hempstead, NY:

general-foods-arch-hempstead.jpg

The original was shot from further out than the Rocky Point arch so there isn't as much detail.

Here's the same area in Google Earth:

arch.jpg

It was tough to see the arch, but the shadow is there. I rotated it for a better view:

arch-2.jpg

If anyone is in the area a recent picture would be great. Otherwise I'll try to get one when in NY in September.

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