Community of Jackson Heights

 

 

Jackson Heights is a neighborhood in the northwestern portion of the borough of Queens in New York City. The neighborhood is part of Queens Community Board 3.[3] Jackson Heights is neighbored by North Corona to the east, Elmhurst to the south, Woodside to the west, northern Astoria (Ditmars-Steinway) to the northwest, and East Elmhurst to the northeast. The main ZIP code of Jackson Heights is 11372. According to the 2010 United States Census, the neighborhood has a population of 108,152.[1]

Early history

The Jackson Heights name comes from Jackson Avenue, the former name for Northern Boulevard, a major thoroughfare that bisects the neighborhood. John C. Jackson built the road across what is now Jackson Heights in 1859. The Jackson Avenue name is retained by this major road in a short stretch between Queens Plaza and Queens–Midtown Tunnel in Long Island City.[4] The place was not particularly high, but the name “heights” showed that the place was originally meant to be exclusive.[5] Until 1916, the area was called “Trains Meadow”, but contrary to the name, there were very few trains in the area. It is suspected that it was corrupted from “drain“.[4]

The first land purchase of 128 acres (52 ha) was completed in 1910, and Edward A. MacDougall’s Queensboro Corporation had bought about 325 acres (132 ha) by 1914.[6] At first, the area could most easily be reached via a ferry from Manhattan or the Brooklyn bridges,[5] but the Queensboro Bridge opened in 1909,[7] followed by the elevated IRT Flushing Line—the present-day 7 train, just 20 minutes from Manhattan—came in 1917,[8] and Fifth Avenue Coach Company double-decker coaches came in 1922.[7]

Jackson Heights was a planned development laid out by the Queensboro Corporation beginning in about 1916, and residents came after the arrival of the Flushing Line into Jackson Heights in 1917. The community was initially planned as a place for middle- to upper-middle income workers from Manhattan to raise their families.[9] The Queensboro Corporation coined the name “garden apartment” to convey the concept of apartments surrounded by a green environment. The apartments, built around private parks during this time, contributed to Jackson Heights’ being the first garden city community built in the United States, as part of the international garden city movement at the turn of the 20th century.[9] Most of the buildings in Jackson Heights are the Queensboro Corporation apartments, built within a few blocks of the Flushing Line, which are typically five or six stories tall and are located between Northern Boulevard and 37th Avenue as part of that planned community.[10] Targeted toward the middle class,[11] the Queensboro Corporation-based the new apartments off of similar ones in Berlin.[12] These new apartments were to share garden spaces,[13]have ornate exteriors and features such as fireplaces, parquet floors, sun rooms, and built-in bathtubs with showers;[14] and be cooperatively owned.[13] In addition, the corporation divided the land into blocks and building lots, as well as installed streets, sidewalks, and power, water, and sewage lines.[15] Although land for churches was provided, the apartments themselves were limited to white Anglo-Saxon Protestants,[8] while excluding Jews, Blacks, and perhaps Greeks and Italians.

 

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