As a teen living on Annadale Rd. i often walked to Greenridge to meet up with my friends. There werent many places for kids our age to go hang out and not get chased away by cops all night. I would walk to Greenridge and meet up with the rest of my friends knowing that they would be there ( this was before everyone had a cell phone). I would walk down Dorval till it hit the Korean War Vets and like everyone else cross through the abandoned highway. We would all hang out on that highway, away from people that could yell at us and of course cops. I remember always thinking about how that highway got there and where was it supposed to be going anyway? I've walked all the way up it literally leads to no where. I'm sure I am not the only one who thought about this, because we've all talked about it. Well I found out the answer as to how it got there and why it never got finished, along with a couple more interesting facts.
In 1921, on the corner of Aurthur Kill rd and Richmond ave were safari golf now sits, sat a amusement park and restaurant call Al Deppe's. It was an indoor play ground with small rides and pin ball machines, a beautiful carousel that was imported from Germany, as well as shooting booths for target practice. . The owner who opened this place also bought a mansion built in the 1850's across the street, known to me and you as the Elks Club.
After buying the house, Al built a 200 ft tunnel that ran from his house to the restaurant across the street so that he could go back and forth with money and other such valuables unnoticed and unharmed. Some people say Al was so paranoid he actually hid some of his money in the tunnel for safe keeping and that its still there today. Along with this tunnel there are a few other tunnels that lead to various locations in the area, some dating back to the civil war era as legend has it. Before the construction of the Korean War Vets and the West shore Richmond Ave was the only way to travel from Eltingville, so of course this place did very well and was a well known establishment. They were best known for the hot dogs and their fresh clams.
And so the story always ends the same, in the late 1960's or early 1970's the city wanted to build a better way to travel the Island, and proposed the building of The Richmond Parkway, currently the Korean War Vets, and Al Deppe's stood right in the way. So the place was condemned and knocked down to make way for the exit off the Parkway. As we know this never came about though there are 4 over passes ( 2 on each side) that were built, along with a street sign, and paved roads with guard rails and all. The plan was to make a quick exit from the Richmond Parkway to the Staten Island Expressway, it was to cut though CSI as well, however it was never even fished due to a change of plans.It must have been a heartbreak for the Deppe family and other people who frequented the spot.
*Any pictures and info about any topic would be great.