Rockaway Metal Products Corporation

Rockaway Metals Products (RMP) began as a sheet metal fabrication factory beginning in 1961. RMP occupied the site from 1971 to 1987 leaving a plethora of hazardous waste materials onsite. From 1990 to 2004 the building housed various tenants which even included an auto repair shop. Rockaway Metals a manufacturer of filing cabinets and other metal products closed down in 1987. It was leased a few years ago to different owners who did not manage the 4.85-acre parcel. The 155, 000 square foot building has long been an eyesore and trouble in the neighborhood since its closure. A coastal storm in March 2018 blew debris materials to adjacent properties. Rockaway Metals was acquired by Nassau County in 1995 by tax deed. The county holding onto the property for 22 plus years. In February 2011, the site was damaged by fire and condemned soon thereafter. For more in-depth legal ownership of the property, you can read more below in the source list under U.S. v. 175 INWOOD ASSOCIATES LLP.

The site was designated a Department of Environmental Conservation Superfund site in 1992 during an inspection. That classified the site as a Class 2 which made it ineligible for the Brownfield Cleanup Program. In the 1992 inspection, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) discovered dry wells containing flammable sludge, underground tanks, a 5,000-gallon tanker, and 240 55-gallon leaking drums. The EPA removed most of the materials in '93 to 1995 but ground contamination of lead, cadmium, and arsenic still remained.

Rockaway Metals Products created metal boxes, specialized steel office partitions, and the office Rolodex. The Rolodex can be found here at the U.S. Patent Office under patent number 3190707A. That was filed all the way back in 1963 and granted two years later in 1965.

Rockaway Metals was demolished in the summer of 2018 by Nassau County for $2.1 million in borrowed funds. You can still find used 'vintage' steel cash boxes on sale from various vintage vendors on eBay and Etsy. While the building may be gone, its products still 'live' on today in many U.S. households unbeknownst to them the manufacturer has been deleted from history. Currently, it is being shopped to developers willing to clean up and develop it according to the local commercial zoning laws.

Update - October 21, 2019 - When I first ventured inside RMP.

Where the bed bugs definitely bite.

As I pulled up to Rock A Bye Baby (draft writeup name) I immediately saw my access point and circled around the block to see if the other businesses surrounding the property were open and active. Seeing that only one was open and furthermost away from the entrance, I found a parking space and headed into the property.

Upon entering I saw piles of clothing and bedding material in one corner. Obviously, this place was a safe haven for the homeless during the winter. Finding nothing amiss I continued on my way to the burned-out portion of the property. Some firebug had time on his hands and used this place for his inferno lust. Only a portion of the property was consumed by fire. Taking my shots of the burned-out half and the untouched half great contrasting features. Satisfied I made my way back inside.

Past a huge open doorway. I saw a plethora of used beds piled on top of one another. It was an arsonist delight in this space. Evidently, before this business went belly up it served as storage space for beds and clothing because on the other side were wet and soggy clothes strewn all over the floor. It was utter chaos. The only thing I could think about was taking bed bugs or worse fleas from this place. Taking some quick shots I headed to the loading dock for some symmetrical lines.

Finally, I headed upstairs to the offices. The office portion was characteristically the same in any abandoned office setting. Wet mossy floors, pulled down ceiling installation, vacant chairs, upturned tables and drywall holes in the walls. The centerpiece of the office was the large graffiti pieces centered straight down as you entered and one behind if you stood in the middle looking back. Finding all there was to the place I headed out beaming that I got in before plans had come to fruition to clean up the property. All in all not a bad spot but certainly a nice restart for me since it was one of the first spots I explored after not shooting for a while earlier in the year.


Rockaway Metal Products Metal Box

Demolishing and selling 175 Roger Avenue


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  3. I guess I have to say the article was a bit heartbreaking for me. I worked at RMP for almost 10 years in the upstairs accounting offices. I have fond memories of my time there, but it does hurt a bit seeing these pictures of the property.

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