Staten Island Neighborhood Profile: Rosebank
During the nineteenth century, Staten Island was populated by many factories. In 1904, Gustav Siegle, a German dye manufacturer who had become the owner of his father's firm in 1863, moved his factory to New York. After his death in 1905, the factory was moved to the neighborhood of Rosebank, where construction of the plant was completed by 1907. In 1929, the company merged with A.B. Ansbacher & Company to become the Ansbacher-Siegle Company. In 1957, the company merged into Sun Chemical, which is the name it kept for over a century, until its closure on January 31, 2008. (photo right: © Sunset behind Rosebank, Staten Island from Brooklyn)
In 1852, a Julius De Jonge had purchased 45-59 Prospect Street. This area of land was then transferred to Louis De Jonge, who relocated the Louis De Jonge Company from Manhattan to the site. The factory, which employed over one-hundred people, dealt with the production of "fancy" paper, which would be transported by Baltimore and Ohio freight cars. It was located at what is now 330 Tompkins Avenue well into the twentieth century, until they closed down. The site is now occupied by the American Self-Storage facility.
For about a century, beginning in 1873, Rosebank was once home to a Quarantine Hospital. The facility was located on Bay Street and Nautilus Street and was turned over to the United States Government in 1921. At this time, it became known as the United States Public Health Service Quarantine Station. In 1971, the Quarantine Hospital was evacuated. After that, the Coast Guard took over to use it as housing.
By the end of the seventeenth century, a Dutch Colonial home was constructed at what is now 2 Hylan Boulevard. During the next century, many additions were made to the home, as it was originally just one room. By 1844, it was purchased by John Haggerty Austen, who also made additions to the home and whose wife had named it Clear Comfort. In 1866, Austen's granddaughter was born, Elizabeth Alice Austen. This lady, who is commonly referred to as just Alice Austen, lived in the house for a large portion of her life. It was in this house that she developed her famous photographs. After her death in 1952, the house was added to the National Register of Historic Places and was designated as a New York City Landmark. The house, which had fallen into disrepair since her death, was restored by using the photographs Ms. Austen had taken of Clear Comfort's interior and exterior. The house is currently open to the public as a museum, showcasing Ms. Austen's work.
Around 1845, a house was built in the neighborhood of Rosebank. Antonio Meucci, an Italian inventor, moved into the house in 1850 with his wife. Antonio Meucci, hidden by Alexander Graham Bell's success, was possibly the true inventor of the telephone. He had filed a patent caveat, but could not afford the patent. By 1876, Alexander Graham Bell announced his invention. By 1851, the Italian revolutionary Giuseppe Garibaldi came to stay in the house, where he was employed by Meucci. In 1907, years after Garibaldi and Meucci's deaths, the house was moved nearby to 420 Tompkins Avenue (pictured left). In 1956, it was opened to the public as the Garibaldi-Meucci Museum, where it praises and showcases their lives as well as the Italian-American heritage. During the turn of the 20th Century Rosebank was home to many Italian immigrants, most of which were masons. Many of the Italian families that moved to Rosebank were laborers largely responsible for the construction of New York City's enormous subway system.
As far as buses go, there are three local buses, which leave the St. George Ferry Terminal and pass through the neighborhood of Rosebank. You have the s52 and s78 on Tompkins Avenue, which travel to Staten Island University Hospital and the Bricktown Mall, respectively. On Bay Street, you have the s51, which travels into Grant City. In addition to the buses, there is also the Clifton Railroad Station, above the neighborhood of Rosebank, which is located on Bay Street and Townsend Avenue. While there are no express buses in the neighborhood, any of the buses above will take you to the St. George Ferry Terminal, where you can take the ferry into Manhattan and transfer to another bus or take the subway.
There are over a dozen schools in the vicinity of Rosebank. For public schools, students may attend P.S. 13, at 191 Vermont Avenue; P.S. 57, at 140 Palma Drive; P.S. 14, at 100 Tompkins Avenue; I.S. 49, at 101 Warren Street; Concord High School, at 109 Rhine Avenue; or the Michael J. Petrides School, at 715 Ocean Terrace. For Catholic schools, students may attend the St. Mary School, at 1124 Bay Street; St. John Villa Academy, at 57 Cleveland Place; the Immaculate Conception School, at 104 Gordon Street; St. Sylvester School, at 884 Targee Street; or Notre Dame Academy, at 134 Howard Avenue.